pinhoti national recreation trail / pinhoti millennium legacy trail
a southern region appalachian trail connector
* section and mileage numbering system example: "s7 ~ 0.2" / s7 = a section number and 0.2 = a landmark mileage *
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the pta's busiest month to date ~ feb 2016 ~ 40,168 web hits
current weather @ pinhoti trail mid-point ~ 181.3 ~ cave spring trailhead
section 13 / snailtrail / northbound.
DISTANCE ~ 12.8
CUMULATIVE ~ 157.9 ~ 170.7
ELEVATION ~ L 800' ~ H 1968'
WOODS TRAIL ~ VERY DIFFICULT
LANDMARK ~ ALABAMA - GEORGIA STATE LINE
LOCAL TOWN ~ PEIDMONT
SOUTHERN TERMINUS ~ START HIKE
BEGIN NORTH WILDLANDS
0.0 ~ HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD ~ US 278 ~ TT, RW ~ 800'
From the trailhead parking area, the north trail turns right on US 278. Go 0.3 miles, almost to the end of the long straightaway, then enter the woods on the left at a large piece of broken concrete drain pipe. Look for the blue blaze and sign.
ROADKILL WARNING ~ You'll probably want to scurry right on across this busy highway!!
TT, HS ~ Go left on US 278 for 7.5 miles to Piedmont.
TT, HS ~ Go right for 14.3 miles to Cedartown, GA.
RW ~ Go right 0.1 miles to a difficult access creek running along the right side of the road.
NEXT RW ~ 1.6 miles
HISTORY 1985 ~ The formal effort to link Alabama to the Appalachian Trail began in February, 1985 with the incorporation of the Alabama Trails Association, whose membership began construction of Section 13 at the High Point Trailhead ~ US 278 and going north to the Georgia state line.
HISTORY 2002 ~ By Bob Williams ~ The Alabama Trails Association completed the trail (Section 13) this year (2002) when volunteers brought the trail to the (GA) state line near Piedmont, capping an effort that began in 1985.
HISTORY 2008 ~ A 10,000 pound limestone and granite boulder with a dedication plaque was placed on the Pinhoti at Cheaha State Park (Section 6) on the north end of Hernandez Peak commemorating the connection of the Pinhoti Trail to the Appalachian Trail after the completion of Section 13.
0.3 ~ ATA SECTION DEDICATION MARKER ~ 900'
There is a dedication marker for the completion of the ATA Section here at the beginning of the trail on the right.
HISTORY ~ The Gerald Willis family owns all of the land surrounding the trail from here to a point up past Hurricane Creek and have always been good friends of the hiking community. They have also granted a land easement for the trail corridor to pass through their property. The marker also recognizes the Forever Wild Land Trust, who purchased a 594 acre trail corridor from mile 168.9 up to the 171.2 ~ Georgia State Line. These two actions are a big part of what allowed the ATA Section to become a reality. Thank you.
BEGIN DAVIS MOUNTAIN
0.5 ~ THE PITTS 1
Keep a sharp eye on the blazes through these winding open pit iron ore mines. It's kinda like the old Scream Machine at Six Flags !
MINERAL ~ Hematite (red iron ore) is the Alabama state mineral.
1.6 ~ DAVIS MOUNTAIN SWITCHBACKS ~ RW
Follow the switchbacks downhill 0.2 miles to the spring. Once you cross the spring turn left and go 25 yards on the woods road, then go back in the woods on the right for the 0.2 mile switchbacks up to the shelter.
RW ~ This is the water source for the Davis Mountain Shelter.
NEXT RW ~ 3.3 miles
2.0 ~ DAVIS MOUNTAIN SHELTER ~ ROCKY TOP 9 ~ LC, TS ~ 1200'
The trail goes straight for 10 yards past the shelter on a 4 wheeler road, which then turns left and the trail goes straight. Winter views from the shelter are mostly southern with Augusta Mine Ridge as the centerpiece.
WILDFLOWER ~ Blazing Star ~ Purple ~ September
LC, TS ~ The shelter is on the right just off trail and plenty of campsites are nearby. There is a metal fire ring with a grill top at the shelter.
