Black Mountain

Black Mountain

Approximate size: 5,368 acres
Old-growth known: 177 acres

Any spring, summer, or fall weekend, the parking lot at Woody Gap on the eastern edge of this treasure is always full. This section of the Appalachian Trail is one of the most popular, either as a day hike for the views from Ramrock and other peaks or as the endpoint of a short backpacking trip from Springer Mountain. As hikers traverse the ridge, the rich soils support an abundance of wildflowers, including the uncommon columbo with its six-foot-tall flower stalks. The top of Black Mountain, the highest point in the area, still retains its fire tower built in 1949 and offers a quieter spot for taking in equally impressive views. From the trail or the mountaintop, the whole area around Dahlonega unfolds below you, and on a clear day Atlanta is visible. Black Mountain also supports the southernmost boulderfield community in the eastern United States.

Long before the Appalachian Trail, an important Native American trail went through this area and over the Blue Ridge at Grassy Gap. Early European settlers followed a similar route from Yahoola Creek valley through Grassy Gap to Gaddistown. The southern part of this historic road remains quite evident and distinctive. Adding further historical interest, gold miners schemed to take water from Canada Creek through the Blue Ridge to Yahoola Creek for mining in that valley and Dahlonega. The collapsed outlet is still visible in Tunnel Cove.

Other parts of the area remain virtually untouched. Cliffs and rock overhangs provide unique habitat for wildlife and uncommon plants. The old-growth chestnut oak stand on Lee Creek supports a rare species and the former state champion chestnut oak.

Help us protect this 16,000-acre oasis of waterfalls, old-growth, rare species, panoramic views, and world-class trails.


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