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High Shoals

High Shoals

Approximate size: 4,906 acres
Old-growth known: 411 acres

High Shoals spreads across the remote and rugged north side of Tray Mountain, Georgia’s seventh highest peak. Roughly half way between Helen and Hiawassee, high mountain ridges cut off the sights and sounds of civilization. This area has outsized importance for flora and fauna as a migration corridor. Along with the Andrews Cove Mountain Treasure, this area bridges the gap between the Tray Mountain and Mark Trail Wilderness areas, which in turn connect with the Raven Cliff and Blood Mountain Wilderness areas.

Brier Creek Bald dominates the area at 4,163 feet elevation. Most of the mountain’s western slope escaped the industrial logging in the early 1900s. However, a road and wildlife openings were constructed into the area in the 1970s (excluded from Mountain Treasure area), and the
richest forests along the road were logged. Drier portions retain their old-growth mixed-oak forests though, some on unusually gentle slopes, and should be protected from further loss.

The Appalachian Trail slips through a corner of the area on its way up Tray Mountain, and the 148-acre High Shoals Scenic Area provides a popular day trip. Here, a familyfriendly trail provides access to two classic mountain waterfalls. Lesser known waterfalls tumble down the tributaries of High Shoals Creek.

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

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