Appalachian Trail: Three Forks To Hawk Mountain Shelter

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Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Appalachian Trail: Three Forks To Hawk Mountain Shelter is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ellijay, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, bird watching, and backpacking and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length7.8 miElevation gain1,217 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingHikingBird watchingRunningForestViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlife
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Reviews (195)
Photos (724)
Activities (201)
Completed (434)
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Ted Towns
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Hiking

Great trek.

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Jeff Burnisky
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Hiking

Nice easy trail. No major inclines. Heavily trafficked for the first mile then thins out when the AT splits off. We saw about 3 dozen though hikers beginning their 2000 mile journey. That was the highlight of this hike for sure. All in all a nice non-strenuous hike. We clocked 8.6 miles out and back. 

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Bill Becker
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Backpacking
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Sui Eggert
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Hiking

Beautiful waterfalls at Long Creek. Ot as many pretty views otherwise

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Michelle Ralston
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Hiking

We finally started the AT

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Greg Schug
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Hiking

A nice, fairly easy 9 miles including visiting the Long Creek Falls and cemetery. It was nice to see the thru hikers and I wish them safe journeys. The gravel road to get to the trailhead is pretty rough. That fact in itself will keep me from visiting the trail again anytime soon.

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Annie Kate Swain
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HikingGreat!

Awesome trail along the AT. The first waterfall off about a mile in is super easy to get to (long creek falls). But then it’s a little confusing which ‘fork’ to take to get to the cemetery, just follow the AT signs. We only saw one waterfall the whole way, not 2 like some mentioned but it was still worth it. Hawks mountain shelter isn’t a great view, we would’ve been happy turning around at the cemetery. That said with getting a little turned around we clocked 9.1 miles and took us 4 hours. Highly recommend. We did in March 2021 when AT hikers were starting their long endeavor so that was awesome to see.

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judy gainer
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Hiking
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Curtis Carver
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Hiking

Good hike under wet conditions with lots of folks at the Hawk Shelter. Everyone was well behaved and we got to listen to a 3 pronged night attack as part of the mountain phase of UA Army Ranger training. I probably should not have done this hike so close to receiving my 2nd vaccine shot but everything worked out.

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Laura Newman
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Hiking

Not too crowded today. Walked past shelter on to cooper gap - stopped at falls & cemetery Clocked exactly 10 miles took about 4 hours 25 minutes

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Mort OBoyle
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Hiking
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Mary Thompson
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Hiking
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Kirk Hodo
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Hiking

Great trail. No real issues other than a few icy spots right before Hawk Mountain shelter. All in all a good hike.

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Todd Baillie
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Hiking
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Tom .
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Hiking
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Paula Burzotta
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HikingGreat!

Great trail near home

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Alex Whitaker
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HikingGreat!

Great hike up to Hawk Mountain. Checked out Long Creek Falls and Hickory Flatts Cemetery along the way. Nice field below the top of Hawk Mountain, perfect for a break in the sun. Just under ten miles total. Trail in good condition and didn’t see too many people.

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Wyatt McLaughlin
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HikingGreat!

Very relaxing

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Jordan Church
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Hiking

Hard!!!!!

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Alex Whitaker
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HikingGreat!

Great hike in winter with views through trees. Stopped at Long Creek Falls and the old cemetery.

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Maegan White
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HikingGreat!

Down tree about 3.5 miles in on dahlonega side. Took the Jeep right under it :) great hike. Added long creek falls and went to hightower gap and back. 8.3 miles.

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Melzar Nye
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Hiking
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mike sherry
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se7en hikes
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BackpackingGreat!

Horse Gap, again. Just another excellent day. Had to strip down to the anti-microbial tshirt early in this hike. Now that I was covering ground I had hiked already, I could simply focus on nature. Living on the Eastern Shore of MD, we are a flat landscape with all of our focus on the Chesapeake Bay. Today's hike could not have been more different. Very photogenic with a late sun casting rays from over Ball Mntn. Despite a hearty breakfast and lunch, by the time I got to Horse Gap, there was no gas left in the tank. Muscles turned to stone. Calf cramps. No dehydration tho'. I was just spent. That 1.7 miles to Cooper Gap took an excruciatingly LONG time and it HURT. I got back to my car exactly 4 days and 27 minutes later. I immediately dove into the glove compartment for a Snicker's bar that a friend told me would be a great reward. She was 1,000% correct. Never tasted so good. There was a father with his son and daughter at that campsite that had given me the "hairy eyeball" since I had returned to my car. Although I had intended on setting up my tent to air out and car camp...I got the sense they wanted their privacy. So I figured I would drive to Woody Gap 20 minutes away, car camp, and hike for 2 hours in the morning before heading back to MD for a shower. My Thanksgiving was glorious. Thank you to all the GA AT volunteers and clubs that maintain this trail. You are Brilliant. I saved the Blood Mntn ascent for next Thanksgiving!

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Michael Thomas
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Hiking
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se7en hikes
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BackpackingBlowdownGreat!

Long Creek Falls I really wanted to just take my time and sight-see these hiking days. Never have I backpacked in Georgia. Never had I considered backpacking after Halloween. Never had I considered backpacking in sub 40 degree weather overnight. Never could I have been so wrong and denied myself great hiking. As I remarked to myself and others, this "offseason" hiking is fantastic. I cannot imagine how many people were out here during fall foliage. I cannot imagine solid foliage obstructing the views of Bull Mntn and Ball Mntn. Blocking all the wonderful mountain vistas. I think that I will trade the humidity and mosquitos of July and August for the peaceful backpacking splendor of November and December. I didn't realize Long Falls existed so it was a very pleasant surprise. As you can see from the map, it isnt exactly where it is marked. Maybe the headwaters, but not the photogenic falls. I love this old growth forest, root structures, a triangular root that I know has tripped thousands of hikers, storm damage all over this trail, loved the grooved chainsawed tree trunk bridges and the crystal clear creek. Photos of the best water source for the Stover shelter. It was a really nice hike.

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Debbie Goldberg
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BackpackingGreat!
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daniel greene
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Hiking
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jason jones
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Hiking
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