|Trail Length: 5.5 miles||Type of trail: Point to Point|
|County: Union County, GA||Our rating: D|
|Features: visitors center, scenic, picnicking, bathrooms||Your rating:|
|Usage: Light||Added on: October 12, 1996|
|Last hiked: September 20, 2011||Updated on: October 14, 2011|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Union County, GA
Track Rock Gap was the site of the Cherokee village of "Brasstown," from which the Georgia High Point took its name. Although the peak and the village's name is based on a misunderstanding between the Cherokee who lived in this area and nearby settlers, the name Brasstown has stood the test of time.
Near Track Rock Road the Arkaquah River and its tributaries drain a relatively small watershed. It is from this river that the trail draws its name.
Walking from Brasstown Bald the trail is essentially downhill, and the only three significant uphill climbs (Low Gap, Cove Gap and an unnamed hill near the start of the trail) are all less than a quarter mile each. Arkaquah Trail begins at the base of Brasstown Bald, not the top, and the first leg is essentially a "roller coaster" up and down unnamed peaks to Chimneytop Mountain.
During a recent hike we realized that Chimney Top is not the highest point on the trail. That comes shortly after leaving the Brasstown Bald parking lot. From this point until the descent to Track Rock Gap, scenic views abound. After crossing Chimneytop the trail drops to an unnamed gap, rises briefly, then begins to fall again. At this point the descent brings you below the 4000' mark and remains below this level for the rest of the journey. The descent from Chimneytop leads to Low Gap, then the path begins a well-paced climb. At the end of this climb turn around to see the bluff of ridge. Now following Locust Log Ridge it is an easy pace downhill over the next .9 miles into Cove Gap. From this point it is another well-paced climb to Buzzard Roost Ridge. This ridge forms the end and west side of the Arkaqua River watershed, which can be seen to the south. Locust Log Mountain forms the east side of this watershed.
After you leave this narrow ridge the trail descends quickly, but is not difficult, over the last 1.5 miles. Total change in elevation is more than 2100'. The end of the trail is near Track Rock. Arkaquah is a ridge trail and has little water. On windy days the ridge tops can be difficult to walk and rapid changes in weather occur during all seasons except summer. During the spring this trail is especially nice, featuring a number of native wildflowers and flowering bushes.
Picnicking is available at the Brasstown Bald end of the trail. There is a small parking area at Track Rock Gap.