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Dawson Forest

Dawson Forest is public forest consisting of more than 10,000 acres in Dawson County.  It is jointly administered by the City of Atlanta and the Georgia Forestry Commission.  The large forest is comprised of several tracts with various opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Directions:

Wildcat Tract:

The Wildcat Tract is located about 12 miles west of Dawsonville.  To visit this area, head west from Dawsonville on GA-136 for about 11 miles and turn left on Steve Tate Highway.  Go 2 miles and turn right onto Wildcat Campground Road and follow this gravel road just under a mile to the campground at the end.

Map:

Hiking:

Fall Creek Trail:

Length: 3.3 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Blaze: Gray

The Fall Creek Trail follows its namesake creek from the end of Wildcat Creek Trail to Tobacco Pouch Trail near the Monument Road access.  Almost immediately after the trail switches from Wildcat Creek to Fall Creek, the trail crosses Wildcat Creek.  This is a difficult creek crossing and ropes have been provided to assist hikers.  Right past the creek crossing, a spur trail leads to Fourth Waterfall on Fall Creek.  The trail then heads up and intersects with Tobacco Pouch Trail about a half-mile from the start.  Past here, the trail goes down into a cove and then heads back up.  The Third Waterfall on Fall Creek can be heard but not seen well from here.  There is another creek crossing just above the Third Waterfall and in another 3/4 of a mile, a short spur leads to Second Waterfall on Fall Creek.  I haven't hiked past Second Waterfall.

Rocky Ford Trail:

Length: 1.7 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Strenuous
Blaze: Red

The Rocky Ford Trail leads from Turner Trail upstream along its namesake creek, ending at Tobacco Pouch Trail.  From the intersection with Turner Trail, the trail heads steeply up to an intersection with Windy Ridge Trail.  First and Second Waterfalls on Rocky Ford Creek are right near this intersection.  I haven't hiked past this point on the trail.

Turner Trail:

Length: 1.7 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate
Blaze: Orange

The Turner Trail leads from the Turner Bridge over Amicalola River at the Wildcat Campground to the footbridge on Wildcat Creek.  About a quarter-mile from the footbridge on Wildcat Creek, the Rocky Ford Trail splits and heads up the ridge.

Wildcat Creek Trail:

Length: 1.5 miles (one way)
Difficulty: Moderate
Blaze: Green

The Wildcat Creek Trail follows its namesake creek from the Wildcat Campground to Fall Creek Trail.  From the campground, the trail crosses a bridge over the creek and follows the creek heading west along the embankment.  Most of the trail is pretty flat, except for a few spots requiring a bit of climbing over rocks.  Fencing is provided at the steep spots for hiker safety.  At just over 1 mile, there is a rock outcrop with water seeming to pour out of the rock and flow into the creek.  At 1.4 miles, there is a footbridge over Wildcat Creek to get on the Turner Trail.  Just past this bridge, the trail leads up and over a ridge and becomes Fall Creek Trail.

Waterfalls:

Fall Creek - Second Waterfall:

Fall Creek - Third Waterfall:

Fall Creek - Fourth Waterfall:

Rocky Ford Creek - First Waterfall:

Rocky Ford Creek - Second Waterfall:

External Links:

Mountain Stewards website: http://www.mountainstewards.org/

Photos:

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