View Full Version : Duncan Ridge-AT-Mackaye Loop

10-03-2013, 17:38
I'm looking for backup multiday hikes in north Georgia or western North Carolina if I can't do the AT-Benton Mackaye loop I planned in GSMNP next week. Does anyone have recent details on the loop formed by the Duncan Ridge and southern ends of the AT and Benton Mackeye? I've searched and can't find many details, especially current info. I understand the Duncan Ridge has a lot of steep ups and downs and has iffy water sources. Should there be adequate water this month after the wet summer? Some dated accounts say the Duncan Ridge Trail is overgrown and hard to follow; others say the opposite. Some say the big loop is about 55 miles, others up to 65 miles - maybe the longer estimates include the little loops formed by the first sections of the AT and Mackaye? How many days for the hike - I've read accounts of anywhere from 4 to 10 days.
I'm also looking at hikes in the Cohutta and other wilderness areas in north Georgia; any recommendations for specific hikes in Cohutta, Big Frog or other places nearby? I have the Trails Illustrated maps for north Georgia and the book "Hiking Georgia," which barely mentions Cohutta and Duncan Ridge; I don't have "Hiking Trails of North Georgia" and would buy it except it hasn't been updated in years and I'm hoping for a new edition soon.
Thanks for any help.

10-03-2013, 19:27
It is called the Georgia loop and it is a butt kicker. I day hiked/ran it a couple of years ago. The loop alone is roughly 50 miles with about 15k of elevation gain. The Duncan ridge trail is "special". See http://postholer.com/journal/viewJournal.php?sid=ebeea1cd157086f0b50075417ee46c f0&entry_id=20576 for my summary of the day. Have fun.