Poor Mountain sits just off of the Appalachian Trail between White Oak Stamp Gap to the south and Wide Gap to the north. It is separated from Strawberry Top by the minor Sapling Gap. Poor Mountain is a subtle, low-key peak blanketed in dense forest (mostly hardwood). In the springtime, a riot of ground=hugging wildflowers blooms and azalea and mountain magnolia blossoms virtually spill off of their branches.
The mountain is readily accessible from GA 348 at Hog Pen Gap, yet buffered by enough wilderness to give a feeling of quiet remoteness.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Chattahoochee National Forest Springer Mountain to Bly Gap GEORGIA
Rank & Prominence: Lists of John
Getting There & Route Information
Poor Mountain is in northeastern Georgia, roughly 150 miles northeast of Atlanta. The nearest major airport is the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. http://www.atlanta-airport.com/, currently the busiest airport in the world. The nearest crossroad to Poor Mountain is GA 348.
From US 19/129 at Neels Gap
Neels Gap is 14 miles south of Blairsville and 19 miles north of Cleveland.
• Travel north on US19/129 less than 3 miles to Hwy 180.
• Turn right on Hwy 180.
• Travel a few more miles to Hwy 348 on your right.
• Follow Hwy 348 south to Hog Pen Gap.
From Hog Pen Gap, travel northbound on the AT.
NET Elevation Gain:
600 feet (cumulative gain much higher)
Reaching the top of Poor Mountain requires a side-step from the Appalachian Trail. The brush is reasonable by southern Appalachian standards, though there are briers to contend with.
Reasonable brush to summit Welcome to Hog Pen Gap
Wild-looking tree close-up Crazy tree near summit
There is no fee to visit this part of the Chattahoochee National Forest and permits are not required for overnight stays in the backcountry. Please be mindful of posted Forest Service user warnings, such as “problem bear” alerts and campfire bans. Note that the Appalachian Trail is open to foot traffic only. Motorized vehicles and pack animals are not permitted. Poor Mountain lies within the 16,400 acre Mark Trail Wilderness. Please practice Leave No Trace principals:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Additionally, within the Mark Trail Wilderness, dogs must be leashed at all times.
Northbound toward summit area Trail across summit area
AT Backpacker Camping
Poor Mountain is roughly equidistant between two AT shelters.
Whitley Gap Shelter:
This small shelter sleeps only about 6 people and requires a 1.2 mile side-trip from the main AT corridor.
Low Gap Shelter:
This small shelter sleeps roughly 7 people and requires a very short, downhill walk to the shelter off of the main AT corridor. Plenty of tent spots are available nearby.
Weather & Seasons
Wild dwarf iris Wild Geranium Mountain Magnolia Blossom
|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.
Mark Trail Wilderness