HISTORY ~ The Alabama Trails Association built their first trail shelter up here on this classic Rocky Top (9) in June of 2004. The major funding for this project was provided through a generous grant from the Alabama Power Foundation and additional funding by Alabama Outdoors and the ATA. Over 2 years of serious leg work was done before construction even began on the site. The building of this shelter was the joint effort of four Alabama and Georgia trail clubs and some pretty dedicated hikers! A big thanks go out to everyone involved!
2.1 ~ WOODS ROAD
This is the first of 6 old woods roads that the trail will go straight across in the next 0.4 miles.
INDIAN TRAIL TREE (not authentic) ~ Look for this tree just past the crossing. It's on the left about 15' off trail.
2.7 ~ INDIAN TOP SWITCHBACKS
There is a distant northeast winter view of just the top of Indian Mountain here at the beginning of the switchbacks. The part of the mountain that you can see is around 4.4 trail miles away at the 7.1 ~ 1500 Foot Overlook.
FLOWERING TREE ~ Service Berry ~ White ~ March
2.9 ~ WOODS ROAD
When you reach the bottom of the switchbacks the trail goes straight across this dirt road.
3.0 ~ WOODS ROAD
The trail turns right on this dirt road. There is a Pinhoti trail sign across the road pointing to the right for north bounders and another one pointing left for south bounders. Go 0.2 miles down the road and look closely for another trail sign on the right pointing NB'ers to the left back into the woods and SB'ers back up the road.
3.7 ~ HAWK'S REST
This rocky spot is a great place to lay back and watch Hawks floating the thermals above the lake at eye level. The ATA Section has several of the best overlooks on the Pinhoti.
4.5 ~ DANTE'S SWITCHBACKS !!
Visions of Dante's H E double L! Just imagine what it was like to build this downhill section of trail !! There are great views of Indian Mountain across the Hurricane Creek valley for the next 0.4 miles. The trail reaches the top of the Indian Mountain ridge straight out in front of you 1.6 miles away and travels east and then northeast to the Georgia state line.
WILDFLOWER ~ Iris ~ Purple ~ March
FUNGUS ~ Rotting Stump
4.9 ~ HURRICANE CREEK BRIDGE ~ LC, RW ~ 818'
At the bottom of the switchbacks the trail comes to a road bed at the creek. Turn left and go 15 yards to the bridge, on the right.
LC, RW ~ Continue on the roadbed 0.1 miles past the bridge to a large, flat, grassy area by the creek.
NEXT RW ~ 0.5 miles
HISTORY ~ The old bridge was stolen and has now been replaced with a nice suspension bridge. The materials for the new bridge were furnished by the Alabama Power Foundation. Thanks guys !
HISTORY, 2005 ~ The bridge has been struck twice by big floating trees this year. Repairs have been made and a plan to eliminate the problem is underway.
HISTORY 2009 ~ A solid platform bridge was built, about seven feet above the creek, to replace the suspension bridge.
END DAVIS MOUNTAIN
5.0 ~ SALEM CHURCH ROAD ~ CR 8 ~ 838'
The trail goes straight across the road. Your ascent of Indian Mountain begins here. About 0.1 miles in, look for a huge Oak on the right that is well over 100 years old.
WILDBERRY ~ Green Dragon ~ Red Berries ~ May
HISTORY ~ (Appx. 1 mile east of the Pinhoti on Salem Church Road) “Bluffton, Iron Ore boomtown” Quote from the Anniston Star - 1982 ~ “There are no schools, storefronts or passenger-train depots in Bluffton anymore, and only a few scattered Victorian homes remain. Barely a century after Yankee investors made this hilly southeastern Cherokee County community an iron-ore boom town, only spreading oak and sweet-gum trees remain from the years of once-busy streets and Sunday afternoon family outings.”
5.3 ~ WOODS ROAD
When you get to the old road bed, turn right and go 0.1 miles to Hawkins Hollow.
5.4 ~ HAWKINS HOLLOW ~ RW
The trail goes around the left side of the Beaver Pond.
NEXT RW ~ 0.1 miles
FLOWERING TREE ~ Mimosa ~ Pink / May
HISTORY 04 ~ A new ladder was installed for the climb down the rock face beside the pond.
5.5 ~ CREEK BRIDGE ~ RW
HISTORY ~ This bridge was built by the ATA Trail Crew on March 17, 2007.
NEXT RW ~ 0.1 miles.
