The popular 4-mile Indian Seats Trail loop in Sawnee Mountain Preserve in Cumming, Georgia gives off spectacular views of the North Georgia mountains.
Sawnee Mountain Preserve
Sawnee Mountain Preserve is a 821 acre preserve 40 miles north of Atlanta. Named after a local Cherokee Native American, Sawnee Mountain is home to scenic woodland and an interactive visitor center that highlight’s North Georgia’s Native American history.
The park has the visitor center, 11 miles of hiking trails, picnic pavilions, a tree house, tree climbing activities, a rock climbing tower, and plenty of educational programs for kids.
Indian Seats Trail Hike
We started the hike at the Visitor Center parking lot on Spot Road, but you can also access the trail from the 2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road and 2505 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road parking lots.
Before even properly getting on the trail, we already took a detour to through the Fairy Trail by the Tree House. The Fairy Trail had been decorated with little fairy houses by a local Girl Scout Troop and winded its way along side the access trail before connecting us with the Indian Seats Trail. From here we took a right, heading south on the trail.
At about 1 mile, the trail reaches the pavilions at 2500 Bettis-Tribble Gap Road and it gets a little difficult to tell where the trail is. Just follow along behind the pavilions to stay on the trail. But if you accidentally wind up on the Eaglet Trail, don’t worry, it’s not very long and it loops back to the Indian Seats Trail pretty quickly.
Past the pavilions is an information plaque about an old mine and a dried up creek at this site. There’s not much to see here, but there will be another mine a few miles down the trail that’s more interesting.
The toughest part of the trail is right before summit where you begin to quickly climb in elevation. But it’s well worth it when you get to the top of the mountain and see the views. It’s easy to see why the local tribes used this mountain and its rocky outcroppings as a lookout point. Everyone stops at the initial overlook, but if you continue to the right up a rocky path, you’ll find a wooden overlook deck with a plaque that tells you what landmarks you should be able to see from the mountaintop on a clear day.
Once we’d taken in the view, we continued north down the mountain. After a mile, the trail passes by the barred entrance to an old gold mine carved into the mountain. Graffiti painted on the gate encourages you to “take a look,” so break out the flashlight and have a peek inside. The mines here didn’t have as much success as the Dahlonega gold mines, and this mine entrance is mostly caved in.
Just another mile to go and the trail ends where it began at around 4 miles, past the Fairy Trail, the Tree House, and down to the Visitor Center.
What’s your favorite hike in Georgia? Give me your hiking suggestions in the comments!