Trail map with trail descriptions for Smithgall Woods State Park (SP) in Georgia. Published by Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.
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h Cre ek Little Hickorynut Mountain LEGEND 2681 Hiking Trails Ash Creek Trail Park Boundary Dukes Creek Falls Chunanee Falls Trail 2069 Dukes Creek Falls Access Trail 1722 Laurel Ridge Trail 348 Richard Russell Scenic Highway Martin’s Mine Trail ary ound B Park Park Boundary Wetland Loop Trail CITY OF HELEN 75 ALT USFS Dukes Creek Trail Visitor Center Loop Trail nC rto Ho k ree C ha 1860 Sim’s Road tta 1440 ho oc he Polly Knob SW e R iv er Streamside Cottages Symbols 75 Park Boundary r Creek Paved Road Dove Gravel/Unpaved Road 1560 Park Boundary Forest Management Road Firebreak Main Entrance ge ch an Park Boundary k Martin’s Mine Trail Ch att Radio Tower 1720 Pheasant Branch Gap Structures Indian Mound Br k ee 2142 Ash Creek Trail Cr Ash Creek Trail ac n Rid Alliso 1640 Private Property s d 17 ke Hunting (Handicapped) oa Long Hungry Branch Covered Bridge Du Private Property Bear Ridge Camp Ash Creek AbernathyR 1760 Shackelford Road Pheasant Branch il a Tr Wildlife Opening ad Hardman Farm Wetland Loop Trail Private Property Ro Handicap Accessible n ge Group Campsite so Rid Observation Area 2368 Park Boundary ki lli Picnic Shelter Trail Shelter Towe R r la A 2040 d oa 1895 Cottages 1841 a Ts 2440 Visitor Center VISITOR Laurel Ridge CENTER Trail Bl Stream Ash Mtn. Cemetery 1400 Firebreak 75 Church Park Boundary ali Ot Berry’s Beehives Chunanee Falls Trail Ro Private Property Park Boundary ad 1640 Duk 1360 es C 1758 reek sb A os t es d oa R 1729 a 1789 75 ALT m ba Tsa la ch ki T rail an Br 1600 a Al Park Boundary Fish Camp Pri. Private Property d on m ur Park Cr 2042 k d oa R H ill s a Turner Creek nk lin Ro ad dary Boun Locked Gate 1 mile 1 inch equals 0.4 miles (1/4" = 0.1 mile) ra Park Boundary B oc 0.4 eF 384 ee Park Boundary 0 Jo 1422 Th Park Boundary Cathey Creek Education Cabin Joe ck Road Bla ah oo he eR ive r Smithgall Woods State Park Trail Map Smit 61 Tsalaki Trail • Helen, GA 30545 • Park: 706-878-3087 • Emergency: 706-809-3232 • Cottage Reservations: 1-800-864-7275 • GeorgiaStateParks.org 356 Laurel Ridge Trail Hiking & Biking at Smithgall Woods Located adjacent to our Visitor Center, this interpretive trail is a moderate 1.6-mile loop that climbs to Laurel Ridge and provides a view of Mt. Yonah. Ask for a free interpretive brochure from the Visitor Center to learn more about specific points of interest along the trail. LAUREL RIDGE TRAIL 1800 1750 Cottages Smithgall Woods offers six impressive cottages, all beautifully decorated inside and outside. Each cottage features well-equipped kitchens, comfortable beds, in-room telephones, wireless internet access and cable TV. An electric gate welcomes you to a one-mile drive along Dukes Creek to your cottage in the woods. Our upscale cottages are safe and secure and are available for individual rental as well as for groups. Guests may reserve the 1-bedroom to 5-bedroom cottages for an affordable getaway for two, an unforgettable family vacation, a corporate outing, a dream wedding or some other social event. (Private local caterers are available.) Together, these six cottages offer a total of 17 bedrooms (19 beds). For reservations: visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/SmithgallWoods/Cottages or call 1-800-864-7275. Laurel Ridge Trail - 1.6-Miles Loop / Average Travel Time: 1 Hour Compacted Natural Soil Surface Average Grade 10%; Maximum of 25% for 700 Feet Minimum Width: 24 Inches; Average Width: 30 Inches Average Cross-Slope: 10%; Maximum of 15% for 100 Feet 1700 1650 1600 1550 0 1 The trailheads below can be reached by hikiing from the Visitor Center. Remember to include the distance from the Visitor Center in your hiking plans. Ash Creek Trail Martin’s Mine Trail (0.6 miles from Visitor Center at the Western Terminus, 1.3 miles from Eastern Terminus) - This rugged trail requires fording/wading Dukes Creek near the Western Terminus. The beauty of the Dukes Creek area and the large expanse of Georgia woodlands make this a noteworthy hike. In cooler weather, or after a large rain, some guests start at the covered bridge, pass our group camp, hike all the way to Dukes Creek, and simply turn around and retrace their steps to avoid fording the creek. (2.1 miles from Visitor Center) - A wooden bridge across Dukes Creek begins this picturesque and historical trail. The 0.5-mile trail interprets the history of gold mining at this site. A vertical shaft of the earlier gold mining era is a focal point and provides a unique habitat for bats. A short extension from the main trail offers a view of a small, but soothing, waterfall. ASH CREEK TRAIL Fishing We offer seasonal trout fishing on one of Trout Unlimited’s “Top 100 Trout Streams in the US.” North Georgia’s premier trout stream, Dukes Creek, runs through this spectacular mountain property and is a favorite for catch-and-release fishing. Visitor Center Loop Trail This 0.3-mile ADA-accessible trail begins at our Visitor Center and winds around a large pasture along Dukes Creek. Just off the trail is a planting of Florida Torreya, considered to be one of North America’s most critically endangered trees. There are also several picnic tables and interpretive panels. DUKES CREEK LOOP TRAIL 1800 1750 1700 1650 1600 1650 1550 1600 1500 1550 1450 1500 0 1450 0 Ash Creek Trail - 1.5 Mile One Way Not rated for accessibility. Requires crossing/fording Dukes Creek at western terminus, which is not possible in high water. Tell someone your itinerary and