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  1. #1
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    Default Hog Pen Gap to Unicoi Gap

    A group of us are hiking the AT in Georgia. Most of us are 60+ and the longest section we had done is Neel's Gap to Hogpen Gap.

    Our next section is Hog Pen Gap to Unicoi, 13.4 miles.

    I'm tryiung to break it up into 3 parts.

    1. Hog Pen th Low Gap (in that area)
    2. Low Gap to Chattahoochee Gap/Jacks Knob Trail
    3. Jacks Knob Trail/Chattahoochee to Unicoi Gap.

    The part I need help on is the Low Gap area.

    Does anyone know of a forest service road that is open to within a mile to a mile and 1/2 of the AT around Low Gap.

    I see something on the map called Chattahoochee River Rd. It looks like it gets within that range. Has anybody tried to access the AT from there?

    Ideas?

    Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2

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    the old road bed through low gap was actually a renegade project on the part of some of the CCC boys that wanted to extend the Blue Ridge Parkway into Georgia. they got scolded. you could walk it out to 180, but i don't think it can be driven. it makes up a good bit of the AT trail through that area and its interesting to look at the construction techniques. i would camel up your water at low gap, then continue up short hill to a campsite at the peak. and instead of staying at jacks trail (chatahoochee gap, good water and the headwaters of the river), i'd continue up to blue mtn shelter, great views, even if you tent without staying in the shelter. water there is steady, but is downhill from the privy, a practice i've never agreed with. it would make your first days a little more milage, with a little less miles on your third day, giving you more time to shoot into helen for a beer (if thats your thing) these are just my opinions, i like to camp at the peaks, not in the valleys.

    if you're parking two vehicles? at hog pen and unicoi, why do you need to drive into low gap? is this a "just in case" for a bail out?

  3. #3

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    I vaguely remember a number of years ago hiking from the top of Horse Trough Falls up to the AT somewhere around Chattahoochee Gap. I have no idea if you can still do that. Access to Horse Trough Falls is via FSR44 which is the so-called Chattahoochee River Road. You might check with the Forrest Service for Chattahoochee - Oconee National Forrest. There were some washouts earlier this year due to the heavy rains, and the road may still be closed. I am also puzzled why you would need to know of access between Unicoi and Hogpen. On a related topic, I am still upset with the forest service for building a paved campground near the base of the falls– it's supposed to be a Wilderness (Mark Tralls). The explanation given was that it was to protect the Hootch from contamination by campers. After it was built people painted graffiti on the restrooms and tore siding off of the building, probably for firewood. Last time I went through, about a year ago, there was a padlocked gate across the campground entrance. I used to take my children camping there, now it’s practically paved over. Sad.

  4. #4

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    almost all of what goes on concerning the hooch, is controlled by the corps of engineers, and there is a huge battle between georgia, alabama, and florida over water rights thats been ongoing for years. the explaination i have been given for the same types of paving is that they don't want storm run off to enter the river, curbing and paving channels the water into a different system for treatment. that allow local towns to have the storm water.

  5. #5

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    They were concerned that campers might use the river for a restroom. So, they obtained funding and built the facilities right beside the river. And, instead of hauling it out, the campers clogged the facilities with their trash. So, they padlocked the facilities. So, the campers used the ground around the outside walls of the facilities for a restroom. Then the rains washed the waste into the river. Then the forest service reallocated the funding to their pensions.

  6. #6
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    dbCanoe,
    The GATC uses an unmarked side trail to get into Low Gap shelter for work trips. It is difficult to find the end point on the FS road. Not sure why this is of importance to you. Are you trying to do this as day hikes? It is a tough 2.5 miles on Jacks Knob Trail to get to the parking area at the base of Brasselton. I used to maintain the section from Jack's Knob to the campsite below Blue Mtn. If you are going to be camping, I would suggest hiking past Chattahoochee Gap another mile. There are 2 really nice campsites that are flat and near springs. It is an easy hike from Chattahoochee Gap to the campsites. If you are doing day hikes, contact the GATC organization and see if they can give you directions to the Low Gap Shelter maintenance trail.
    ----------------
    SMHC Trail Maintainer
    Volunteer in the Park (VIP) GSMNP

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    * Brasstown
    ----------------
    SMHC Trail Maintainer
    Volunteer in the Park (VIP) GSMNP

  8. #8
    Registered User Coosa's Avatar
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    You can locate the FS Road referenced above on the National Forest Map of the Chattahoochee National Forest. I used to maintain Sheep Rock top to Low Gap before the Re-Lo (yes, in the dark ages). The area is where the FS road makes a hairpin curve. There was a small camping area where I parked near the "hidden" overgrown trail up to Poplar Stomp Gap --- there is a Locked Gate there but a vehicle can't drive but a few 100 feet before there's no more "road" --- The trail enters Poplar Stomp Gap on the side trail from the AT to the water source --- which is interesting because the CCC build a lovely stone wall/viaduct that no one sees unless hiking in from that trail.

    Back in the day, I was known to bring in Trail Angeling Treats (in aluminum cans & on ice) to Low Gap Shelter using the trail in question. ;-)

    Enjoy your hike.

