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DO IT: Hiking - Purple Trail – Etowah Trail

Purple Trail – Etowah Trail - Etowah Trail & Sutallee Trace Greenspace Corridor

Etowah Trail & Sutallee Trace Greenspace Corridor

Initially a Bicentennial project for Cherokee County, the Etowah Trail & Sutallee Trace Greenspace Corridor is a trail system on a strip of undeveloped woodland that borders the swift-flowing Etowah River. The land is owned by the U.S. Corps of Engineers and the Cherokee County Water and Sewer Authority and is managed by the DNR as a Wildlife Management Area.

The trail system is anchored by the Trace Trail and Historic Trace Trail, which overlap in sections. The Historic Trace Trail was used by the early settlers of Cherokee County. The Trace Trail starts just north of Cherokee High School in Boiling Park. From there it leads northeast for about three-quarters of a mile before curving to the west along a section of the Etowah River. The majority of Trace Trail runs westward from this curve, and all the system’s loops and trails originate on Trace Trail.

There are two options for accessing the trail system. Hikers can park at Boiling Park, walk down the gravel path to the back of the park to reach the Boiling Park Trailhead. From here follow the white blazed Trace Trail to access all other trails. Trace Trail can also be accessed from the New Hightower Church Trailhead, which is 2.1 miles down Trace Trail from the Boiling Park Trailhead.

All trails named after a color are blazed with that color.

Purple Trail       

The fastest way to access the Purple Trail is from the New Hightower Church Trailhead via Trace Trail, though you could also reach it from the Boiling Park Trailhead. The Purple Trail spurs off from the Trace Trail/ Historic Trace Trail 0.4 miles west of the New Hightower Church Trailhead and 1.6 miles northeast of the Boiling Park Trailhead. There is also a third access point outside the greenspace corridor at the Rock Creek Trailhead. At the Purple Trail’s most north point, it dead ends into the Yellow Trail. If you follow the Yellow Trail north less than a tenth of mile from that intersection, you will reach the Rock Creek Trail Head.

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