Benton MacKaye/Duncan Ridge Trails (Bryson Gap to Toccoa River)

Location: North Georgia
Trip Starts: Bryson Gap
Trip Ends: Toccoa River
Total Distance: 2.7 miles
Hike Type: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Benton MacKaye Trail/Duncan Ridge Trail
Trail Traffic: Light
Trip Type: Day or Overnight Hike
More Information:

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


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.

The hike from Bryson Gap to the Toccoa River is 2.7 miles and the Benton MacKaye Trail passes through Sapling Gap at 2770′ then across or near some forest service roads during the descent to the Toccoa River at 1920 feet. The is an impressive suspension bridge at the Toccoa River with a campsites on both sides of the bridge.  On this hike we stopped camped at the Toccoa River and did a day hike (5.4 miles round-trip) to Bryson Gap and back. It was Thanksgiving weekend, and there were at least 40 day hikers at the suspension bridge in the hour leading up to sunset. So if you are looking for a more wilderness experience, consider camping at Bryson Gap which has a spring a few hundred yards from the trail.

GPS Coordinates:

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