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Fannin County Georgia Hiking Trails

Wildlife Opening Trail

Via Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail and Duncan Ridge Trail

Length: 4.4
Rating: Easy
Use: Moderate

The Wildlife Opening Trail is an easy walk with fantastic views, beautiful cascading waterfalls, and peaceful fishing.

The Wildlife Opening Trail utilizes a part of the world famous Appalachian Trail (AT), a National Scenic Trail, and a portion of the combined Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail and the Benton MacKaye Trail, a general forest trail. Other attractions are Long Creek Falls, the view at the top, fishing and camping opportunities and the magnificent hemlocks at Three Forks.

An in-and-back trail walk, Wildlife Opening Trail begins on north side of road on AT alongside Long Creek. There are three short ascents before reaching blue-blazed side trail to falls at 1.1 miles. The blue-blazed Duncan Ridge Trail and white diamond blazed Benton MacKaye Trail turn northwest above falls. The first one-half mile beyond falls and across Long Creek on USFS bridge is flat through large laurel-rhododendron thicket. The second half mile is an ascent to a large wildlife opening at the top. Return to parking area back along same trail. No motorized vehicles allowed on trail. Trail designed for day hikers, not recommended for horses.

Directions from Blue Ridge, Georgia:

Travel east (toward Blairsville, GA) on GA Hwy 515, approx. 0.8 miles past intersection with GA Hwy 5. Turn Right at Windy Ridge Rd., go 0.2 miles to dead end with Old U.S. 76. Turn left, go 0.2 miles to Aska Road. Turn right onto Aska Road, go to end (13.5 miles). Turn right onto Newport Read, go 4.5 miles to end. Turn left onto Doublehead Gap Road, cross a concrete bridge and cone onto dirt-gravel read. Continue 0.3 miles to intersection with dirt-gravel USFS Read 58 from right. Turn onto USFS 58 and continue east into forest and uphill 6.5 miles to Three Forks. Noontootla Creed, a trout stream, is on right as you ascend.

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