Hiking and fishing on the Trout Adventure Trail in Georgia 
Plan your own hiking and learning experience on existing famous trails
 along the southernmost reach of the Appalachian Mountains
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(Blue Ridge, GA)

Getting Started

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Directions/Parking
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What to Bring
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About Fannin County, GA
"Trout Capital of Georgia"

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Fannin County, GA -- Trout Capital of GeorgiaDesignated by
the Georgia State Legislature in 2010 as Trout Capital
of Georgia,
Fannin County lies in the Appalachian Mountains, 90 miles north of Atlanta, bordering on North Carolina and Tennessee.

Extending from within the county seat of Blue Ridge to the county border north, south, east and west, more than 100 miles of trout streams and rivers wind through Fannin County across 100,000 acres of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Blue Ridge is a quaint mountain gateway town with art galleries, downtown shopping, delectable restaurants, a scenic railroad, and get-away cabins nestled on mountain ridges, in peaceful valleys and on scenic waters.

The headquarters for the Trout Adventure Trail in Fannin County is
the
Fannin County Chamber
of Commerce
in Blue Ridge.

About Gilmer County, GA
"Georgia's Apple Capital"

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Gilmer County, GeorgiaGilmer County is Georgiaís Apple Capital and
contains abundant National Forest lands, including Springer Mountain, the southernmost terminus of the Appalachian Trail in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Gilmer County is located along Highway 515/GA Highway 5, about
75 miles north of Atlanta. At more
than 430 square miles big, the heavily wooded landscape stretches across the southernmost reach of north Georgiaís Blue Ridge Mountains. 

 Ellijay, the capital and largest town in Gilmer County is an ďAppalachian Trail TownĒ and is located about 40 minutes east of the Trout Adventure Trail. The official headquarters for the Trout Adventure Trail in Ellijay is
North Georgia Mountain Outfitters.

Directions and Parking

Where to start and how to get to the Trout Adventure Trail

 

Parking

Hikes on the Trout Adventure Trail can start either of two trailhead sites:

  • The upper (higher elevation) starting point is the Springer Mountain  Parking Area on Forest Service Road 42. Parking at this site is limited, but on most days parking room is ample, except on weekends during the fall when leaf colors are at their finest. Limited parking is also available along the Forest Service Road near the parking area. A US Forest Service billboard is on site with information about the Trout Adventure Trail and other useful information for visitors. There are no restroom facilities at this trailhead.

  • The lower starting point is at Three Forks on Forest Service Road 58. Three Forks is the location where the Appalachian and Benton MacKaye trails cross FS 58, also known as Noontootla Road. There is no designated parking area but off-road pullouts and parallel parking along FS 58 where the road widens sufficiently usually provides plenty of room for parking safely. There are no restroom facilities at this trailhead.

SHUTTLE
YOUR HIKERS

Springer Mountain Parking Area and Three Forks are connected by Forest Service Roads,
so it is possible to drop off
  hikers at one parking area and pick them up at another by shuttling cars between locations.

Drive time between trailheads is about 10 minutes one way. 

Click for Shuttle routes

 

Finding Three Forks

Three Forks is roughly in the center of a square connecting Dahlonega. Ellijay, Blue Ridge and Blairsville. It is the location where the Appalachian Trail crosses Forest Service Road 58, also known as Noontootla Road, off Doublehead Gap Rd in Blue Ridge (Fannin County).

From Blue Ridge:

1. Start at ASKA RD where it intersects with OLD HWY 76 (next to ACE Hardware).

2. Drive 13.5 miles on ASKA ROAD miles until it ends at NEWPORT ROAD.

3. Turn RIGHT on NEWPORT ROAD and drive 4.5 miles until it ends at DOUBLEHEAD GAP ROAD.

4. Turn LEFT on DOUBLEHEAD GAP ROAD and proceed .8 mis across bridge(becomes gravel road) and past church.

5. TURN RIGHT on FS 58 (gravel road) also called NOONTOOTLA ROAD.

6. Proceed 5.3 miles on FS 58 past farm, past curve and gradual climb to Three Forks.

7. Three Forks has limited off road parking and is recognizable by Appalachian Trail signs and a bridge across Noontootla Creek (downhill to the right off FS road). If you crest the mountain without seeing the intersection with the trail, you have gone too far.

Click the links below to find Three Forks from other cities:

From Ellijay

From Blairsville

From Dahlonega

Three Forks, GA -- trailhead for the Appalachian Trail and Benton-MacKaye Trail, marked by the confluence of Stover Creek, Long Creek and Chester Creek, creating Noontootla Creek.

Three Forks
Click for interactive map (Google Maps)

 

Finding Springer Mountain Parking Area

Springer Mountain Parking Area is located on Springer Mountain where the Appalachian Trail intersects with FS 42. This is a limited sized parking area, but on most days there is sufficient room for parking, except on weekends during the fall when leaf colors are at their finest. Limited parking is also available along the Forest Service Road near the parking area.

From Blue Ridge:

1. From the start of ASKA ROAD where it intersects with OLD HWY 76 (next to ACE Hardware):

2. Drive 13.5 miles on ASKA ROAD until it ends at NEWPORT ROAD.

3. Turn RIGHT on NEWPORT ROAD and drive 3.8 miles to DOUBLEHEAD GAP ROAD.

4. Turn right on DOUBLEHEAD GAP ROAD and drive 1.75 miles to the intersection with FS 42 on left.

4. Turn left on FS 42 and proceed 5.8 miles to the Springer Mountain Parking Area on the left.

 

Click the links below to find Springer Mountain Parking Area from other cities:

From Ellijay

From Blairsville

From Dahlonega

Springer Mountain Parking Area -- trailhead for Appalachian Trail

Springer Mountain Parking Area
Click for interactive map (Google Maps)

Shuttle Route From/To Three Forks and Springer Mountain Parking Area

Springer Mountain Parking Area to Three Forks: Take FS 42 heading generally east 2.7 miles to its intersections with FS 77 and FS 58 at Winding Stair Gap. Take the immediate left on FS 58 heading northwest (downhill) to Three Forks, a distance of about 2.7 miles.

Three Forks to Springer Mountain Parking Area: Take FS 58 heading uphill generally southeast 2.7 miles to the intersection of FS 42 at Winding Stair Gap. Take an immediate right on FS 42 headed west (downhill) to Three Forks, a distance of about 2.7 miles.


 
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