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Duluth Massage

Dockery Lake Trail
Georgia Trails

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
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Lumpkin County, GA

Directions to Dockery Lake Trail

This trail requires a 3.4 mile hike to the Appalachian Trail. If you want to return to Dockery Lake, the hike 6.8 miles. The footpath rises to Miller Gap where it intersects with the First Trail.

Dockery Lake
So many of the trails that provide access to the Appalachian Trail are functional. In other words, they are access paths and little else. Dockery Lake is one of the few, in Georgia and further north, that not only provide access but are an interesting hike in and of themselves.

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.

Pages related to Dockery Lake Trail
Dockery Lake Trail
Directions to Dockery Lake Trail
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