In the north Georgia Mountains between Ellijay and Chatsworth, Fort Mountain State Park offers some of the most beautiful trails and views in Georgia. The Park is at the southwestern end of the Cohutta Mountains near the Cohutta Wilderness Area.
Along with history, Fort Mountain is also known for mystery. One of the park’s attractions, a 855-foot rock wall, is thought to have been built by an unknown ancient culture. Some legends suggest the wall was constructed by the “Moon-eyed people” – a group of nocturnal, light-skinned people. The purpose of the wall is also a mystery. Archaeologists and historians have debated if the wall was designed for military defense or if it was used for spiritual ceremonies.
The mystery and the wall remain within the State Park and can be seen on the CCC Fire Tower Combination/West Overlook & CCC Fire Tower Trails, along with the Stone Tower and the West Overlook. All three of these attractions are worth the almost 1-mile loop, which takes between 30 minutes and an hour to complete, depending on how long you spend enjoying the magnificent views of the West Overlook or exploring the rock wall and Stone Tower.
Fort Mountain is home to hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Visitors move through hardwood forest and across streams, and in the summer, they can swim at the lakeside beach. Looking to stay overnight? There is tent and RV camping available, as well as cozy cabins. The State Park rangers and staff are friendly and knowledgeable. Call on them for insider insight while planning your time at Fort Mountain State Park.
Recommended Hiking Trail: CCC Stone Tower Trail & West Overlook Trail Combination
Whether you start toward the Stone Tower or toward the Overlook, the two trails form a loop of approximately a mile. The West Overlook Trail follows yellow blazes and leads to an amazing overlook. Once you’ve taken in this one-of-a-kind view head straight toward the trail intersection that leads to Stone Tower. Follow the red blazes up to the Stone Tower and back toward the trailhead where you began.
On the CCC Stone Tower Trail portion of the loop you will see the Stone Tower and the mysterious, ancient rock wall. The Overlook offers year-round vistas and the Stone Tower is open to the public Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., weather permitting, for visitors to climb to the top. Stop by the Trading Post and Visitor Center to see if the park is hosting any other activities on the day you are visiting Fort Mountain.
If your time is limited, the loop created by combining these two trails is the perfect trek for experiencing some of the best that Fort Mountain State Park has to offer.
If you have more time to spare, the Gahuti Backcountry Trail also runs through the park. The Gahuti is over 8 miles long , is moderate difficulty, and includes a waterfall.