Length: 6.8 miles
is the Walasi-Yi Center's breezeway that contains the familiar white blaze. It is the only building that is actually on the trail (to our knowledge). Here novice trail hikers frequently stop and repack, unloading items they now feel are useless weight.
The Walasi-yi Center was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's (completed 1937) and originally used as an inn and restaurant for the few brave souls who ventured this far into the wilderness. Today the center is hiker's paradise, so you may want to spend a few minutes browsing, even if you don't buy anything.
100 years before the trail was conceived by Benton MacKaye, The Cherokee had a path that ran in the approximate area of the Appalachian Trail. Many settlers wrote of Frogtown Gap, the original name of Neel's Gap, and the fact that it was a major intersection of Cherokee trading paths. The remains of the original Cherokee town are below the Walasi-yi Center.
to a beautiful vista of Hogpen Mountain from Levelland Mountain. After another mile and a half is a marked campsite. The ascent to Wolf Laurel Top marks the halfway point of this short section of the Trail. At Wolf Laurel Top the most scenic views are off trail at the picnic site. From this point the trail descends to Tesnatee Gap where the Trail briefly emerges and follows the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway for a short distance, returning quickly to a more natural setting. Not far from this intrusion is the Logan Turnpike Trail intersection. After this the Appalachian Trail ascends Wildcat Mountain. The sharp (100 feet per .1 mile) climb is the most difficult part of this portion of the AT. There are some good views near the top of Wildcat and a shelter is a short hike from the path. From here the trail descends through several easy switchbacks into Hogpen Gap.
This is the shortest portion of the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia and would be an interesting day hike while staying at Long Mountain Lodge.
Visit the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club online to learn more or to download trail maps.
Visit the official site of The Walasi-yi Center
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