Ranger Field (via Three Forks)

Location: North Georgia
Trip Starts: Three Forks
Trip Ends: Three Forks
Total Distance: 4.2 miles
Hike Type: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Benton MacKaye Trail/Duncan Ridge Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate to Heavy
Trip Type: 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 Three Forks to Bryson Gap is 5.6 miles, but it involves three major long distance routes in Georgia: The Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT), The Duncan Ridge Trail (DRT) and The Appalachian Trail (AT). Three Forks, the starting point, marks the southern terminus of the thirty six mile Duncan Ridge Trail (DRT) which meets with the AT again at Slaughter Gap, it’s northern terminus. Three Forks is a nice flat area accessible by USFS 58 where Stove, Chester, and Long Creek converge. The area is often crowded on weekends, but has some nice campsites along the creeks. The Benton MacKaye and Duncan Ridge Trails break from the Appalachian Trail just past the falls and head down to the Toccoa River. The A.T. continues northbound toward Hawk Mountain Shelter. On this hike we stopped briefly at Long Creek Falls, then continued on the BMT to pitch camp then day-hike to Bryson Gap and back. The BMT in this section crosses a wildlife opening, several gaps, and Wildcat Ridge as it heads northbound and breaks away from the Appalachian Trail.

GPS Coordinates:

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