Between Miller Gap to the north and Dan Gap to the south, Granny Top rises along the Appalachian Trail. There are no long-range views from the top of this AT peak, but the mountain is covered in lush blankets of ferns and a pleasant hardwood forest.
To enjoy a visit to the top of Granny Top is to be capable of enjoying the smaller, quieter beauties in these woods: The bird song, the deep, rich scent of the forest, the dappled sunlight through the swaying limbs. Like many destinations in these mountains, the place name alone makes the peak worth a visit.
USGS Topo: Neels Gap
Trails Illustrated Map: #777 Springer & Cohutta Mounatins
Prominence: 80 feet
Rank & Prominence Source: Lists of John
Getting There & Route Information
Woody Gap is about 15 miles north of Dahlonega, Georgia, on GA Hwy 60. Ample vehicle parking is available on either side of the gap off of Hwy 60. The summit of Granny Top is only about 2.25 miles northbound on the Appalachian Trail from Woody Gap.
Distance: About 4.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: While this trip entails only a couple hundred feet of net elevation gain, cumulative elevation gain is at least 1,000 vertical feet of roller-coaster trail.
Granny Top resides within the Blood Mountain Wilderness in Chattahoochee National Forest. Standard wilderness restrictions apply (no motorized vehicles, pets on leash, etc.) Please practice Leave no Trace and be mindful of Forest Service user warnings posted at Woody Gap, such as “problem bear” alerts and campfire bans.
Camping & Lodging
Dahlonega: A decent variety of lodging options can be found in nearby Dahlonega, GA, 15 miles south on GA Hwy 60 from Woody Gap. Visit this Trip Advisor page (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g34882-Dahlonega_Georgia-Hotels.html) for details.
Suches: Suches, Georgia, is only six or seven miles north of Woody Gap on GA Hwy 60, but the lodging options are more limited.
Car Camping: Car camping can be found at nearby Dockery Lake (take FS 654/Dockery Lake Road, which is about 6 miles south of Woody Gap on GA Hwy 60.
AT Backpacking: The nearest AT shelters to Woody Gap are Gooch Mountain (roughly 5.5 miles southbound) and Woods Hole (roughly 5.5 miles northbound). There is rustic camping in Miller Gap near the headwaters of Lance Creek.
Weather & Seasons
Spring and Fall are considered by many the most pleasant time to visit the Southern Appalachians.
Spring: In the Spring, daytime temperatures and warm and evenings are cool while the flowering shrubs are in bloom and the waterfalls are running. Water sources such as springs are most reliable this time of year.
Fall: In the fall, the broadleaf deciduous trees put on a bright display of autumn color, though waterfalls may not be as impressive and springs and other water sources less reliable. The air is cooler and crisper and visibility should be prime for long-range views.
Summer: in this part of the country can be oppressively hot and humid and even the higher elevation and ample tree cover will not keep the hiker from feeling overheated, sticky and dirty. High humidity and haze plus deep leaf cover mean limited long-range vistas, though it is in summer that the term “temperate rainforest” will have the most meaning to and be most appreciated by the visitor.
Winter: in the South Appalachians can range from cool and damp to cold and severe with bouts of deep snow following major storms. In other words, while this range may be relatively low in elevation and southern in latitude, mountains are still mountains and can bring unpredictable and potentially dangerous weather.