Travel Trivia

Rock Rock Baby BLACK ROCK

[aka] a tour of Black Rock Mountain State Park


By the time I was walking, I was already an avid rock collector . . . and I’ve been picking up bits n pieces from all the places I visit ever since . . . overflowing bowls scatter my home and offer memories of places and times long past, but not forgotten.

So when I was looking for a camping spot in Georgia and came across BLACK ROCK MOUNTAIN . . . well . . . hellooo . . . you had me at Black Rock!  and am I ever glad I stumbled on that, because I really liked it . . . and decided to share [ big grin ]

BLACK ROCK MOUNTAIN State Park sits atop the Georgia Blue Ridge Parkway . . .

It is the highest State Park in Georgia at an elevation of 3640 feet and encompasses 1,743 acres. Spectacular views of the Southern Appalachians can be seen from several scenic overlooks, and hiking trails ranging in difficulty and distance [ from .10 to 7.2 miles ] offer an up close and personal opportunity for all levels . . . you can get the skinny on each trail below . . .

The summit boasts amazing views, picnic tables, a visitors center [check out the Appalachian log cabin display] and gift shop. And gives you a great example of the biotite gneiss . . . umm . . . yes, I just call it black rock.

Further along the road lies a cluster of 10 2 and 3 bedroom cottages surrounding a playground that are popular rental spots for families. Also available are 38 campsites for tents, rvs or trailers, 4 backcountry campsites and 11 walk-in campsites, along with a Pioneer campground with 4 shelters that can accommodate up to 50 people.
There’s also a well stocked lake that recently started allowing canoes, kayaks and other small boats to enjoy, and the Turtle Rock fishing pier near Taylors Chapel Road offers easy access for for those with mobility challenges.

” And the best part is pets are welcome in most of these spots . . . yay YIPPY yay.

A little birdie told me there’s a cable company tower on the mountain that provides the wifi in the Mellinger center [which I discovered can be used from the porch rocking chairs even after hours] and cable tv hook ups at the campsites . . . helloo!

As you can imagine, because of the elevation, it’s a steep climb for legs and wheels alike . . . if you plan on hauling a bigger rig up there, I’d advise calling ahead to verify feasibility.

Here’s a map of the whole shebang . . .


And you can watch this narrated video I took when I stayed there, it takes you on a ride around the entire park . . . [you’re welcome]


GPS 34*54’34”N / 83*24’54”W
DRIVING 3 miles N of Clayton, in Mountain City on US 441N turn onto Black Rock Mountain Parkway.
ADDRESS 3085 Black Rock Mountain Parkway, Mountain City, GA, 30562, USA
PHONE USA + 706-746-2141
RESERVATIONS reserve america 

I didn’t forget . . . here’s the trail and hiking information:

James E. Edmond Trail (Backcountry)

7.2 mile loop – rated difficult to strenuous – avg. travel time 4 hours
Compacted natural soil surface
Min width is 18 inches
Avg X-slope 10% – Max 30%/200LF
The 7.2-mile James E. Edmonds Backcountry Trail, named in honor of one of the park’s first rangers, offers both day hiking and backcountry camping. This trail is quite steep in a number of places and is rated as “moderate to strenuous.” In laurel-filled coves, the trail follows cascading streams with small waterfalls. In the northernmost section of the park, the trail climbs to the summit of Lookoff Mountain and offers a stunning vista of Wolffork Valley and surrounding mountain ranges. Backcountry Camping by Permit Only. Camping allowed on four designated campsites. See map for exact locations. Advance reservations required. Call 1-800-864-7275.

