FATMAP difficulty grade
If you're looking to visit the North Georgia Blue Ridge, this is an excellent trail running loop with plenty of options for extra miles.
According to atlantatrails.com, this loop is one of the top hiking loops near Ellijay and has a little to offer for everyone.
You'll enjoy solitude along the Benton MacKaye Trail plus views from the top of Springer Mountain.
It also makes a great day trip from Atlanta and can easily be paired with a trip to Amicalola Falls before or after. As the southern terminus of the iconic 2,200-mile long Appalachian Trail, Springer Mountain will see a massive influx of thru-hikers beginning their northbound (NOBO) trek in the early spring.
Trail runners should consider exploring another area to keep trails from becoming too overcrowded.
Fort Mountain State Park, as well as the Pinhoti Trail to the north and west of Ellijay noth offer incredible trail running year-round without the crowd. This loop starts at a trailhead high in the mountains along an unpaved road.
2-wheel drive vehicles can navigate the road with ease, but a vehicle with moderate clearance comes highly recommended. The loop can be run in either direction, and you'll be welcomed with some of the best views in the fall and winter months.
Per atlantatrails.com, " It’s a gorgeous hike in any season, but one of our favorite Georgia hikes in winter, when the overlook vistas open to broad and frosty mountaintop views." Leaf season in the fall also offers astonishingly lush vistas, and a quick online search will yield the latest fall foliage forecast. Sources: https://www.atlantatrails.com/tag/top-hiking-trails-near-ellijay/