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Gahuti Trail @ Fort Mountain State Park

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Fort Mountain State Park   Hike: Gahuti Trail @ Fort Mountain State Park  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Mar 25 2023  9:00 am >> Sat, Mar 25 2023 3:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Mar 13 2023 7:01 pm
Registration Cut Off: Wed, Mar 22 2023 7:35 pm
Event Duration:6 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:9.5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Steve H
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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:2
Number Registered So Far: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


This will be a fun and challenging D4 hike, with some history thrown in. Moderate to Strenuous 10-ish miles at a moderate pace, with breaks.  We will be going a bit longer because we will add a side trail to explore the overlook and waterfalls along the way.  Elevation gain with side trails will be around 2,000 feet.

Mystery of Fort Mountain (borrowed from the state park brochure)

High atop Fort Mountain are the rocky ruins of an ancient “stone wall” with prehistoric origin steeped in legend. Generations of archaeologists and historians have unsuccessfully sought to unravel the riddle of this wall, one of several stone assemblages scattered throughout the Southeast. More than 150 years after its discovery, answers still evade us as to who built the wall, when and for what purpose.
Theories abound, and one of the more realistic explanations is that the wall was built around 500 A.D. by a tribe of Native Americans for ceremonial or religious purposes. Others assert the wall was built by wandering bands of Welsh explorers during the 14th century as fortification against Indians. Welsh Prince Madoc has been credited with building several stone petroglyphs in the Southeast after supposedly sailing into Alabama. Another theory, based on Cherokee legend, is that the wall was built by the “Moon Eyes,” a race of light-skinned people who could see in the dark because of their larger or paler eyes. Or perhaps Spanish conquistadors, possibly Hernado de Soto, built the wall as a defense against Indian attacks.
Since no artifacts have been found to support these theories, no one knows who built the “wall of stones” zigzagging across the southern face of the Cohutta mountain range’s most prominent peak. This part of the southern Appalachian Mountains rises above the Piedmont Plain and offers 80-mile views, making it an ideal location for ceremonial practices or defensive needs.
The stone wall runs east and west for 855 feet, and its height varies from two to six feet. Archaeologists believe it was much higher before exploration and plunder by previous scientists and treasure hunters. Adding to the mystery are 30 “pits” built into the wall. Were these gun emplacements or symbolic to some ceremonial practice of earlier inhabitants? Will the secrets contained within these stones forever remain a mystery?

The Gahuti Trail travels around the edge of the park, passing just below the summits of Cohutta and Fort mountains. Ever changing, the trail is both beautiful and challenging in all seasons. There is a great platform for a west view, and a tower on top of the mountain built by the CCC in the 30's. We will take a side trail from the Gahuti to the overlook for our lunch break.

The pace will be moderate (~2.5 mph) and this will be a solid D4 hike, and not a beginner's event. Previous D4 experience or proven fitness at this level required to participate, or the trip leader may put you on the waiting list until approved for safety and group comfort.

Hike finishes around 3PM, back to carpool by 5pm-ish.

Dogs: I will bring my dog, Zeus. Please contact me if you want to bring your dog. 

There may be bathrooms near the trailhead at the park office/entrance.

Bring your rain gear. This is Georgia, there's always a moderate rain risk. Be prepared. Only strong storms will cancel the event. We can't guarantee views, but we will have fun and adventure..

Thanks to Ann Howard for the trail description.

Required Items to Bring:

1-2L water or energy drinks
trail snacks
good hiking shoes/boots

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

trekking poles

rain gear

Change of shoes and clothing for the ride home

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

ENTRANCE Parking Lot,  Fort Mountain State Park Rd, Chatsworth, GA 30705

At this time we will pick up the trail at the PARK ENTRANCE. 

Parking fee $5.00 or state park pass.

If you are meeting us there, please meet at the park entrance office at 8:45AM.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):152Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $60.80 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.

Cost Includes:

Please share gas fare with your carpool driver.  

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