Atlanta: Gold Branch Trail

You won't find gold on this 3.5-mile loop, but the hilly hemlock forests, the singing swans, and the sunbathing turtles at Bull Sluice Lake are priceless.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.6



Location: 33.9843406677246, -84.3854598999024

Head E toward brown kiosk and turn L; descend worn stairs into thick forest lush with chestnut and hemlock trees


Location: 33.9840393066406, -84.3841934204102

Cross sturdy boardwalk bridge over faint creek


Location: 33.9839324951172, -84.3835525512695

L @ 3-way onto Gold Branch Trail; slight views of Bull Sluice Lake while weaving through hills


Location: 33.9861793518066, -84.381950378418

Straight @ 3-way; check views over calm and muddy waters of Bull Sluice Lake teeming with crappie, perch, and trout


Location: 33.9881401062012, -84.3796234130859

Hard R @ 3-way for steep climb to knoll; clearing offers glimpse at swans on lake and the ragged profile of the Chattahoochee National Forest


Location: 33.9855499267578, -84.3797836303711

L @ T (still Gold Branch Trail); more uphill ahead


Location: 33.9832000732422, -84.3805465698242

L @ 3-way down steep hill; carefully hop on submerged rocks over slow-flowing stream


Location: 33.9819602966309, -84.3777008056641

Straight @ 3-way; climb another angled knoll with tree roots for footholds


Location: 33.9766693115234, -84.3768768310547

Straight @ 3-way; stroll along water and spy through brush at ducks in the shade and turtles crawling through mud. Caution: Watch for braided roots, fallen branches


Location: 33.9738693237305, -84.3841400146484

Bear down for last climb; trail starts steeps and levels off


Location: 33.9793128967285, -84.3821640014648

L @ 3-way; trail becomes a spacious, well-traveled path in a flat, open area


Location: 33.981819152832, -84.3824462890625

Straight @ 3-way; close loop @ WPT 3 and return to trailhead