Atlanta: AT-Benton MacKaye Loop

Sample two long paths on a 5.8-mile figure-8 loop through hemlock groves and along churning creeks to an AT shelter in Chattahoochee National Forest.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.9



Location: 34.6376419067383, -84.1950302124024

Head E on white-blazed Appalachian Trail under the shade of mixed hardwoods


Location: 34.6395454406738, -84.1917724609375

Straight @ 4-way with Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT), descending along AT


Location: 34.647518157959, -84.1924057006836

Straight again @ 4-way. In early summer, pink lady’s-slippers hang precariously from thin green stems–nature’s own twist on the Cinderella story


Location: 34.6483421325684, -84.198616027832

Shady stretch; continue through corridor of deep green rhododendrons


Location: 34.6491394042969, -84.199104309082

Straight @ 3-way. Campers: On L, Stover Creek Shelter sleeps 6 hikers (sardine-style). Reliable water source nearby, too


Location: 34.6583213806152, -84.1923522949219

Giant hemlocks grow alongside cool, moist Stover Creek


Location: 34.6619110107422, -84.1846084594726

R @ T onto the BMT (blazed with white diamonds). Factoid: This trail is named in honor of Benton MacKaye, the 1920s visionary behind the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail


Location: 34.655445098877, -84.1868438720703

Narrow trail cuts through dense ground cover up ridge; back @ WPT 3, continue straight to complete figure 8 on BMT


Location: 34.6443290710449, -84.1944961547852

Cross wooded Rich Mtn. summit (3,450 ft.); after descending .3 mi., bear L as BMT picks up old road. Turn R @ WPT 2 to return to trailhead

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