Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,267.00 ft (995.78 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
16.00 mi (25.75 km)
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Fort Mountain State Park, located in the Cohutta Mountains near Chatsworth Georgia, is a hiker's paradise with truly beautiful trails spanning all fitness and experience levels. As far as backcountry hiking goes, the Gahuti Trail is very popular, and deservedly so. However, if you’ve done the Gahuti and are looking for a little something more, consider hiking the 301.

The 301 Trail is not for the faint of heart. The 301 is much more remote than the Gahuti—the Gahuti never seems to stray too far from a park road access. The 301, on the other hand, circles much closer toward the outer edges of the park, requiring hikers to be better prepared to handle any emergency situation themselves. While the Gahuti tends to be a singletrack, the 301 is generally a wider, more rocky double track. The heart-pumping elevation gains on 301 are also significantly more than those on the Gahuti. The infamously dreadful power line climb on the 301 climbs about 1,000 feet in less than 1 mile—or if you’re looking for the easy way out, you can hike the 301 clockwise and do a power line descent.

Also of great interest are the cascading waterfalls of Hassler’s Mill Creek that you will encounter near the beginning of your hike, assuming you hike the loop in the counter-clockwise direction. While hikers of the Gahuti Trail are privileged to see just the very beginning of these cascades, hikers of the 301 are privileged to bask the in the full whitewater splendor for about 2 miles as the trail descends almost 1,000 feet.

For those who love a challenge, shortly after leaving Hassler’s Mill Creek, turn left onto the 302 Trail. You will climb a series of switchbacks for 0.7 miles, gaining about 600 feet of elevation to reach the Cool Springs Overlook Area—truly a must see, especially on a sunny day. When you can pry yourself away from the glorious views, head back down the way you came to the 301, turning left on the 301, and continue.

As you start heading south toward the dreaded power-line climb, pay attention to trail signs because there will be multiple intersections with the 400, 401, 403 horse trails.

If you are so inclined, enjoy the 301 as a multi-day trip. Backcountry camping, by permit only, is accessible to the 301. Four backcountry campsite locations exist on the Gahuti Trail. Campsites #1, #2, and #3 are easily to reach from the 301 via short connector trails.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Steep climbs. Peace and solitude. Beautiful overlook. Cascading waterfalls.

Cons

Steep climbs. Remote. Rocky.

Trailhead Elevation

2,771.00 ft (844.60 m)

Highest point

2,771.00 ft (844.60 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Near lake or river
Wildlife
Waterfalls
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Biking

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

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