Fort Mountain State Park, Big Rock Nature Trail

October 24, 2010
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Big Rock Nature Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 0.75 Miles

Blaze: Yellow

Big Rock Nature Trail in Fort Mountain State Park is perhaps my favorite short loop trail in Northwestern Georgia. This trail has almost everything, a great hike, two babbling creeks, wonderful overlooks, and cascading falls.

The Big Rock Nature Trail begins just past the road crossing the lake. Parking for the trail is in a gravel area to the left of the trail.

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Don’t let the beginning of the trail discourage as it does not look like much, as it is somewhat muddy, and crosses under a section of power lines, but shortly after continuing down this hill, the hiker will enter a section of deeper forest where the trail really begins to become enjoyable.

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Follow the Yellow blazed trail down the pathway for a few hundred yards where it will begin to run parallel to a babbling creek, and intersects the the much longer Gahuti Trail at a wooden bridge marked with Orange Blazes.IMG_1987 IMG_1988

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The trail does not cross the bridge, instead, follow the trail to the right. Although I do recommend standing on the bridge as the creek runs underneath, as the forest opens a bit for a beautiful overlook.

The trail then descends farther into the mountain hollow before turning back up the mountain ridge as a Yellow and Orange Blaze (marking Gahuti and Big Rock Nature Trail). This ridge provides some wonderful overlooks.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

As the trail bends back around the ridge, it will meet up with Gold Mine Creek.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Gold Mine Creek cascades down the mountain ridge. The Creek provides some beautiful views of cascading waterfalls as it runs towards the hiker. Hike up largest section of the cascades, and don’t forget to look backwards now and again for overlooks.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

At the top of the trail, Gahuti and Big Rock separate. Gahuti crosses over the creek via a bridge, Big Rock continues back up the mountain. The trail leaves the forest at the base of a dam blocking the lake.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

At the base of the dam, there is also small birding area with signs indicating some of the local birds in the area. The trail ends back at the road that crosses the lake.

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort MountainBig Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Big Rock Nature Trail - Fort Mountain

Nearby Trails:

Old Fort Trail – 1.1 miles

Gahuti Trail – 8.8 miles

Lake Trail – 1.2 mile loop

301 Biking Trail – 14.6 mile loop

Gold Mine Loop Biking Trail – 6.3 miles

Directions:

1. Follow I-75 to exit # 333 towards 411

2. Take GA Hwy. 52 8 miles past Chatsworth onto Fort Mountain

3. Turn left onto park entrance.

4. Once in park, turn left towards the lake, and follow to the right of the trail, cross the dam.

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