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Duluth Massage

Bear Creek Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 6.4 miles Type of trail: Loop
County: Murray County, GA Our rating: E
Features: stream, special Your rating:
Usage: Added on: September 09, 1996
Last hiked: June 21, 2002 Updated on: February 01, 2009
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Hiking trails in Murray County, GA

Directions to Bear Creek Trail

This loop trail follows Bear Creek from a point off Forest Service Road 241, and features the second largest tree in North Georgia. The Gennett Poplar is named for the family who sold the land to the United State government.

Virgin forest is rare in the north Georgia mountains. The Bear Creek Trail contains what appears to be a never harvested section of land with trees so immense that they literally astound even the casual observer. Deep in this section of forest is the so-called Gennett poplar standing some 100 feet high and nearly twenty feet around. The tree is massive, and it alone is reason enough to try this hike.

From the small parking lot on Forest Service Road 241 there is a short path to the start of the loop. We normally hike this trail in a counterclockwise direction, mostly because it is easier this way and the trail is above average in length.

Along the trail are multiple stream crossings (I would normally call them "wet-foot" crossings, but they are well done.) There are some scenic views of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Wildlife is abundant, including some of the larger species, so be prepared to see larger animals including bear, especially during dry summers.

The blazes have been all but lost to time, and at a couple of the junctures we took wrong turns, so be careful. Starting at about .5 notice the size of the trees dramatically increases. This is the sign that you are approach the Gannett Poplar (.9 miles). Tulip poplar was a popular tree (no pun intended) with early settlers because it was quick growing and could be used to build cabins. At 1.0 mile, shortly after the Gannett Poplar, a trail comes off to the right. This is a shorter (3.1 miles) trail that loops, then rejoins the Bear Creek Trail. At this point the Bear Creek Trail continues straight along a old logging road. Further along is a "road closed" barricade (continue past this obstacle.) Then the path enters the woods, along Bear Creek, eventually coming out on Forest Service Road 68. From here the trail uses old logging roads to wind through the forest to return to the trailhead.

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Bear Creek Trail
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