These excellent car camping spots at Three Forks are situated close to some of the best hiking trails in North Georgia at the convergence of three beautiful, rushing trout streams.
For many outdoor lovers, the draw of spending the night in a tent under the wide open star-filled skies is strong… sometimes as little as a single night camping in the forest is enough to escape the stress and routine of city life, and mentally reset in the wild beauty of nature. And while some prefer the organized, planned layout of a campground, we prefer the serenity and privacy of open sites on National Forest land in North Georgia, far away from the generators, loud families, and playgrounds of the typical campground.
And for the open woods experience without the effort or time of a backpacking trip, there are plenty of open campsites situated along Forest Service roads in the Chattahoochee National Forest in North Georgia. One of our car camping sites is situated a short walk from some of the most awesome, best hiking opportunities in North Georgia along a Forest Road just east of Ellijay, Georgia at the convergence of three trout streams in an area named Three Forks. The primitive campsites at Three Forks along Forest Road 58 are sheltered by beautiful forest of Rhodedendron, hemlock, poplar, and oak – and line the loud, rushing Noontoola Creek as it rolls over the rocky river bed in a series of waterfalls.
You’ll be camping around a mile from the convergence of the Benton McKaye Trail and the famed Appalachian Trail – making these camp sites an excellent base camp for day hikes along either of these popular hiking trails. Check out the hike along the Appalachian Trail to Long Creek Falls, a 2 mile out-and-back hike to a beautiful, multi-tiered waterfall along the Appalachian Trail. Or hike along the Appalachian Trail southbound from Three Forks to Springer Mountain, the Southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The trailhead for both of these hikes is located on Forest Road 58 at the GPS coordinates 34.671271,-84.191725.
Camping is allowed in dedicated campsites only – look for parking spaces off the road and existing fire rings. The sites are primitive – offering no amenities other than the stone fire rings – but offer the ultimate in beauty in the surrounding Chattahoochee National Forest and the tumbling Noontoola Creek that runs beside the camp sites.
The moss-lined, roaring creek cascades down in small waterfalls along many of the sites – providing great background noise at night for sound sleeping in the forest.
The campsites here are set back from the Forest Service Road far enough for decent privacy – and are very generously spaced from other sites (some as far as a half mile from other sites).
Getting there: from Atlanta, take 75 North to 575 towards Ellijay. In Ellijay, turn right onto the ramp to GA 52. At the foot of the ramp, turn left to head East on 52, and travel 4.75 miles to Big Creek Road. Follow Big Creek Road for 15 miles (.4 miles after the pavement ends) and take a right on Forest Road 58. After passing several residences on FR58, enter the Blue Ridge Wildlife Managment Area of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Campsites will be visible along the Noontoola Creek, which winds to the right side of FR 58.
GPS coordinates: 34.671271,-84.191725.
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