Approximate size: 17,163 acres
Old-growth known: 323 acres

After the Conasauga River, Mountaintown Creek has the largest unroaded watershed in north Georgia. The stream begins on the crest of the Cohutta Mountains and flows south towards Ellijay. Along the way, it passes through the Pink Knob Inventoried Roadless Area, the largest inventoried roadless area in north Georgia. Trout fishers seek out the clear cool waters of Mountaintown Creek itself, and downstream of the roadless area the creek becomes a popular kayaking and canoeing destination.

The Mountaintown Creek Trail provides excellent access for fishing and to the scenic gorge on its namesake stream. That trail ties in to the popular Bear Creek mountain-bike trail system, which passes by the immense Gennett poplar, one of the largest trees in north Georgia. Long distance trails encourage backpackers to find solitude in this area. In the area’s eastern reaches, 9.8 miles of the Benton MacKaye Trail, one of the two longest segments between road crossings in Georgia, runs along the watershed divide and over Flat Top Mountain. The Pinhoti Trail emerges from the Bear Creek Trail system then dives right through the center of the area.

The remote headwaters of Mountaintown Creek are unique in north Georgia in retaining several separate stands of commercially valuable old-growth. Instead of the twisted and stunted oaks that make up most of Georgia’s old-growth, 250 to 300-year-old tulip poplars up to 61 inches diameter dominate these isolated coves. Pockets of forest along the eastern boundary are younger, but exceptionally fertile and diverse. These stands contain several rare species.

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


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