Fort Mountain derives its name from an ancient 855-foot-long rock wall which stands on the highest point of the mountain. The mysterious wall is thought to have been built by Indians as fortification against other more hostile Indians or for ancient ceremonies. Situated in the Chattahoochee National Forest close to the Cohutta Wilderness area, this park offers a variety of outdoor activities. Hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders will find some of the most beautiful trails in northern Georgia. Most wind through hardwood forest and blueberry thickets, occasionally crossing streams and providing spectacular vistas. During the summer, children will enjoy the sand beach located on a clear mountain lake, as well as miniature golf and pedal boat rental.
This was a difficult trail! We are training to backpack the Grand Canyon and decided we would do this trail with 40 pound packs to get us ready. We were visiting family who live in the area and recommended it. It had rained the day before so the soil was wet and we slipped a couple of times in the narrow trail sections. There were a total of 8 fallen trees. One cluster of trees at the end of the trail (we went clockwise) provided a nice obstacle course which shouldn't have been difficult, except our packs kept us from fitting through some of the branches--that combined with the wet soil left us feeling very accomplished when we got through. The elevation changes are fantastic and had lots of ups and downs, which definitely prepared us for the GC. Hoping we can do it again before we go to the GC in May.
This is a great day hike with wonderful views distributed all the way around. The elevation change is spread pretty evenly throughout. I hiked counterclockwise, but it seems like either way would be good.
As of early March 2017, there was some serious blockage on the western half (north of the falls) due to fallen trees. It was navigable but required some maneuvering.
If you start from the parking lot Trailhead, instead of starting from the campground loop, I recommend you take the trail head to the left. If you go to the right, this is a very challenging Trail. We actually had to take a bike trail just so it wouldn't kill us getting back to the car.
Previously, we have taken this Trail starting from the campground Loop. We have always enjoyed it, and found it to be a moderate and beautiful hike.
I did an overnight trip with my 8 year old son. Both of us being new to Backpacking, I was a bit concerned but we had a blast. The right mix of challenge but it wasn't over the top. Stayed at camp site #3 which looked like the best spot. It does get windy there.
DaNae H. on Fort Mountain Lake Loop
Nice trail for families with kids. Flat. Pretty lake view all the way around. Creek crossing. Spot for swimming off dock. Area for tents and nice bathrooms around camping area.