Hiking the Pine Mountain Trail in Georgia

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of January 15-21, 1998
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Hiking the Pine Mountain Trail in Georgia
Question: I'm looking for a good backpacking trail in the Atlanta area, one that would be okay for my 7- and 9-year-old boys.

Frank Alverson
Covington, GA

Adventure Adviser: According to Outside's April 1996 review of the best hikes in the country, the place to hike in Georgia is the Pine Mountain Trail in F.D. Roosevelt State Park, 75 miles southwest of Atlanta.

The 23-mile trail follows the quartzite ridges of the southernmost mountains in Georgia, passing through hickory and oak forests, and then descending into mixed stands of sweet gum, yellow poplar, and red maple in the moist lowlands.

There are 10 primitive campsites spaced along the trail, which get pretty packed in the summer months so call early to reserve one (800-864-7275). If you tire of roughing it, there are also 17 small cottages managed by the park that are scattered along the shores of Delano Lake that rent for approximately $80 per night.

To hike the entire trail, you'll need to do a little logistical planning. Start at Callaway Gardens Country Store at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Georgia 190 in Pine Mountain, but you'll need to leave a second car at the parking area on Georgia 85 in Warm Springs, or you'll have to turn around and hike the same way you came in. For more information, call F.D. Roosevelt State Park at 706-663-4858.

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