Dahlonega Hiking Trails- Three Favorites

dahlonega hiking trail

The Dahlonega area is known for its natural beauty, wineries, and waterfalls and offers a great escape to a quieter way of life. The Dahlonega hiking trails beckon you to adventure, exercise and a chance to experience solitude while enjoying nature.

This page will feature three of the most popular hiking trails in the area without waterfalls that many of our guests rave about around the breakfast table. They are innkeeper endorsed as well.

For a map of the hiking destinations mentioned in this article visit https://drive.google.com/open?id=14E-7H_lAfmECU06FKJmVDPGbrgLu7GCp&usp=sharing

Lake Zwerner Trail

For a hike that is convenient to town try the Lake Zwerner Trail around the Dahlonega reservoir only a mile from town and south of the inn ( 3.9 miles). Popular with locals and tourists alike, this Dahlonega hiking trail is easy to get to and provides a great walk through beautiful hilly forest land close to town (picture below). In fact the City of Dahlonega is planning on connecting this trail to downtown Dahlonega.

The hike around the reservoir is 3.1 miles and is not difficult except for a couple of moderate short climbs. Once you hike a short distance from the parking lot on highway 19 you think you are away from civilization. This is a great hike to take before visiting the Dahlonega square for shopping, drinks, lunch or dinner.

To get there from the inn take a right out of our driveway and head towards town. You will see the water treatment plant on the right with a gravel parking lot a little farther down on the left. Park in the parking lot and you will see a trail shelter to the north of the parking lot where the trail begins. You will be making a clockwise loop around the reservoir. On the far side of the lake are pit toilets and you will walk next to the road a short distance until you get to the dam which has a bridge to walk across. You will see another smaller parking area and head north towards the larger parking area where you left your car (there is a little hiking again next to the road). Detailed directions https://goo.gl/maps/58GDPhycDteXARs96

Woody Gap/Preacher’s Rock- Appalachian Trail

This is one of the favorite shorter hikes on the Appalachian trail and provides spectacular views on a clear day. When we say shorter the hike to Preacher’s Rock is only a mile. You can keep walking past Preacher’s Rock and end up in Maine. Many like this trail for the short distance and you can say you hiked the AT.

The granite mountain top known as Preacher’s Rock is not marked with signage. The mountain is Big Cedar Mountain and provides vistas for miles. After the steepest section of the hike, relax on the granite outcropping and take in the views, nature and silence. You may see hawks and eagles soaring on the wind currents. This is a must do Fall hike when the view is painted with bold colors and the air is cool and crisp.

A short video of Preacher’s Rock is shown at the bottom of the page.

To get there from the inn (only 7.8 miles) take a left out of our driveway and head north on highway 19. At the rock pile approximately 2.5 miles from the inn you will take highway 60 heading towards Suches, Georgia. You will be heading up the mountain on a twisty road popular with bikers and motorcycles. Near the top you will see an AT Trail crossing sign and a sign for Woody Gap with a parking lot on both sides of the road. Park on the right with the bathrooms and hike north past the bathrooms. You will know you are getting close to Preacher’s Rock when you go from a fairly level hiking surface to a moderate climb among the boulders. The destination is at the top. A favorite Dahlonega hiking destination. Detailed directions https://goo.gl/maps/8x4FWf53jCw14g9y7

Blood Mountain-Appalachian Trail

This trail is the most rigorous of the three Dahlonega hiking trails mentioned in this article and in the area. The trailhead parking is past the Mountain Crossings store on highway 19 at Byron Herbert Reece parking area (200 yards away from store). Detailed directions https://goo.gl/maps/fkQDWjDEXSoLsMbs5

From the parking lot hike the Byron Herbert Reece trail for 0.7 miles to intersect with the Freeman and Appalachian Trail. Then turn right and go another 1.5 miles to the top of Blood Mountain which is the highest point on the AT in Georgia and the second highest mountain in Georgia (1,040 feet). At the top is a Civilian Conservation Corps hikers shelter build in 1934.

From the inn take a left out of our driveway and head north on Highway 19. When you get to the rock pile continue on highway 19 (right ) and head towards Turner’s Corner. You will take a left on highway 129 (right goes to Cleveland) and head up towards Neel’s Gap. The road will start to climb and twist. At the top you will see the Mountain Crossing Store on the right, but you will have to go a little further to the parking (on the right) for your hike. The store is a favorite Dahlonega hiking store for gear and unique gifts.

The parking lot for the Blood Mountain hike is 16 miles from the inn.

Plan a visit to the Dahlonega area and the North Georgia mountains. Enjoy an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life by hiking some of the Dahlonega hiking trails. We make a great home base for your daily adventures.

If you would like information on Dahlonega waterfall hikes visit our waterfall blog post at https://georgiamountaininn.com/2019/06/18/dahlonega-waterfalls/

For more things to do in the area visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/dahlonega-attractions/

Lake Zwerner Dahlonega Hiking Trail
Lake Zwerner Trail

Hiking the Appalachian Trail- Slack packing

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Many guests who stay at our inn take day hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Some want to complete all of the Georgia sections by slack packing.

The trail starts at Amicalola Falls State Park which is about 40 minutes from the inn by car. A five-mile hike is required before reaching the official starting point of the trail. While you are at the park enjoy the falls as well.

North of the inn are two locations where the trail crosses the main highway. These areas are closer to Cedar House Inn. One is Woody Gap which has parking available. Park in the right parking lot and hike to Preacher’s Rock.  At Blood Mountain the trail also crosses the road. Mountain Crossing, a store with hiking supplies and gifts, is located near the road and trail area. Blood Mountain is the highest part of Lumpkin County and the trail is more strenuous. Many guests like to hike to the trail shelter.

A couple of weeks ago we had guests from Colorado who spent the week at our inn. The purpose of their trip was to hike the Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail. They were not considered thru hikers but slack packers. Each morning they had breakfast at the inn and dropped their car off near where they would finish their trail hike that day. The Hiker Hostel would meet them at their car and shuttle them to the trail area where they were beginning the day hike. They hiked most of the Georgia portion of the trail using this method. Each evening they came back to the inn for a hot shower, Mary Beth’s cookies and chai tea.

Benefits of slack packing are many. No roughing  it on the trail carrying a heavy backpack in all kinds of weather. No freeze-dried dinners or oatmeal breakfasts. No sleeping on the hard ground. A unique way of hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Book a room or yurt with us and try hiking the Appalachian Trail using slack packing. The Hiker Hostel is no longer in business but there are other parties that can pick you up and take you to your car. We have some names or you can check with Uber.

For more information about our inn visit Cedar House Inn & Yurts.