Discover The Scenic Wonders Of Georgia!
Located mid-way between Chatsworth and Ellijay on Fort Mountain, Fort Mountain State Park is a 3,712-acre Georgia State Park situated within the Chattahoochee National Forest. The park was created in 1938 with many of the improvements built by the workers of the Civilian Conservation Corp.
Near the southwestern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, a solitary mountain ridge, locally known as Fort Mountain, stands guardian at the foothills of the Appalachians. For both the Cherokee People and the white settlers that followed, the ridge was the keeper of a strange and mysterious secret. Huge piles of rock, most of it not native to the area are stacked in an orderly fashion to form a continuous wall. The wall runs for 855 feet across the highest peak on the ridge. The height of the wall varies from two-feet to over six-feet tall. The wall contains 19 individual pits and the remnants of a gateway. Many of the boulders in the wall are quite substantial and would have been extremely difficult to transport for any considerable distance.
Historians speculate that the wall was built by early indigenous people as part of an ancient religious ceremonial site or as a bulwark against hostile intruders. Estimates place the age of the wall between 500 B.C. to 1500 A.D. Visitors wonder where all the different rocks originated and why they were carried to this incredibly beautiful setting. Some scholars think that the wall was ceremonial in nature and inter-twined with astronomical events. The wall is constructed to follow and east to west course around a precipice. This design causes the sun to shine on one side of the wall in the morning and on the other in the afternoon. Similar ancient rock formations are found at Stone Mountain in Dekalb County, Alec Mountain in Habersham County, Sand Mountain in Catoosa County, Ladd Mountain in Bartow County and Rocky Face in Whitfield County.
Fort Mountain State Park is a mecca for hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers seeking spectacular scenery, solitude and serenity. There are more than 14 miles of hiking trails that wind through the park. The park trails are considered some of the prettiest in all of Georgia. Restricted to foot traffic only, the challenging 8.2-mile Gahuti Trail routes hikers around the edge of the park, passing below the summits of Fort and Cohotta Mountains. Rated difficult to strenuous, the trail offers magnificent views of the ever-changing landscape. The fall foliage is spectacular. Hikers are advised to remain aware of changing weather conditions. The Gahuti Trail is rated difficult to strenuous.
The 301 Biking Trail is considered the most arduous of all the trails in the park. The 14.6-mile East-West Bike loop is rated as one of the most exciting and one of the most beautiful bike trails in the southeastern United States. The trail twists and turns downward from the mountaintop to the valley floor, sweeping through dense pine forests, laurel thickets, past waterfalls and banks of rhododendrons. Rated difficult to strenuous, the trail follows Hassler Mill Creek before turning skyward and returning to the mountaintop.
For equestrian enthusiasts stables, guided horseback rides, horse and stall rentals are available year-around. Fort Mountain State Park has more than 25 miles of well-maintained horse trails. Horse watering stations are available at approximately two-mile intervals. Loop routes vary from 3 to 16 miles. Each trail is rated for difficulty with the shortest loop offering an easy 20 percent grade. Horse trailer parking is available at the stable access on the west side of the park.
Other outdoor activities include geo-caching, birding, fishing, hunting, rock climbing, orienteering and swimming. Dense hardwood forests, blueberry thickets, abundant wildlife, sparkling streams, a 17-acre mountain lake and breathtaking vistas provide an unforgettable outdoor experience.
The park provides the option for visitors to spend the night. Accommodations include 10 two-bedroom fully-equipped cottages, 4 three-bedroom fully-equipped cottages, 70 tent and RV campsites, backcountry campsites, platform campsites, pioneer campsites, tent walk-in campsites and a group shelter. For the convenience of visitors, numerous shaded picnic shelters are scattered throughout the park. Miniature golf and pedal boat rentals are also available.
The park staff presents organized educational hikes and unique programs to acquaint visitors with the wildlife, birds and plants that call the park home. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Fort Mountain State Park, 181 Fort Mountain Park Road, Chatsworth, Georgia 30705 or call (706) 695-2621 or (800) 864-7275.