Hike the Appalachian Trail southbound from Dicks Creek Gap, climbing to stunning views of Lake Burton from the summit of Powell Mountain.

georgia hiking trails: 4-6 miles 5.2 miles
(round trip)
? Your mileage may vary! Accuracy of your GPS device, weather conditions, and stops along your route will affect your own recorded distance.
georgia hiking trails: moderate to difficultmore
difficult
?Our difficulty estimate, based on distance, terrain, elevation change, & ease of wayfinding. May vary daily due to weather, trail reroutes, downed trees, etc.
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
friendly
?Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. We’ve loved hiking this route with our trail-loving Labrador Retrievers! Check out more of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:Appalachian Trail near Hiawassee, Georgia

GEAR: Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack, our hiking gear list and Canon 6D Camera

WEAR: Our ultra-soft Atlanta Trails shirts and mountain logo hats

OFFICIAL MAP: Appalachian Trail, Trails Illustrated Map

Mile for mile, this isn’t a particularly long day hike on the Appalachian Trail, but it sure is a rewarding one. Stretching just over two and a half miles each way, this hike follows the AT southbound from Dicks Creek Gap, exploring a beautiful, lush forest under a canopy of tall hardwoods. And the outbound hike is a workout, climbing nearly continuously from the gap… but the lofty summit views from the Powell Mountain summit make the workout worthwhile.

Powell Mountain is a sun-soaked, rocky peak that catches wide views of Lake Burton and many rolling, blue-hued Appalachian summits on the distant horizon. The summit view is the kind that you almost have to tear yourself away from, making it the perfect mid-hike resting spot.

Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain on the Appalachian Trail

Hike the Appalachian Trail in Georgia from Dicks Creek Gap, climbing to stunning views of Lake Burton from the summit of Powell Mountain. #hiking #trailrunning #camping #backpacking #northgeorgia #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain: the hike

The adventure begins at the Dicks Creek Gap trailhead (view maps and driving directions), crossing GA Highway 76 and hiking south from the trailhead parking area. The hike follows the iconic white rectangular blazes of the Appalachian Trail as it ventures southbound, and immediately begins to climb elevation through a towering, spindly hardwood forest. The hike passes a small, trickling waterfall on the trail’s right side as it ascends.

Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain on the Appalachian Trail

Several old-growth trees pepper the trail, with massive trunks dwarfing the surrounding forest. Lush, green vegetation borders the trail, and enormous ferns and wildflowers frame the sides of the white-blazed path.

The trail levels briefly at a half mile, passing a large campsite on the left. The hike resumes the climb, making a short descent and winding through switchbacks over the next third of a mile. The trail passes a seasonally-available water source at just under a mile, skipping over a shallow creek and passing another campsite at 1.2 miles.

The hike unwaveringly ascends, climbing nearly due south. The AT climbs through a thick grove of twisted, gnarled mountain laurel, switching back sharply at just under two miles and veering northwest.

Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain on the Appalachian Trail

After cresting at 2.25 miles, the trail dips elevation through McClure Gap, and then resumes the climb. Nearing the peak of Powell Mountain, the hike reaches a wooden sign marked “vista” and blue-blazed side trail at 2.5 miles.

This hike departs the Appalachian Trail, following the blue-blazed side trail southeast to a rocky overlook, and catches sweeping, long-range views to the south.

On the horizon, the waters of Lake Burton, Lake Seed, and Lake Rabun nestle into the rolling blue-hued southern Appalachian Mountains. Black Rock Mountain is visible in the distance. The sun-drenched, rocky slope is a perfect place to grab a snack before the return hike to the trailhead.

Departing the overlook, the route flips in reverse, retracing its outbound steps to the trailhead. Remember that calf-burning ascent on the outbound? The return hike is almost blissfully downhill. The hike reaches Dicks Creek Gap at 5.2 miles, completing the adventure.

Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain: camping

Several trailside campsites flank the trail’s sides, and all are available first-come, first-camp (so be sure to make camp early in peak hiking season and on weekends). Whether you’re spending the night or passing through, please always remember to leave no trace to preserve the beauty of this stunning stretch of North Georgia forest.


Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain Map, Directions & Details

This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Love the trail?

This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!

Driving Directions



Parking

Free parking is available at the Dicks Creek Gap trailhead.


GPS Coordinates

34.912167, -83.618967     //     N34 54.730 W83 37.138

Elevation Profile

Dicks Creek Gap to Powell Mountain Appalachian Trail Elevation Profile
 
 
Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.

Eric Champlin
Author

Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.