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Duluth Massage

Mathis Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 1.0 miles Type of trail: Loop
County: Hall County, GA Our rating: E
Features: visitors center, stream, bathrooms Your rating:
Usage: Medium Added on: June 22, 2001
Last hiked: November 22, 2015 Updated on: January 02, 2016
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Hall County, GA

Directions to Mathis Trail

Mathis Trail is a 1.0 mile wide, well-marked loop trail that takes you through a diverse hardwood forest, crossing creeks 3 times and climbing to an "overlook" that is probably best viewed in Winter or early Spring. Our mileage is slightly longer than that listed at Elachee Nature Science Center because of small portions of other trails that are required to reach the Mathis Loop.

For years we have gone past the brown Elechee Nature Center signs that stand on either side of I-985 south of Gainesville, Georgia. What a surprise! In addition to the nature center we found well-developed, well-marked hiking trails that wind through the extensive watershed of Elachee Creek.

Bridge at Elachee Creek
To hike the Mathis Loop we entered the trailhead parking area after crossing I-85. The lot ends in a circle, and at the southern end of the lot is a sign with trail information. Maps of both the short and long trails are in screw-top canisters at the bottom of each board. We strongly recommend obtaining a map for this hike.

To access the Mathis Loop follow the West Lake Trail for .15 miles to the Lake Loop/Mathis Connector off to the right. Take this path to the rain shelter, bear right and you are on the Mathis Loop. At the intersection with the Walnut Creek Trail there is another "you are here" map we found helpful because the distances on the map are somewhat out of scale. Up to this point we have been walking on a ridge above the Elachee Creek watershed. This second-growth forest is both diverse and abundant for a ridge, but the loud traffic from nearby I-85 was intrusive.

Then the trail began a staired, switched-back descent to the first crossing of Elachee Creek. As you make the descent the traffic noise abates and you enter a serene world of nature. Elachee Creek provides water for the plants and trees; near the bottom of the hill the quantity and variety of plants and trees is overwhelming. The overlook is a quick two-step climb directly across from the bridge. When we visited in mid-Spring trees blocked the view. A dual path continues to the second bridge across Elachee Creek. After the bridge the path begins the climb to the top of the ridge and returns to the parking lot.


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