Benton MacKaye Trail (Big Stamp Gap to Three Forks)

Location: North Georgia
Trip Starts: Big Stamp Gap
Trip Ends: Three Forks
Total Distance: 4 miles
Hike Type: One-Way, Shuttle Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Benton MacKaye Trail
Trail Traffic: Light to Moderate
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Hike
More Information:

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
1755 Cleveland Highway
Gainesville, GA 30501
770 297-3000

Three Forks

The Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) is a footpath of nearly 300 miles that traverses the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States. It is named in honor of Benton MacKaye whose was a forester, planner and conservationist whose vision resulted in the creation of the Appalachian Trail in the early 1900’s. The BMT is designed for foot travel in the tradition of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Benton MacKaye Trail passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, including eight federally designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas.

This section of the Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) is a short one that runs about four miles from Big Stamp Gap to Three Forks, where it joins up again with the Appalachian Trail. Three Forks is a nice flat area accessible by USFS 58 where Stover, Chester, and Long Creeks converge. The area is very pleasant and it is often crowded with overnight campers, especially on weekends.  We hiked a loop in this section that started at Three Forks and followed the Appalachian Trail back to USFS 42. From here we returned back to Three Forks via the Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT). It’s either a short day hike or an extremely easy backpacking trip, depending on your preference.

GPS Coordinates:

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