|Trail Length: 6.8 miles||Type of trail: In and out|
|County: Lumpkin County, GA||Our rating: Moderate|
|Features: stream, picnicking, fishing, camping, ATaccess||Your rating:|
|Usage: Light||Added on: January 01, 1996|
|Last hiked: March 16, 2011||Updated on: June 28, 2011|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Lumpkin County, GA
The trailhead is a set of stairs that rise from the Dockery Lake Parking Area, and immediately begin climbing. This portion of the path has a lot of loose gravel which can be difficult, especially on the return trip. The first climb is straight and up, and once at the top the path descends just as quickly, at times running alongside and in a creekbed. Slightly more than halfway down is the first crossing of Pruitt(?) Creek, which parallels and occasionally crosses Dockery Lake Trail.
Large boulders make this a comfortable sitting area, and the nearby scenes are pretty. When we walk this trail in late Summer, the creek is normally dry, however, during the Spring this crossing is normally a rock hop. From this point the trail continues an easy descent into a level plain that features a widely diverse plant and tree community. The area maintains an unusual coolness, making this an excellent hike during a hot summer day.
As the trail turns to the left it begins the ascent to Miller Gap. There is a brief strenuous climb that becomes easier during the ascent, which is different than all the other AT access trails which reach moderate to strenuous levels just before the top. Small cascades on one of the creeks that are visible from the path. There is an excellent scenic view of a valley rising to peaks.
As you continue the climb to Miller Gap, notice the change in scenery. As you climb away from the well-watered level plain (I call it a valley) the plant life diminishes and trees become more abundant. Near Miller Gap the path becomes nearly level. Miller Gap, at just over 3,000 feet, is one of the lower spots on the AT.
We re-hiked the trail because of reports to GeorgiaTrails of downed trees and poor markings. Both reports are correct, although it was apparent that some work had been done to cut trees and reopen the path. Some of the markings are now gone, while others are hard to find.
A Forest Service campground surrounds the lake, with 11 campsites. Each campsite has a table and tent pad. There is a day-use picnic area with 6 tables. Both the hiking trail and campsites are lightly used. The campground is open from April to October. Check with the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest rangers for exact dates and times.