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Sassafras Mountain
Mountain/Rock

Sassafras Mountain

 
Sassafras Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Georgia, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 34.63620°N / 84.0938°W

Object Title: Sassafras Mountain

County: Union/Lumpkin

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 3342 ft / 1019 m

 

Page By: tarol

Created/Edited: Jun 6, 2006 / Mar 16, 2007

Object ID: 198668

Hits: 8469 

Page Score: 78.88%  - 10 Votes 

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Overview

Not to be confused with the high point of South Carolina, this Sassafras Mountain is along the Appalachian Trail in Northern Georgia. It is about 11 miles northeast of Springer Mountain, the official start of the AT. Sassafras Mountain is between Horse Gap and Cooper Gap and the hike to the top and back down again from either gap is steep but not technical. On the top of the mountain is a beautiful, lush hardwood forest that unfortunately blocks most of the view but is pretty nonetheless. In the spring wildflowers carpet the floor of this forest. I saw columbines, iris, jack-in-the-pulpit, trillium, among others on my visit in May 2006. I'm told that this is also a beautiful hike to do in autumn when the trees turn. Forest Road 42 is also on some people's autumn-must-drive lists.

Getting There

 
Red Salamander
Red Salamander

Sassafras Mountain is in the Chattahoochee National Forest in northern Georgia. To get there from Atlanta, take I-75 to exit 268, then 575 north to Ellijay (this becomes the Appalachian Development Highway, Route 515 at Tate). At State Road 52 turn right and go about 7 miles. Turn right on Roy Road and follow this 9.5 mile to a stop sign. Turn right. 2.1 miles on this road is the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. Turn right onto Forest Service Road 42. 13 miles later this road ends in downtown Suches. But you're not going to go that far. Forest Road 42 intersects the AT at Horse and Cooper Gaps. The hike up Sassafras Mountain from either gap is about 1 mile with 500-600' elevation gain.

Suggested guide book: Appalachian Trail Guide to North Carolina-Georgia by Jack Coriell

You can also buy it from Amazon.com

Red Tape

No permits are needed to hike Sassafras Mountain. Please practice Leave No Trace ethics when you hike in this area!

When to Climb

 
Fleabane
Fleabane

All year climbs are possible. Of course fair weather (May - September) months are the most popular. AT thruhikers generally start from March - April.

This hike is mostly in a beautiful forest of mixed hardwoods... And I've been told that in the fall the colors of the trees are spectacular!

Trails in this area can be quite muddy in April and May with spring rains. In May, though, I can attest that there are many beautiful wildflowers!

Camping

There are two small campsites at the top of Sassafras Mountain. There was space for a couple of tents along with a campfire ring. You can also camp at Horse or Cooper Gaps. All camps are dry so make sure you have plenty of water! Also, watch out for poison ivy.

External Links

 
View along the AT
Beautiful forest views


Gainesville Weather Forecast

The first 20 miles of the AT Trail Description

The first 16 miles of the AT Trail Description and Photos

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Images