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Benton Mackaye Trail - Cohuttas Section

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: ThunderRock (Tennessee)   Backpacking: Benton Mackaye Trail - Cohuttas Section  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, May 2 2015  6:00 am >> Mon, May 4 2015 9:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 6:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Mar 30 2015 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, May 1 2015 12:00 pm
Event Duration:2 Days 15 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced (Exploratory)
Distance:36 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Myra Kincaid
Mike Pawloski
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 7 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


This is an advanced backpack and requires prior backpacking experience! If you do not have a history of D5 backpacks with the club, you will be contacted to confirm you experience. Trip leadership reserves the right to remove anyone that they feel may not be able to complete the trip.

 About the trip:

    This will be a point-to-point backpack on a section of the Benton Mackaye trail through the Cohutta Wilderness. The hike will begin at Bush Head Gap.

   Saturday (13 miles): We will start early to make maximum use of the short daylight hours. The majority of the group will be dropped at Bush-head gap. The drivers will then shuttle all but one car up to our finish point at ThunderRock campground, which has secure parking. The other car will then be driven back to Ellijay, where Blue Ridge Mtn Outfitters will give the drivers a shuttle back to the trail-head.  The trail heads up and follows a ridgeline westard, before taking a sharp right on Fowler mountain and heading north. We will camp just past Dryer gap, where there is a stream with a good campground.

   Sunday (13 miles): We will hit the trail at dawn, following Jack's creek north, making three stream crossings, before heading right up a dirt road. We will pass Mill branch with ruins of an old clearing and farm-house site. Will will cross over Jack's river trail on the way up to Hemp Top, which has a side trail leading to an old fire tower site. We will camp in Double Springs gap, which has springs to the right and left.


   Monday (11 miles): We will start early once more in order to complete the final 11 miles, and get back to Atlanta in a timely fashion. We will ascend 1200' to Big Frog mountain which should have views, the descending 2000' down the other side. There will be four stream crossings before the finish point at Thunder Rock campground.


Please plan on bringing an additional $10 to help pay our shuttle drivers. This is in addition to gas money for the carpool.



About The Trail:

The Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) is a footpath of nearly 300 miles through the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States. It is designed for foot travel in the tradition of the Appalachian Trail (AT).

Running from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Big Creek Campground on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (the Smokies), the BMT passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, including eight federally designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas.


Required Items to Bring:
  • Hiking Boots / Shoes
  • Backpack
  • Tent / Tarp / Hammock 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleep Pad
  • Food and Snacks (2 days worth)
  • Water and Filtration / Purification device, Drops, or Tablets
  • Headlamp and spare batteries



Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Use our Event Checkliststo make sure you have everything you need.

  • Camera
  • Hiking Poles
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Stove
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Change of Clothes and Towel for Drive Home
  • Maps/GPS
  • Harmonicas, flutes, cards, etc.

How to Get There:
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):250Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 6:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $100.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.