Chattahoochee National Forest: Duncan Ridge Trail from Mulky Gap to Rhodes Mountain View, Blairsville, Georgia
There's something about the Duncan Ridge Trail that sets it apart from most other trails in Georgia: its sheer difficulty. This unique trail constantly follows Duncan Ridge with its sharp knobs and deep gaps that present constant obstacles along the trail. The rollercoaster fashion of the Duncan Ridge Trail will give you a tough workout, and that's exactly why most people hike it - for there are no spectacular waterfalls anywhere on the trail. The trail is best hiked in the winter when bare trees allow continuous views in both directions from the ridge. Even though there is only one year-round view - on Rhodes Mountain - of any significance along the west part of the trail, seasoned hikers will still find it an enjoyable peaceful hike. This hike occurred on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017. My plan was to hike out and back along the Duncan Ridge Trail from Mulky Gap to the Benton Mackaye Trail Junction just past the view from Rhodes Mountain.
Vogel State Park is nestled in a small north Georgia valley in the middle of Chattahoochee National Forest near Blood Mountain. The park is home to several hiking trails, including the Coosa Backcountry Trail, a well-known hiking trail that traverses two mountains in its dozen-mile course. On this hike, you will climb to a small vista of the valley in which Vogel State Park lies, before approaching Slaughter Bald and bagging Coosa Bald. This hike is especially good in winter, as much of the hike traverses ridges and slopes with great views when the trees are bare - as long as it is not foggy. This foggy hike occurred on Saturday, February 20, 2016. My plan was to hike the northern and eastern section of the Bear Hair Gap Loop and most of the Coosa Backcountry Trail.
The highest mountain in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, just shy of 4800 feet. The mountain is surrounded by the Brasstown Wilderness, which has some animal and plant species not found anywhere further south. Brasstown Bald is accessible by several trails, and a road. The views from the top are 360 degrees, and you can see miles... but not on days like this day. This hike occurred on Saturday, May 31st, 2014. My plan was to take the Jack's Knob Trail from the parking at the beginning of GA State Route 180-Spur, and follow the trail all the way to the Brasstown Bald parking lot. From there, I would follow the Summit Trail to the tower at the top, and then, retrace my steps. However, I didn't quite mean for a heavy thunderstorm to be included in this plan.
Year 1: 540.0 Miles
Year 2: 552.3 Miles
Year 3: 518.4 Miles
Year 4: 424.6 Miles