Dwarf Bearded Iris
“Woody Knob” is a pleasant, double-humped knob on the northeastern shoulder of Amicalola Mountain between the Frosty Mountain high point and Nimblewill Gap. This densely-forested knob does not offer views through the trees, but does envelop the visitor in diverse plant to enjoy including Snake Root, Mayapple, Dwarf Bearded Iris and abundant poison ivy. There is an informal and dry (no water source) campsite located on top of one of the humps.
“Woody Knob” is bemoaned in the trail journals of plenty of hikers approaching Springer Mountain to begin their northbound journey on the Appalachian Trail as just one more big tug, one more obstacle, between the Amicalola Falls State Park parking lot and the official southern terminus of the AT on Springer Mountain. Indeed, “Woody Knob” provides a nice spot for the northbound hiker to pause and enjoy the quiet of the deep southern Appalachian forest before descending into Nimblewill Gap for that final push up Springer Mountain.
Please note: The name “Woody Knob” is recognized by some sources and not by others (including National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps), but is detailed in numerous trail guides, route descriptions and trekker journals . The given summit elevation also varies between sources from 3,390 feet to 3,406 feet. For the purpose of this SP page, I will list Woody Knob at 3,406 feet.
Trails Illustrated Map:
#777 Springer & Cohutta Mountains
Getting There & Route Information
"Woody Knob" is near the intersection of the AT approach trail (black) and the Len Foote Hike Inn trail (red)
“Woody Knob” is the double-humped knob near the intersection of the AT Approach trail and the hike to the Len Foote Inn (Trail 3174), north of Frosty Mountain and south of Nimblewill Gap. The knob is about 4.5 miles from parking via trail 1A (the AT approach trail) and requires roughly 750 feet of net (not cumulative) elevation gain to reach.
Parking for the AT access trail is available in Amicalola State Park.
Directions to Amicalola Falls State Park:
This Georgia state park is 15 miles north of Dawsonville, GA, on GA Hwy 52. From Dawsonville, take Hwy 53 west to Hwy 183 north, then Hwy 52 east.
Mayapple Blossom Luna Moth
“Woody Knob” sits within the 23,000 acre Ed Jenkins National Recreation Area in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Practice Leave no Trace backcountry methods and heed Forest Service warnings, notices and closures (regarding bears, campfires and travel).
Camping & Lodging
Len Foote Hike Inn Len Foote Hike Inn
Camo Toad Millipede near "Woody Knob"AT Approach Trail Backpacking
The nearest trail shelter to “Woody Knob” is the Black Gap Shelter, about 2 miles northbound on the AT approach trail from “Woody Knob.”
Len Foote Hike Inn
This 20-room eco lodge provides small rooms with one 2-level bunk bed (adjoining rooms available), a clean bathhouse with running water and composting toilets, several comfortable common/social areas (inside and out) and delightful meals cooked by talented staff. Visit this site
to learn more.
Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge:
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources hosts a 56-room lodge within Amicalola Falls State Park. Visit this site
for more details.
A decent variety of lodging options can be found in nearby Dahlonega, GA, about 19 miles from the Amacalola Falls State Park entrance. Visit this Trip Advisor page
Dawsonville, Georgia, is only 16 miles away from the entrance to Amacalola Falls State Park. Visit this Trip Advisor page
Weather & Seasons
Misty Forest Moss and fungus Snakeroot Mayapple Bonanza
Spring and Fall are considered by many the most pleasant time to visit the Southern Appalachians.
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.
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.
Summers 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 mean limited long-range vistas, though it is in summer that the term “temperate rainforest” will have the most meaning to 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.