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Sawnee Mountain Preserve Mountainside Trail System

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: 2505 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road, Cumming, GA 30040   Hike: Sawnee Mountain Preserve Mountainside Trail System  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Mar 5 2017  9:00 am >> Sun, Mar 5 2017 12:00 pm
Registration Opens: Mon, Feb 27 2017 1:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sun, Mar 5 2017 7:30 am
Event Duration:3 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Distance:5.6 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Gayle M.
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Please join me for a beautiful hike at Sawnee Mountain Preserve. We will be hiking at a moderate but steady pace through an oak/birch forest at lower levels, switching to pine near the top.  If you have hiked D2s in the past and are ready for elevation this is the hike for you. This hike is NOT for beginners.

If you are looking for a faster hike, this is not for you. This is a hike for people who are comfortable on usual AOC D2 hikes like Vickery Creek, Sope Creek, and Island Ford but are working on being able to hike trails with more elevation. I have added extra time so no one will feel pressured.

We will begin our hike on the Hilltop Trail to the Mountainside Trail Loop. We will make our way counterclockwise on the Mountainside Trail Loop. There are a few areas on the northern side that cross small creeks, but the trail is mostly non-technical. There are several rocky sections & rolling sections, and at times the trail descends/ascends a bit steeply, but most of those portions are short lived, There are some inclines that are long but not too steep. We will take it slower on the steep or long inclines waiting at the top of the incline to regroup. We will then proceed up Tower Road to see the "The Spaceship" Barker House returning back onto the Mountainside Trail Loop. Then we will return back to the parking lot via the Ridgeline Trail. 

Please arrive 15 minutes early to use the bathroom facilities, do our introductions and to learn a little history about Sawnee Mountain. Out of respect for the majority of people who arrive on time, we will leave PROMPTLY at 9:00 am.

Dogs are not allowed on these trails.

Sawnee Mountain Preserve is 963 acres and offers 11 miles of wooded trails for walkers, runners and hikers to explore the mountain. Trail options range from easy to difficult. Along with the trails and Indian Seats, the preserve also offers a tree canopy classroom, playground, two picnic pavilions, climbing area, amphitheater and visitor center. The Visitor Center features interactive exhibits on the natural and cultural histories of Sawnee Mountain and a resource library/lounge for visitors to relax and read.

The creation of Sawnee Mountain Preserve established protection of 963 acres of green space. Sawnee Mountain Preserve is Forsyth County’s largest passive park and was made possible through a collaborative effort of individuals, organizations and government. It first opened to the public as a county park in 2005, making more than three miles of trails accessible for walkers, runners and hikers, along with an amphitheater and playground. Phase II of the park, which features a 5,600-square-foot visitor center and access to Sawnee Mountain’s trails, opened in 2008.


- See more at:

The creation of Sawnee Moutain preserved the 963 acres of green space. Sawnee Moutain Preserve is Forsyth County's largest passive park. It first opened to the public as a county park in 2005 with 3 miles of trails. Phase II of the park, which features a 5,600 square foot vistor center and access to Sawnee Mountain trails, opened in 2008. The newest phase III (Mountainside Trail System) of Forsyth County’s Sawnee Mountain Preserve opened Friday, Jan. 29, 2016.

Sawnee Mountain is a low mountain between the piedmont and Appalachian foothills.. The name Sawnee Mountain actually refers to the entire ridge of approximately five miles (8 km) in length. At its summit, the elevation is 1,946 feet (593 m) above mean sea level, and is roughly 750 feet (230 m) above the surrounding terrain The Sawnee Mountain range runs southwest to northeast, and consists of five knollss and three gaps (Chamblee, Sawnee, and Bettes). Located only a few miles north of Cumming, GA, the mountain is easily the highest point in Forsyth county. One of the highest peaks of metro Atlanta, it nudges out its prominently known neighbors Stone Mountina and Kennesaw Mountain by a hundred or so feet each. However, Sawnee is in the far northern exurbs, putting it in third place behind Bear Mounting and Pine Log Mountain to the west. ~ Wikepedia

Here are some links about the Barker House ~

Images of the Barker House ~



Required Items to Bring:


Good hiking boots/shoes

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

Hiking poles if you use them on hilly terrain

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Sawnee Mountain Preserve Park Bettis-Tribble Gap Road Parking Lot

2505 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road                                   GPS Coordinates ~

Cumming GA    30040                                             34.2439961, -84.14093539999999


Take GA-400 North

Take EXIT 17 towards Gainsville

Turn LEFT onto GA-306 West & go 0.5 miles

Turn RIGHT onto State Barn Road & go 0.6 miles

Turn RIGHT onto GA-9 North & go 0.4 miles

Turn LEFT onto Spot Road & go 2.3 miles

Turn LEFT on Bettis-Tribble Gap Road & go 0.9 miles

The parking lot will be on your right


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

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