Camp the beautiful Three Forks campsites in a beautiful trout steam valley near the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.
Overnighting in a tent under star-filled skies is a great escape from city life and a chance to de-stress 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, RVs, 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 gravel forest service roads in North Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest. The Three Forks camping sites are a short walk from some of the most awesome, best hiking opportunities in North Georgia. Three Forks is a fern and rhododendron-filled valley at the convergence of three trout streams along a Forest Road just east of Ellijay.
A beautiful forest of rhododendron, hemlock, poplar, and oak shelter the campsites at Three Forks. Nearby, Noontootla Creek rushes and tumbles as it rolls over the rocky river bed in a series of waterfalls.
The Three Forks Campsites
The Three Forks camping sites are situated 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 the hike the Appalachian Trail southbound from Three Forks to Springer Mountain, the southernmost end of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia.
Camping is permitted in dedicated campsites only, designated by signs. 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 Noontootla Creek that runs beside the camp sites. And the sites are first-come, first-camp, so arrive early on weekends and holidays to grab a spot, and have a backup plan in the event that there aren’t any spots available. (Check out our other favorite car camping spots near the Appalachian Trail north of Helen and the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River.)
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 another campsite).
Wondering what to pack for a great night under the stars? Our camping gear list features our favorite tents, sleeping bags, furniture, cookware, and campsite essentials.
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.
Free. Campsites are first-come, first-camp. Please camp only in designated, existing campsites.
34.671271,-84.191725 // N34 40.166 W84 11.302