Gahuti Mountain Trail

Ellijay

An 8-mile hiking loop with lush views, challenging terrain, and a waterfall.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
13 km
Ascent
555 m
Descent
555 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
689 m
High Point
837 m
Gradient
Gahuti Mountain Trail Map

Translated as 'Mother Mountain' in the Cherokee language, the Gahuti Trail is one of the best hiking loops in the state park. Compared to Trail 301, another popular route, this is a foot-traffic only trail that highlights Fort Mountain's best features.

Description

On average, this is a half day hike and most popular in the cooler months. Along the way, you'll encounter several lush overlooks that offer different views of the North Georgia Blue Ridge. Along the southern portion of the loop, the Gahuti shadows Trail 301. There, you'll be rewarded with sweeping vistas to the south plus a few benches where you could stop to catch your breath.

Circling around the west side of the reservoir, Goldmine Branch Falls is another highlight of this hike. A wooden bridge below the large multi-tiered cascade also makes this a popular destination for a shorter day hike from the campground.

If you want to turn this into an overnight trip, the official map of the State Park lists four backcountry campsites along the way. You could also reserve a site at the main park campground, then access the Gahuti Trail via one of the spur trails. The main trailhead is located near the end of Old Fort Road in the state park before you reach the trailhead for the fire tower, stone wall, and main overlook. For an extra 1-2 miles to the loop, you could visit any combination of those other popular landmarks.

Sources: https://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/fort-mountain-hiking-the-gahuti-trail-in-north-georgia/ https://gastateparks.org/sites/default/files/parks/pdf/trailmaps/FortMountainTrailMap.pdf

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area