|Trail Length: 6.2 miles||Type of trail: Loop|
|County: Walker County, GA||Our rating: Moderate|
|Features: stream, historic||Your rating:|
|Usage: Light||Added on: October 22, 1997|
|Last hiked: October 18, 2007||Updated on: September 06, 2013|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Walker County, GA
The Chickamauga were a group of Cherokee Indians sometimes called "Lower Towns" or "River Towns." They came to this area after white settlers further east forced them to leave the land they called home. Their violent opposition to further white encroachment made this a dangerous area until the early 1800's, when men like Major Ridge began to change the Cherokee Nation.
Many of the creeks north of the trail flow into East Chickamauga Creek, which forms a major basin in the valley below Taylor and Dicks Ridge, which the footpath follows. The river played a significant role in the history of north Georgia. Completion of a railway bridge across the river, combined with a tunnel built at Tunnel Hill created the first rail connection to the West from the South. The bridge played a significant role in The Great Locomotive Chase. Later the name would be indelibly etched in the American memory when the bloodiest two days in our history were called "Chickamauga."
The trail itself is an excellent hike. Turkey, deer and skunk are easily spotted, as well as evidence of other animals and there was abundant growth indicating this would be a good springtime hike. The trail is a loop with two trailheads. The hike is described walking counter-clockwise from Ponder Creek Road.
Starting near the power lines, it climbs to Rocky Ridge. The trail meanders around second-growth hardwood coves reaching the top of the ridge near the power lines. The coves are filled with poplar at lower levels frequently giving way to hickory and oak near the tops. From Rocky Ridge the trail leaves the power lines (don't miss the blazes and continue to follow the power lines -- the power poles are marked at the top in black numbers on a yellow background. After the passing pole 125 turn left onto the trail) and climbs steadily to its highest point, the Tennessee Valley divide on Dicks Ridge. Rivers north of the divide(in this area, west in others) flow to the Mississippi. Rivers south of the divide flow to the Gulf.
Now the trail begins a downward trend to East Chickamauga Creek. This descent, which can be steep, follows switchbacks down the slope of Dicks Ridge. The path then turns south, along an old road that follows the creek upstream, crossing it repeatedly. The trail rises to cross the divide, then descends back to the starting point at Ponder Creek.
GeorgiaTrails thanks fellow hiker Oree Moore for making a significant contribution to this page.