A long loop through Fort Mountain State Park with plenty of views and remnants of abandoned talc mines.

Statistics

880

m

887

m

19

max┬░

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Moderate

Description

Trail 301 is the the two best ways for trail runners to explore Fort Mountain State Park - the other being the Gahuti Trail.

Just over 13 miles in length, this loop follows old roadbeds around the perimeter of the mountain and offers multiple vistas, beautiful flora, and several landmarks from historic mining operations. There is a large trailhead for this run located on the left side of the road as you're driving through the park.

Its suitable for larger vehicles and Trail 301 begins on the other side of the road.

At the first junction keep right, Trail 302 splits off to the left.

From here, the remainder of the route is quite easy to follow and all intersections are blazed. The southern portion of this loop hugs the contours of the mountain and offers a handful of views along the way.

You'll also find a couple of benches where you could stop and catch your breath.

Winter offers the best views along this stretch, with limited foliage impeding the views. As the trail winds around the western side of the mountain, you'll follow a long power line clearing downhill for some time.

Several switchbacks lie ahead before descending to the lowest elevation point on the trail.

Continuing north, the trail meanders through the remnants of former talc mines of the early 1900's.

You can see the entrances to these mines as well as countless pieces of machinery and old buildings for much of the run ahead. As you near the north side of the mountain, you will notice a few kiosks along your way with maps and other emergency information.

It's never a bad idea to double check where you're at on your run.

After passing a large clearing with a picnic bench, you'll begin a long, steady ascent back to the trailhead. This run is accessible year round and dog friendly.

There is no potable water on the way, but several small streams could be filtered if needed.

In the summer months, don't underestimate the heat and remoteness of this loop, there is a high chance you may not encounter anyone for most of the day.

With countless other trails and shorter loops, #301 is typically left for ambitions trail runners and mountain bikers due to its length. Sources: https://www.sherpaguides.com/georgia/mountains/blue_ridge/western/fort_mountain_state_park.html