Rich Mountain Wilderness

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Directions: From Blue Ridge

From Blue Ridge go South on Aska Rd. 8 miles and go right on Stanley Creek Rd. follow to end of pavement. The Forest Service land starts .1 miles after the pavement ends where you will find the 1st of many trails this one goes off to the right and leads to a picturesque waterfall.

Rich Mountain Wilderness

The Rich Mountains are remarkable because these mountains share with the Cohuttas a characteristic of deep, black porter's loam which results in spectacular wildflower displays. Of the13,276 acre Rich Mountains, 9,649 acres are wilderness with 3,627 acres of primitive back country that is not heavily used.

On ridges and slopes alike, you will discover lush summer herb growth and forests of basswood, ash, and black cherry trees. There is old growth timber south of Turniptown Mountain. North-facing coves have boulder fields and rare northern wildflowers at the southern limit of their range.

About 60 inches of rain fall here each year, May usually being the wettest month and April and July the driest.

Sites of old Indian camps can be found along the high ridgelines. Remnants of white settlements dating from about 1910 are just north of this range's namesake peak, Rich Mountain. The largest gold nugget ever found in Georgia came from a creek draining this area. Marble, which is mined at the famous quarries near Tate and Marble Hill, can also be found.

Elevation varies from approximately 2,000 feet near Little Rock Creek to 4,081 feet on Big Bald Mountain. High peaks and lookouts from the Old Road offer panoramic vistas after leaves fall. Rugged mountain terrain with rock outcrops and streams with many small waterfalls create a beautiful scenery.

Hikers exploring the Rich Mountains area should be experienced and carry topographical maps, compass, and other survival gear. Beware of the large bear population . Always let someone know your hiking plans and expected time of return.