5.6 ~ HAWKINS HOLLOW SHELTER ~ TS, RW
You will come to the shelter about 100 yards before you reach the platform. This makes the third shelter that the Alabama Trails Association has built on Section 13, the second that it has built with member funds. The first shelter, on Davis Mountain, was funded by a Alabama Power Grant.
5.6 ~ HAWKINS HOLLOW TENT PLATFORM ~ SC, RW
The campsite is about halfway through this rocky, steep sided hollow. There are some large rock formations on the ridge up behind the camp.
NEXT RW ~ 0.1 miles
HISTORY 2005 ~ The ATA has built a raised 10' x 12' tent platform and a picnic table at this site.
BEGIN INDIAN MOUNTAIN
5.7 ~ INDIAN MOUNTAIN SWITCHBACKS ~ RW
After the creek crossing, look for the first turn on the right.
NEXT RW ~ 1.0 miles
6.1 ~ THE PITTS 2
On the second road bed, turn left and go 20', then turn right through the big Pine blowdown. This is a smaller version of The Pitts / 1 (open pit iron ore mines).
6.7 ~ HUNT CLUB GAP ~ LC, (future RW)
The trail goes straight across 2 more old road beds.
LC ~ On the second road bed you can turn left and go 50 yards to some flat, leafy, grassy campsites with no fire rings.
RW ~ Turn right on the road bed and go downhill 100 yards to a future side trail on the right that will carry you about 50 yards through the woods to a year round spring.
NEXT RW ~ 6.1 miles
WILDFLOWER ~ Aster ~ Purple / October
7.1 ~ 1500 FOOT OVERLOOK ~ 1500'
You can see into Georgia here on the left and if you look to the right you can see Davis Mountain in the foreground 2.6 trail miles away, Augusta Mine Ridge behind that 11.6 trail miles away, Oakey Mountain behind that 18.7 trail miles away and Dugger Mountain behind that 25.7 trail miles away.
7.6 ~ SOUTH FACE SWITCHBACKS
Up near the top of the climb the trees thin out for good winter views looking south.
UPDATE 04 ~ This view is only half of what it was 5 years ago because of a mass of fast growing Pines.
7.8 ~ SOUTH FOREVER WILD BOUNDARY
HISTORY ~ The State of Alabama's Forever Wild Land Trust has purchased a 514 acre tract and 80 acre tract for the trail corridor from here to the Georgia State Line.
8.0 ~ 1700 FOOT OVERLOOK ~ LC ~ 1700'
The trail goes through an open rocky area with a very broad view of Georgia.
LC ~ Continue north on the trail about 100' to a few nice leafy flat spots on the left complete with a new metal fire ring and grill top. There is also a small view of Weiss Lake from the campsite.
9.1 ~ FLAG POLE MOUNTAIN ~ LC ~ 1968'
The trail goes through the campsite, then makes an immediate right turn to circle around the hill crest for 40 yards, then turns left off the 4 wheeler road. This is the highest trail elevation on Indian Mountain.
LC ~ The campsite is on the summit.
HISTORY ~ During WW 2 this area was used as a military training site.
SUMMIT ~ Flag Pole Mountain ~ 1968' ~ #13 on the list of 100 highest named summits in Alabama.
9.6 ~ DR. TOM McGEHEE MEMORIAL
HISTORY ~ Dr. McGehee had an apparent heart attack and died near here while on a trail construction trip with the Alabama Trails Association on February 17, 2001. He was an active member of several local, state and national outdoor groups and also taught Wilderness First Aid across Alabama. The marker was furnished by the Huntsville Sierra Club Chapter who, with help from the ATA, carried it up the mountain on Sept. 15, 2001.
9.8 ~ WEISS LAKE OVERLOOK
On a clear winter day you can see Weiss Lake from the rocky overlook on the left. Weiss Lake is just below Center, AL, which is just below Little River Canyon, which is on the southernmost tip of Lookout Mountain.
10.0 ~ FOREVER WILD WELCOME SIGN ~ LC
The trail continues past the welcome to Alabama sign along the ridge line for about 50', then starts veering off to the right down the east slope.
10.1 ~ ALABAMA / GEORGIA STATE LINE
Welcome to Georgia! The north trail continues straight past the sign board.
