Appalachian Trail: Byron Herbert Reece Trailhead to Neels Gap and to Hogpen Gap via Levelland Mountain and Cowrock Mountain, Suches, Georgia
One of Georgia's most scenic hikes is along the Appalachian Trail from Neels Gap to Hogpen Gap. Along this section of the AT, the famed long-distance footpath passes over several summits that offer outstanding long-range vistas. Along the way, you will first walk along the only piece of the AT that passes under a building, at the Walasi-Yi Interpretive Center. Afterwards, you will hike across Levelland Mountain, Wolf Laurel Top, Cowrock Mountain, and Wildcat Mountain, each of which has its own breathtaking view (or several). This hike occurred on Saturday, February 11th, 2017. My plan was to hike the Byron Herbert Reece Trail from US 129 to the Appalachian Trail. There, I would pick up the Appalachian Trail and follow it through Neels Gap and to Hogpen Gap. Along the way, I would make side trips to views on Levelland Mountain and Cowrock Mountain. I arranged to have two cars for this point-to-point hike: one car was placed at the Byron Herbert Reece Trailhead and another car was placed at the Hogpen Gap Trailhead.
Raven Cliffs Wilderness: Logan Turnpike Trail and Appalachian Trail from Tesnatee Gap to Wildcat Mountain and Cowrock Mountain, Cleveland, Georgia
The Appalachian Trail in Georgia passes through some of the state's highest terrain, passing many different views. Some are very popular, such as Springer Mountain, Blood Mountain, and Tray Mountain. But the best and perhaps underrated view lies on Cowrock Mountain: a 3800-foot peak that lies in the Raven Cliffs Wilderness on the Blue Ridge Valley Divide. The Appalachian Trail passes right over the summit of the mountain, and just to the south of the AT, a pair of magnificent vistas await. To the east of Cowrock Mountain, the Appalachian Trail passes over a second mountain - Wildcat Mountain - where another rock slab gives additional views. Furthermore, a lesser-used access trail, known as the Logan Turnpike Trail, joins the AT between the two mountains via the picturesque Town Creek valley along the route of an old toll road. On this hike, you will use the Logan Turnpike Trail to reach the Appalachian Trail and visit both Cowrock Mountain and Wildcat Mountain. This hike occurred on Saturday, September 17th, 2016. My plan was to hike the Logan Turnpike Trail up to Tesnatee Gap, where it joins the Appalachian Trail. From there, I would first hike the AT northbound over Wildcat Mountain and to Hogpen Gap. Then, I would return to Tesnatee Gap, and I would hike the AT southbound to Cowrock Mountain. I would finish the hike by retracing my steps to Tesnatee Gap and down the Logan Turnpike Trail.
Raven Cliff Falls is one of the most unique waterfalls in Georgia. Dodd Creek falls 80 feet through a narrow crevice in a large cliff, followed by a 20-foot cascade before becoming peaceful. Dodd Creek also makes several more significant drops, as it grows in size, before reaching the main show where it joins Davis Creek to become Dukes Creek - the 200-foot Dukes Creek Falls - although that one isn't quite on this hike. The 5-mile trail to Raven Cliff Falls is an excellent way to introduce yourself to hiking, as it's a good first hike. For the more experienced, a slim route, along a rock jumble and up a root ladder leads to the top of the cliff which is home to Raven Cliff Falls. This hike occurred on Saturday, April 18, 2015. My plan was to hike the Raven Cliff Falls Trail out and back from the trailhead.
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Year 1: 540.0 Miles
Year 2: 552.3 Miles
Year 3: 518.4 Miles
Year 4: 482.4 Miles
Year 5: 8.2 Miles