Black Rock Lake Trail

0.85 mile loop – rated easy – avg. travel time 30 minutes
Compacted natural soil surface / gravel / bark
Min width is 60 inches
Avg grade 5% – Max 10%
The loop around scenic Black Rock Lake, completed in 2007, is a wonderful addition to the park’s trail system. The 17-acre lake is unspoiled by development and is rimmed by forests of white pine and yellow poplar. The gently rolling 0.85-mile loop is rated “easy” and is perfectly suited for beginners. Wooden bridges cross Taylor Creek and Greasy Creek, the two cascading streams that feed Black Rock Lake, and an 80-foot bridge spans Cricket Cove on the lake’s southwest corner. A wheelchair-accessible pier adjacent Turtle Rock and a 160-foot wooden boardwalk allow anglers a chance to fish for bass, bream, catfish, yellow perch and rainbow trout. In addition, several tables along shady Taylor Creek offer the perfect location for a creek-side picnic.
ADA Hi Falls Trail
0.25 mile – rated moderate to difficult – avg. travel time 30 minutes
Compacted natural soil surface
Min width 36”
Avg grade 25% – Max 58% / 30 LF
Avg X-slope 10% – Max 10% / 300LF

The ADA Hi Falls Trail provides a delightful but challenging walk into an outstanding example of a moist, north-slope Appalachian cove. The trail features mature hardwoods, lichen-covered rocks, a variety of ferns and wildflowers, and a dense thicket of rhododendron. At the trail’s end is the observation platform for noisy ADA Hi Falls, a small cascade typical of those found at the higher elevations throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.
NOTE: Durng dry weather, water flow is often reduced to a trickle.

Norma Campbell Cove Trail

0.10 mile loop – rated easy to moderate – avg travel time 30 minutes
Compacted natural soil surface
This is the park’s newest trail which is named after the late Norma Campbell, a popular park naturalist who first proposed the development of the Marie Mellinger Center. The 0.10-mile scenic trail begins at the Center on the southern edge of the Eastern Continental Divide and descends into the upper reaches of a densely-wooded, south-facing cove. Hikers pass by huge rock outcrops framed by ferns, mayapple and trillium and will see gurgling springs that flow down the cove into Stekoa Creek, one of the principal tributaries of the federally-designated “wild and scenic” Chattooga River. Several log benches allow hikers to relax in the shade and enjoy this lush Appalachian hollow.

Tennessee Rock Trail

2.2 mile loop -rated moderate to difficult – avg travel time 90 minutes
Compacted natural soil surface
Min width 18 inches
Avg grade 10% – max 25% / 200LF
Avg X-slope 10% – max 25% / 50LF

The yellow-blazed 2.2-mile Tennessee Rock Trail, winding its way through some of the highest and lushest forests, is the park’s most popular hiking trail. Rated by experienced hikers as “easy to moderate,” the trail offers most visitors a perfect opportunity to get better acquainted with the area’s rich woodlands and vistas, that on clear days span over 80 miles into the neighboring states of both North and South Carolina, as well as Tennessee. The effects from an EF-2 tornado are clearly visible on the trail’s western edge, as hikers begin the climb to Black Rock Mountain’s summit. While the damage to the forest is saddening to an extent, downed trees have enhanced vistas at several points along the trail and opened the thick woods for new growth.


Hikers wanting to learn more about the special forest ecology of the Southern Appalachians may wish to purchase a copy of An interpretive guide to the Tennessee Rock Trail available at the visitor center or campground trading post. The text in this 32 page illustrated booklet corresponds to 25 numbered posts located along the trail. In addition to information about the park’s natural history, it features interesting facts about the early pioneer and North American life, as well as Appalachian geology, geography and climate information.
It serves as an excellent intro to Black Rock Mountain State Park and the surrounding area. Hikers using this guide will quickly learn that there’s a lot more to be found along the trail than just trees and discover the Appalachian boulderfield, an actual remnant of the great ice age. The quarter mile area along the Blue Ridge Mountain backbone, following the Eastern Continental Divide, separates rainfall flowing eastward towards the Savannah River and the Atlantic Ocean from rainfall trending westward toward the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
When the weather is clear , hikers on the Tennessee Rock Trail can see Georgia’s Brasstown Bald and Clingman’s Dome in Tennessee.

*CrazyLadyCrankyDog LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

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