HISTORY 2005 ~ In July 2005, the Conservation Fund purchased a 650 acre, 2.7 mile trail corridor from the state line to the first road crossing on the Georgia side, Jackson Chapel Road. As of the fall of 2007, trail construction is still ongoing by members of the Alabama Trails Association, Appalachian Trail Club of Alabama, Horn Mountain Trail Club, Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association, Alabama Hiking Trail Society and the North Alabama Sierra Club.
HISTORY 2008 ~ All of the volunteers mentioned above completed this 2.6 miles of new trail from the Georgia State Line north to the Jackson Chapel Trailhead.
10.8 ~ SHAGBARK FLATS ~ SW
10.9 ~ SPRING CREEK SHELTER ~ 1065’ ~ LC, TS, SW
Look for the shelter side trail on the left.
SW ~ Go north for 0.1 miles to a good spring.
HISTORY ~ On April 21st, 2007, a picnic table was constructed here by the ATA, ATCA and the HMTC.
HISTORY ~ This shelter was completed in October 2008 by the Alabama Trails Association and friends. It is the first trail shelter built on the Georgia section of the Pinhoti Trail. You'll find 7 Shagbark Hickory trees within 50' of the shelter site.
11.0 ~ LEAD DOG BRIDGE ~ SW
HISTORY ~ A new footbridge was built across the creek in March, 2007 and was named in recognition of ATA member Gene Padgham, whose many years of tireless dedication to the Pinhoti Trail are well known to all.
11.1 ~ WOODS ROAD CROSSING
The trail goes straight across the road.
11.6 ~ WOODS ROAD CROSSING / THE BRIAR PATCH
The trail crosses this road diagonally to the right. This road marks the beginning of a recent clear cut that is just starting to grow back.
12.0 ~ WOODS ROAD CROSSING
The trail goes straight across the road.
12.2 ~ DOUBLE SPRING CROSSING ~ SW
12.3 ~ CEMENT BOX SPRING ~ SW
Look for a short side trail on the right that will take you to an old concrete spring box.
HISTORY ~ The box is about 2 1/2 feet square and is a good running water source that was put here many years ago, possibly by the Augusta Mining Company.
12.5 ~ THE PITTS 3 ~ LC
Along through here you will see one of the old open pit iron ore mines that are scattered throughout this part of Alabama and Georgia.
LC ~ The trail follows an old road bed through some of this section and you'll find many level places for camping.
MINERAL ~ Hematite (red iron ore) is the Alabama State Mineral.
12.8 ~ JACKSON CHAPEL TRAILHEAD ~ RW ~ 869'
The trail comes out at the trailhead parking area at the gated Jeep road. This is the end of Section 13.
END OF INDIAN MOUNTAIN
END OF NORTH WILDLANDS
NORTHERN TERMINUS ~ FINISH HIKE
CS ~ Convenience Store ~ Mom and Pop stores
TT ~ Trail Town ~ Large enough for grocery stores
SC ~ Small Campsite ~ At least one tent site
LC ~ Large Campsite ~ At least three tent sites
TS ~ Trail Shelter ~ Three sided, open front
SW ~ Seasonal Water ~ Dry a few days after rain
RW ~ Reliable Water ~ Always available
HS ~ Hot Shower ~ On Trail
USE ODOMETER OR TRIP METER (NO REALLY :)
NORTHERN TERMINUS ~ FINISH HIKE
PARK FINISH HIKE VEHICLE FIRST
179.3 ~ JACKSON CHAPEL TRAILHEAD
From downtown Cave Spring, GA, go west on US 411 for 2.3 miles to Jackson Chapel Road (look for a large Mountain Springs Baptist Church sign on the left). Turn left.
Go 3.6 miles to the Jackson Chapel Trailhead parking area, on the right.
The turn in is gravel and has enough room for 4 vehicles. Please don’t block the gate.
SOUTHERN TERMINUS ~ START HIKE
PARK START HIKE VEHICLE
161.1 ~ HIGH POINT TRAILHEAD
From the Jackson Chapel Trailhead parking area, go left on Jackson Chapel Road 3.6 miles back out to US 411. Turn left.
Go 5.1 miles to Rock Run Road (look for a Beauty Shop and Self Storage on the left). Turn left.
Go 5.4 miles to CR 45, just past downtown Rock Run. Turn left.
Go 2.7 miles to US 278. Turn left.
Go 0.1 miles to the High Point Trailhead parking area, on the right.