You have probably passed this park many times on US-23 passing between Atlanta and Western North Carolina, but Black Rock Mountain State Park is definitely worth stopping for, and it offers several trails of varying intensities. Black Rock Mountain is Georgia’s highest elevation park, and it offers great views to those who wish to explore her forests and mountain tops.
Fall comes to the park in the middle of October, and it lasts about a month, offering an explosion of colors from top to bottom. The trees species vary from eastern hemlock, yellow poplar, and American beech. For prime colors, keep an eye on the strength of the summer, as an abnormally hot one can push back the autumn colors by a week or more.
The trail leaves from the same parking lot as the James Edmonds backcountry trail, which offers campsites if you want to stay out of civilization for a night (reservation only). Turn left at the sign to choose the Tennessee Rock Trail, which offers a 2.2-mile loop that can be completed in either direction. To save the overlook and best views for the end, it’s recommended to do the loop counterclockwise. Along the way you will see wildflowers in spring and moss covered rocks along the hillside on your way to the summit.
Black Rock Mountain summit is forested, and it is marked with an engraved stone slab with the elevation. Depending on the time of year, there may be gaps in the tree cover that allow for views to the left and right from the ridge. The best view will be from the Tennessee Rock Overlook, which is signed and offers places to sit for a nice break. The loop concludes soon after, and it returns to the junction you found at the start of the hike.