TO TRAILHEAD: I-75 N to US 411 N to GA 52 E. In 7 mi., enter Fort Mountain State Park; pass park office to Old Fort section. Turn R at sign for Cool Spring Overlook; trail begins near gravel parking lot.
Hiked this trail Saturday, 9/14/13 with my two dogs. The elevation profile on backpacker.com is much more accurate than the one on the state parks map provided at the park office. There are some fairly steep parts and a lot of ups and downs. It took us 5 hours to hike this trail, but I went at the pace of my 10-year-old great dane. We stopped and took a few breaks to look at the waterfalls and overlooks, so account for that when planning your hike here. There are several streams to cross where the dogs could drink their fill of water. I carried water for us all anyway. I did not experience many yellow jackets as noted in the other review here, but we did encounter a lot of poison ivy lining the trail especially where it narrows. Wear long pants. The views here are amazing. Loved this trail!
My wife and I did the Gahuti trail yesterday (6/1/13). According to my gps it is actually 9.4 miles. For less seasoned hikers like my wife and I it was very strenuous and very challenging yet rewarding. For more advanced hikers it should pose not too much challenge. It took us exactly 6 hours to hike. There were many hills to climb which makes for a great workout. To everyone, be forewarned of yellow jackets, we encountered them 8 different times on our hike and they were relentless but don't let that stop you, we think they were attracted to us specifically but not sure why, no one else we passed on the trails shared this problem.
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Atlanta: Panther Creek Trail
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