Traveling in Georgia
BENTON MACKAYE TRAIL
75 miles in Georgia. Named after the man who originally conceived the Appalachian Trail, this new and partially-completed trail will eventually be about 250 miles long. It will offer a western route to the Great Smokies, forming a giant loop with the Appalachian Trail.
The Georgia section of the trail is now finished and open. It begins at Springer Mountain and heads northwest through mountainous Chattahoochee National Forest and the Cohutta Wilderness before entering Tennessee. Difficulty is moderate to strenuous.
Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are allowed along the way, with no permits required. It’s suggested that campsites be at least 100 feet off the trail and away from water sources.
For Further Information: Benton MacKaye Trail Association, P.O. Box 53271, Atlanta, GA 30355.
Also of interest for backpackers is the 37-mile Bar-tram National Recreation Trail in Chattahoochee National Forest. This trail is part of what may eventually be a long, multi-state trail which traces the route taken by naturalist William Bartram in the 1770s. For information contact the Bartram Trail Conference, 431 E. 63 St., Savannah, GA 31405.
Another trail suitable for backpacking is the 23-mile Pine Mountain Trail, in west-central Georgia, which has nine designated campsites along the way. Much of the trail falls within the boundaries of F.D.R. State Park. For information contact the Pine Mountain Trail Association, c/o Wickham’s Outdoor World, Inc., Cross Country Plaza, Columbia, GA 31906.