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Smithgall Woods

Hike/Site Details

Hike Type
Length
15+
Trail Type
Choose your own path
Skill Level
Easy to Moderate
Duration
2-4 hours
Trailhead
Just inside the parking area, walking a straight line from the visitor's center to the parking lot, then trail starts as the road, 500 feet beyond parking area.
Top Elevation
2040 feet

Geographic Location

Latitude
34.69
Longitude
-83.77

Smithgall Woods is a short and relaxing getaway, that is surprisingly expanse compared to initial perception.  While main trails are representative of paved and gravel roads, there are a number of other side spur trails off of the road that will give you plenty of solitude for the mandatory USFS $5 parking fee.

 

Clocking in about 6 miles round trip, we went straight back on the Tsalaki Trail, passing some beautiful streams, mountain meadows, and a collection of honey bee hives just off the road, which could be heard and seen buzzing about in that area, with abundant caution signs warning people to stay back.  Passing the covered bridge, the road turns to gravel.  The sides of the road being frequented by pavillions and picnic tables here and there and a beautiful covered bridge.  Past the bridge the road turns to gravel and provides access to the tower road trail (The highest point in the park) and the remarkably short wetlands trail.  At the 2.1 mile mark, the Martin Mine trail spurs off to the left, and documents the gold mining ambitions of the area.

While, you can no longer see any buildings, unnatural piles of quarried stone and other geologic oddities can be seen evidencing the activity in the area.  Of particular interest to me, was the 3 mine shafts, one of which is still open and can be peered down into.  You can see the layout of how they would have mined with mining cars going into the mountain laterally and up under the shafts.  The area is completely been overtaken by vegetation now, but the damage to the mountain can still be seen.  Quite an interesting and beautiful hike indeed.  Highly recommended.

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Editor reviews

 
Smithgall Woods 2011-11-02 15:14:38 Shane Lewis
Overall rating 
 
2.9
Trail Conditions 
 
5.0
Camp Sites 
 
1.0
Water Availability 
 
5.0
Scenery 
 
3.0
Big Nuts Tilt 
 
1.0
Reviewed by Shane Lewis    November 02, 2011
Last updated: February 18, 2012
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews

Smithgall Woods

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