expected return time. • Be prepared for unexpected weather changes by dressing in layers and carrying rain gear. Wetland Loop Trail • Take a map, water, snacks, first aid kit, flashlight and whistle. Three short blasts on a whistle are known as a call for help. (2.8 miles from Visitor Center) - A plaque at the trailhead tells the historical significance of this 640-acre tract. A moderate half-mile hike (mostly downhill) leads to a beautiful waterfall on what is known as the Alabama Branch. A short wooden bridge crosses a section of a historic water ditch, part of the early gold mining history. Deeply shaded by rhododendron, the last 400 yards is alongside a noisy stretch of Dukes Creek and is a cool retreat in warm weather. (1.2 miles from Visitor Center) - This easy ½-mile loop passes a beaver pond and wetland area. A boardwalk and large deck provide a great spot for birding on the pond. Waterfowl and frogs are residents that hikers may see or hear. “The Frogs of Smithgall Woods” brochure makes it possible to identify frogs by their call. • Do not stray from trails. If you become lost, stay in one location and wait for help. This will make it easier for rescuers to find you. • Don’t count on cell phones to work in the wilderness. A public telephone is available at the Visitor Center for local calls and 911. • Invest in good hiking socks such as those found at sporting goods stores. Avoid blisters by carrying “moleskin” and applying it as soon as you feel a hot spot on your feet. Available in the foot care section of drug stores, moleskin is like felt that sticks to your skin. • Be prepared for unexpected rain and wind which can lead to hypothermia. Always carry quality rain gear and turn back in bad weather. If you become wet or cold, it is important to get dry and warm as quickly as possible. • Dress in layers and avoid cotton. Luckily, today’s hikers can choose from numerous fabrics that wick moisture, dry quickly or conserve heat. Many experienced hikers wear a lightweight shirt that wicks moisture, while carrying a fleece pullover and rain jacket. • Pack out all trash. • Keep pets on a leash. • Do not pick flowers or disturb wildlife. • Protect the landscape by staying on trails. WETLANDS LOOP TRAIL 1700 CATHY ELLIS TRAIL 1700 1650 1600 1650 1550 1600 1500 1550 1450 1400 Visitor Center Loop Trail - 0.3-Mile Loop / Average Travel Time: Half Hour Compacted Gravel Average Grade: 2%; Maximum of 15% for 30 Feet Minimum Width: 30 Inches; Average Width: 48 Inches Average Cross-Slope: 6%; Maximum of 10% for 50 Feet Safety Tips & Etiquette • Chunanee Falls Trail 1450 1550 0 When planning hikes, the mileage from the Visitor Center to the trail must be considered. Marked trails accessible to all guests are listed with the mileage from the Visitor Center. Dover Trail and the Dukes Creek Falls Access Trail are accessible to overnight guests only. There is public access to Dukes Creek Falls from the Richard Russell Scenic Highway (Hwy 348). Because hiking is limited during hunting season, visitors should call in advance to check hunt dates. In some areas, cell phones are not operable. Make sure you know the correct time and closing schedule for the site. 1 Martin’s Mine Trail - 0.5-Mile Trail / Average Travel Time: 1 Hour Compacted Natural Soil Surface Average Grade 10%; Maximum of 25% for 400 Feet Minimum Width: 24 Inches: Average Width: 30 Inches Average Cross-Slope: 5%; Maximum of 15% for 75 Feet 1 1500 1600 As a conservation park, only staff vehicles, hikers and bicyclists are allowed on our road system. All vehicles must stop at the Visitor Center parking lot and purchase a ParkPass. Annual ParkPasses are available. All guests must register at the Visitor Center. Bicycles are limited to the improved roads, and trails are for hikers only. It is permissible to ride your bike to a trailhead, park off the roadway, and access the trail on foot. Our Visitor Center (open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) staff can help orient you on the property and answer questions. Be sure to ask about guided tours or fishing shuttle schedules that offer transportation through the park. Please help keep Smithgall Woods in its pristine condition. Remove all litter that you might have brought with you, or perhaps, found along the way. This is “your” park. Please help us take care of it. Have a great time by planning for a safe outing. 1650 1700 Cottage guests can fish any day of the week, and public fishing is available for day-use guests on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays with reservations. Please call our Visitor Center, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 706-878-3087 for more information. MARTIN’S MINE TRAIL 1700 Our hiking trails, coupled with our road system, comprise almost 20 miles of woodland beauty, available to hikers and bikers. From a gentle half-mile hike on level ground near the Visitor Center to a strenuous five-mile climb up Tower Road, there is something for everyone. Hikers and bikers share our road system, and only hikers can access our trails. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash at all times. 0 Chunanee Falls Trail - 0.5-Mile One-Way / Average Travel Time: Half Hour Compacted Natural Soil Surface Average Grade: 10%; Maximum of 15% for 50 Feet Minimum Width: 24 Inches; Average Width 30 Inches Average Cross-Slope: 10%; Maximum 15% for 50 feet 0 1 Wetland Loop Trail - 0.55-Mile Loop / Average Travel Time: Half Hour Compacted Natural Soil Surface Average Grade: 5%; Maximum of 15% for 150 Feet Minimum Width: 36 Inches; Average Width: 60 Inches Average Cross-Slope 2%; Maximum of 5% for 100 Feet