The logging roads that once ran along the streams, waterfalls, rocky outcroppings, and high peaks that distinguish the Chattahoochee Wildlife Management Area are rapidly returning to their natural state. The mountains (Horsetrough is the highest at 4,045 feet) are covered in second-growth upland and cove hardwoods in excess of 60 years of age. Trout fishing is top-notch, with 65 miles of streams chock-full of rainbow, brook, and brown trout. Some of the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River flow through here. Deer, squirrels, raccoons, grouse, and wild turkeys dominate among the landlubbing residents, with smaller populations of black bears, woodcocks, and doves. Most hikers take the Appalachian Trail (AT), which follows the crest of the Blue Ridge through this area for 14 miles. The two shelters on the AT are Low Gap and Blue Mountain. Jack's Knob Trail enters the Wilderness at Henry Knob and travels south before dividing and joining the AT in two places. Less than an hour's hike on a trail on the east side leads to Horsetrough Falls, which plunges year-round. Hunters and anglers are common sights, and hikers appear almost every day from spring through fall. Just across State Highway 75 lies Tray Mountain Wilderness. Hikers should be aware that encounters with black bears are common in the area. The use of bear proof food storage containers is highly recommended.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Mark Trail Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.