Length: 4.1 miles (6.6K)
Hiking Time: About 2 1/2 hours
Restrictions: No motorized
vehicles. Trail designed for day hikers, not recommended for horses.
The forest walk, the hike alongside Stover Creed and the Three Forks
day-use dispersed recreation area are highlights of this loop trail.
|Three Forks Loop Trail begins at
the Appalachian Trail (AT) parking lot on USFS 42. The hike begins by
heading north on the AT, crossing the Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT), continuing
on the AT to a second crossing of the BMT on the south slope of Rich
Mountain, descending on the AT to and past Stover Creek shelter and
descending along Stover Creek to the Three Forks area. Just south of Three
Forks turn right on the BMT for return to start.
The AT leaves the parking area and heads north on gently graded trail.
The trail crossed the BMT at 0.3 miles. Follow white AT blazes to another
crossing of the BMT at 1.4 miles. Continue downhill on AT into the valley
of Stover Creek passing shelter on left. Cross creek and follow AT
generally down hill on northwest side of Stover Creek, Just south of Three
Forks note intersection with BMT coming in from right. Visit day-use area
on Noontootla Creek, return to BMT intersection and follow white diamond
blazes of BMT south over Rich Mountain, cross AT. continue on BMT until
next crossing of AT. Here turn right (south) to return to parking area.
NOTE: For those not desiring the long hike. a third smaller loop lies
between the two AT crossings of the BMT.
Directions from Blue Ridge, Georgia:
Travel east (toward Blairsville, GA) on GA Hwy 515,
approx. 0.8 miles past intersection with GA Hwy 5. Turn Right at Windy
Ridge Rd., go 0.2 miles to dead end with Old U.S. 76. Turn left, go 0.2
miles to Aska Road. South on Aska Road to end (13.5 miles). Turn right
onto Newport Road, go 4.5 miles to end. Turn right onto Doublehead Gap
Road, go 2.0 miles to USFS road 42 on left. Turn left onto USFS 42, drive
7.0 miles east to AT crossing near Cross Trails.