    Get the National Forest map -- a good FS road off of GA 17/75 that goes up to Tray Mountain Gap is also on that Map (there is more than one FS road up to Tray Mountain - one closer to Helen, but it's 4 WD only! Has some "tank traps" on it.) the one I'm suggesting is used by horse trailers & hunters & has some camping areas on it. Corbin Creek Road! Just North of the little bridge over Corbin Creek. There's a "Y" intersection and the dirt FS road --- Corbin Creek Rd -- is on the right of the "Y"

    There is a way to Indian Grave Gap too but I've never taken that FS road personally. Was in a 4 WD that drove up there. I believe you can get to "The Cheese Factory" via one or another of those FS roads. (Cheese Factory spring/stream was intermittent in the past but with the rain we're having right now should be full.)

    Also there's a road into Addis Gap area from both the Hiawassee side and the Clayton side. From the Hiawassee side, it's paved at the start -- West Mill Creek Road (opposite Owl Creek Rd which is also off GA 180 to Brasstown Bald) -- and the maps MAY show it crossing the AT but it doesn't in reality.

    It's been 10 + years since I've been there --- funny how my mind recalls it -- whenever you hike over Kelly Knob, between Unicoi Gap and Dicks Creek Gap, check for the resident Rattle Snake usually curled up beside the tree near the top of the Knob.

    Have a great hike --
    Coosa
    Http://ChasingTheTrail.blogspot.com

    ;-)

  9. #9
    Registered User canoe's Avatar
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    call josh at hiker hostel in dahlonega GA. He is up there everyday and could tell you everything you need to know

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    Many thanks for the suggestions. Some of you have asked why I want to break it up and OX97 got it right. We are trying to day hike it into 3 seperate hikes. We did an in and out from Hogpen to Sheep Top last Saturday, 8 miles round trip but only 4 miles ot AT checked off.

    I was thinking we could hike from
    1. Hogpen to Low Gap and somehow get off to parked cars within a mile or so.
    2. From Jacks to Chattahooche Gap to Low Gap and use the same exit as before.
    3. Then from Jacks to Chattachooche Gap to Unicoi Gap.
    The unknow is where to park the cars close to Low Gap.
    Can someone give me directions?

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    Thanks Canoe, I'll give Josh a call.

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    Hey Cossa, Are you talking about a road to the west of the AT or to the east? I found one that becomes Low Gap road on down the mountain, but when I tried to drive to it, it was posted.
    On the east side I see Chattahooche River Road and Poplar Stump Road. The Chattachoohe River Road has a hairpin curve, is that where the trail begins?

    Thanks for you help.

    Don

  13. #13
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    there is an old road that has a "tank trap" about a mile from Low Gap shelter. To access it from the trail you'd turn in the opposite direction from Low Gap shelter. i.e. left if northbound or right if southbound. The road's not in the best of shape, but it is doable if you don't mind a bit of mud or passible scratches from branches.
    Dyslexics Untie!

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    That is the best news I have heard on the subject. You say that the road is about a mile from the Low Gap shelter. Is it a mile from the trail? And do you know where it comes out? Are you referring to a road called Low Gap road on some maps?

    Many thanks

    dccanoe

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    Hey Hill Ape,
    I was actually trying to make it into day hikes. The club hikes one Saturday a month. I was trying to find a way out at Low Gap, so we could hike from Hogpen to Low Gap and go home. Then next month hike in from 180 on Jack's to the AT at Chattahooche Gap to Low Gap and go home. Last leg, 180, Jacks to Chattachoohe Gap to Unicoi Gap.
    With that in mind, can you suggest where we could find this road around Low Gap?

    Thanks

    dccanoe

  16. #16
    El Sordo
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    Quote Originally Posted by dccanoe View Post
    That is the best news I have heard on the subject. You say that the road is about a mile from the Low Gap shelter. Is it a mile from the trail? And do you know where it comes out? Are you referring to a road called Low Gap road on some maps?

    Many thanks

    dccanoe
    yes. it's about one mile from the AT. when hiking north on the AT, you turn right into Low Gap shelter. you'd turn left at that same point to hike out on the remains of the old road to the bulldozed part where you have to park.
    Dyslexics Untie!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by dccanoe View Post
    Hey Hill Ape,
    I was actually trying to make it into day hikes. The club hikes one Saturday a month. I was trying to find a way out at Low Gap, so we could hike from Hogpen to Low Gap and go home. Then next month hike in from 180 on Jack's to the AT at Chattahooche Gap to Low Gap and go home. Last leg, 180, Jacks to Chattachoohe Gap to Unicoi Gap.
    With that in mind, can you suggest where we could find this road around Low Gap?

    Thanks

    dccanoe
    Hi dccanoe. I am planning day hikes on the AT through GA and am wondering if you were successful in finding a way to break up the Hogpen to Unicoi stretch? Thanks

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by HurleyTJordan View Post
    Hi dccanoe. I am planning day hikes on the AT through GA and am wondering if you were successful in finding a way to break up the Hogpen to Unicoi stretch? Thanks



    thread is 7 years old, with OP's last response in 2014.......

    and only activity on this board is in this thread......

    kinda doubt OP is still around....

    but, maybe someone else has the answer....

  19. #19

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    If anyone has info that would be great. Thanks.

  20. #20

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    We hiked from Tesnatee Gap to Unicoi recently. Hiking north, there is a short climb up from Tesnatee Gap to the turnoff to Whitley Gap Shelter at the beginning of this section, and a steep, rocky climb down from the top of Blue Mountain to Unicoi Gap at the end of this section. In between the trail mostly follows an old logging road along the ridge. 15 miles total, 13 of which are the smoothest hiking of the Georgia section.

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