MORE INFORMATION: Vogel State Park 7485 Vogel State Park Road Blairsville, GA 30512 (706) 745-2628
HIGHLIGHTS: For a nice, pleasant hike with your pooch, consider the Bear Hair Gap Trail which is a gentle four mile loop hike that is popular with day hikers in Vogel State Park. For a more strenuous day hike or a challenging overnight backpacking trip, then consider the Coosa Backcountry Trail. It is located mostly within the boundaries of Vogel State Park and is part of the Georgia Parks system. The route is a long and sometimes taxing hike that can take 6-8 hours to complete. For the record, most rangers do not recommend the Coosa Backcountry Trail for day hiking and it is better suited for overnight backpacking. For overnight camping, expect an 18-24 hour trip that requires a free backcountry permit. The ranger station has up-to-date trail information on backcountry conditions and issues all-day and overnight trail permits. The summit of Coosa Bald is roughly halfway on this loop hike, and at 4,271 feet it has spectacular winter views. Unfortunately, the forest has encroached on the once barren area and it is not possible to see from the summit year round. Other features on the hike include a wilderness statue of Jesus Christ near Calf Stomp Gap and some scenic streams and waterfalls closer to Vogel State Park.