Three Forks Loop via Appalachian and Benton Mackaye Trail

MODERATE 41 reviews

Three Forks Loop via Appalachian and Benton Mackaye Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Ellijay, Georgia that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
921 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

river

views

hiking
23 days ago

Absolutely beautiful trail!

1 month ago

Everything about this hike was perfect. The drive to get there is a little longer but beautiful. We had no trouble approaching from Doublehead Gap, then the dirt service road to the trail, which we found to be well maintained. Beautiful hike with ample stream crossings and change of scenery as you cross over the ridge. We had enough energy to also hike to Long Creek Falls afterwards which added another two miles to our adventure. The falls are beautiful and worth the effort. A full and satisfying day.

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect trail and distance!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great trail. We started from the Springer Mountain parking lot instead of 3 Forks because of the road conditions at 3 Forks. I would recommend going to Long Creek falls when doing this section, it's only a mile past 3 Forks and well worth it. Have fun.

backpacking
3 months ago

Started this trail from the Cooper's Gap side. Please be aware the Cooper's Gap dirt road that leads to Three Forks is extremely bumpy and rough. GPS and map didn't show that so it was unexpected. We were on it for 45 mins in a subaru so we felt it all and the car was struggling at a certain point. Highly encourage to either use an suv or jeep if not try to access from the other dirt road which is only about 9 miles and in better conditions. Three Forks was a well kept trail with an elevation gain of 1,173 feet up to Springer Mountain's Summit. Once you pass the Springer Mountain parking lot get ready for an uphill rocky trail hike. Overall beautiful and moderate hike. It was my first time backpacking so I struggled in the rocky section.

hiking
4 months ago

This was a great day hike. We accessed the trail from the Springer Mountain parking lot for the Appalachian Trail, south of the loop, and hiked up the AT to the junction of the AT and the Benton Mackaye Trails. The drive up to the lot took a while, but the road was well-maintained and no problem for a little Hyundai.
The trails are clearly marked - white rectangles for the AT and white diamonds for the BMT. There is enough elevation and stream crossings via rocks or bridges to give you a work out, but nothing super steep or difficult to travel. There are a few spots where a trail turn could be missed, but as long as you are watching the trail markings (or using GPS) you shouldn't have any trouble.
There is a variety of foliage as you cross through different "zones;" lots of amazing colorful mushrooms and a good mix of challenging vs. level trail. We only saw one other group of people during our hike, and a lot of the trial was incredibly quiet, unless you were by the creek.
Overall, a beautiful moderately challenging hike. We all decided we would do it again.

hiking
4 months ago

Great day hike. Trail head is way way back. Could be hard to get to without a 4x4. Poorly marked so we somehow doubled back on ourselves as opposed to completing the entire loop. That said it was a nice hike that crisscrossed the water. Good mix of climbs and descents.

8 months ago

Nice hike with limited views. Road in kinda sucked.

9 months ago

Great hike with great views. Trail was a little hard to see in places but well worth it!

hiking
11 months ago

We had a wonderful time! The drive to the trail head was adventurous...lots of potholes! We had a nine year old and an eighty two year old in our group so it took one hour and forty minutes up and a little over an hour down, we did not do the summit. Up we followed the white rectangle ( Appalachian Trail ) and on the way back followed the white diamond of the Benton Mackaye Trail. Only saw a few fellow hikers, it’s December after all!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Nice hike. Three Forks is not really marked. This hike you start up the AT to Springer Mtn. And after about 2.2 miles you switch and comeback on the Benton MacKay trail. You can continue on at the intersection of the AT/BM trails and go to Springer. It is about 1.9 miles from there so this adds 3.8 to the hike. Make sure drive in on DoubleGap. I went out the other way and my Honda Civic was not happy but we survived.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Great day hike area. Good for camping too.

hiking
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Been thru here once before doing 20 mile section of BMT. Easter weekend, took a friend to do her 1st hike in 40 yrs. (we're both mid 60....ish). She was breaking in a new Deuter, I just daypacked. Drove her Corolla up there...lol.
Easy day, lots of people, gorgeous weather.
I did notice signs at this trailhead saying, "No camping behind signs". Does anyone know if that means you can no longer camp at the sites by the footbridge?

backpacking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Awesome! Great for the kids!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Fun day hike. Nice stream to cool off in

hiking
Monday, June 01, 2015

Very crowded on the weekends but very enjoyable!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

No one ever tells you that you have to take a one lane dirt road up the side of a mountain to get there haha it was definitely a surprise

hiking
Friday, July 11, 2014

My son and I hiked this trail from Springer Mountain to Three Forks. This is a nice trail and I thought it was relatively easy. The hike was enjoyable and the scenery was terrific. We crossed several streams, and the vegetation was thick and the weather was cool. We camped at Three Forks and it was terrific as we were the only ones spending the night there. This is a good trail and not very strenuous. I would also recommend hiking on to Long Creek Falls - very nice and the scenery and falls are beautiful. We hiked in Saturday morning, set up camp and hiked out Sunday morning. It was a terrific weekend.

hiking
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

If you start at the parking at the vast of Springer Mountain, on the return trip after you've reached the other service road, don't take the BMT to return. It is uphill the entire way, and somewhat grown over due to little use. Stay on the AT.

hiking
Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nice place to spend the afternoon

hiking
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This was a great day trip trail. I highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

4 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

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