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/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

Fall In the North Georgia Mountains

Fall in the North Georgia mountains is always a beautiful time of year. It’s no wonder that it is also the busiest time of the year for tourism and guests visitingfall colors the inn. At the inn we always look forward to seeing color changes. The colors range from the vivid reds to oranges to yellows. Each day brings another tree turning colors until mid November.

Weather influences when the colors change and the vividness of the colors. By weather we mean the balance of the right amount of rainfall with the right amount of cooler temperatures.

Guests to the area can enjoy viewing the Fall colors from hiking on the Appalachian trail, visiting one of several waterfalls including Amicalola Falls or just sipping wine on one of the decks of the many wineries in the region. One of our favorite viewing areas is Preacher’s Rock (more info below) which is located on the Appalachian trail near Woody Gap (see our video at Preacher’s Rock).

North of the inn there is a scenic route that circles some the highest areas fall colorswhich provides some of the most beautiful Fall colors (See map below).

From the inn take a left onto highway 19 north to the rock pile Stone Pile Gap. Legend claims the rock pile is Queen Trahlyta’s grave. If you add a stone you will have good luck. Take away a stone and you will have bad luck. Supposedly years ago the DOT moved some of the rocks and lost a bulldozer over the mountain side.

After the rock pile you will take a left towards Suches- before you get to Suches the Appalachian trail crosses the road (Gooch Gap)- park on the right and hike to Preacher’s Rock on the AT behind the bathrooms. Preacher’s rock is a granite mountaintop and has beautiful vistas for miles. The hike is about a mile with a little climbing at the end. For more information on this hike and the Blood Mountain hike mentioned later in this post visit Dahlonega Hiking Trails.

After that short hike come back to your car and head towards Suches. Take a right in Suches and head past Lake Winfred Scott Park (stop and see the lake if you wish). Take a right out of the park and head towards Blairsville.

You will see another intersection which will take you left or right- choose right and you will see Vogel State Park on the right.  Vogel also has many hiking trails to enjoy the Fall colors and a Lake Trahlyta  you can walk around. More information on their web site.

Take a right out of Vogel and you will eventually see the Byron Herbert Reecefall colors parking area. This parking connects the Byron Reece trail to the AT and then Blood Mountain. Blood mountain is the highest peak on the Appalachian trail in Georgia. See our blog post on Dahlonega Hiking Trails for more details and trail directions/maps.

After hiking blood mountain you can then take a right onto the highway again until you get to Mountain Crossing Store on your left. Built by the civilian conservation corps it is a beautiful rustic stone building full of hiking gear, unique gifts and snacks. The Appalachian trail goes through the building. They also have a nice stone patio with views of the valley below. More information on their web site.

Head left out of Mountain Crossing’s parking lot down the mountain to Desoto Falls on your right. There are actually two waterfalls at this location. See our blog post on waterfalls for more information.

After visiting the falls head right down the mountain and you will eventually see fall colorsthe intersection with Dahlonega to the right. On the corner there is a little restaurant called Riverside Tavern on the river (picture below). Stop in for a cold beer, mixed drink or a meal while watching the river rush by.

After leaving the Tavern you will be heading towards Dahlonega and will take a left at the earlier rock pile (Stone Pile Gap) mentioned near the beginning of this journey. Before you know it you will be back at the inn.

Other favorite Fall viewing places include the Richard Russell  scenic parkway

riverside tavern restaurant
Riverside Tavern

towards Helen, northeast of the inn. On the parkway is Raven Cliff Falls and Duke’s Creek which are great hikes. Waterfall Blog Post has more information.

Some guests enjoy going the Fall festivals in other nearby counties like the Apple Festival in Ellijay. You can also visit the pumpkin farm near Amicalola Falls to see the giant pumpkins and take a hay ride. Nearby corn maze’s are fun!

Come stay with us and enjoy the vibrant colors.

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

All Photos courtesy of Julie Best except Riverside Tavern

Come stay with us during the Fall season.