Long Mountain

Long Mountain

Approximate size: 5,493 acres
Old-growth known: 210 acres

This area is among the most easily overlooked and underappreciated of the mountain treasures. Overlooking Dahlonega from the south slope of the Blue Ridge Divide, the steep slopes barely exceed 3,000 feet elevation and seem rather ordinary. However, pockets of old-growth and complex geology lead to surprising diversity.

It is not surprising that prospectors once dug trenches for mica in the slopes since boot-sized mica books still occasionally lie on the surface A band of rock is packed with the blue, blade-like crystals of kyanite. Other areas have sparkly black amphibolite, a rock high in iron and magnesium and low in silicon that gives rise to distinctive mafic soils. All of these unusual rocks and minerals are embedded in larger masses of common schist and gneiss. The rocks occasionally poke through the surface to give sweeping views of the foothills.

Nutrients from amphibolite probably account for the abundance of large trees on dry southern exposures in this area. In areas that escaped logging, tulip poplar reaches 59 inches diameter and northern red oak 55 inches. These trees are slightly larger than a former state champion chestnut oak that grows here. Some of these large trees are associated with impressive displays of spring wildflowers and rare species. Not to be left out, uncommon species of harsh sites, like Table Mountain pine, add to the diversity of this area.

Long Mountain is among the least protected of the Mountain Treasures. It provides an important connection to the wildlife corridor along the Blue Ridge by linking the Etowah Headwaters, Blackwell Creek, and Black Mountain Treasures.

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


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