Explore the most popular landmarks at Fort Mountain State Park by combining these trails. See the park’s mysterious ancient stone wall, a castle-like stone fire tower, and sweeping mountain views from the summit of the state park on this hike.
There are a ton of great trails to choose from at Fort Mountain State Park. You can combine some of their most popular trails for an easy-to-hike loop that’s about 1.5 miles long.
Fort Mountain State Park Summit Trails
The hike at the summit of Fort Mountain State Park is made up of three interlocking trails: the CCC Stone Tower Trail, the Stone Wall Trail, and the West Overlook Trail. Together, they make an approximately 1.5 mile loop hike.
You can mix it up and hike a different trail first each time. It really doesn’t matter which way you go first. We started on the West Overlook Trail, then cut through on the CCC Stone Tower Trail, then took the Stone Wall Trail to the opposite side of the West Overlook Trail to complete our loop.
West Overlook Trail
The trailhead begins at the state park‘s Old Fort Picnic Area parking lot. We started by taking the yellow blazed West Overlook Trail, following the trail to the left.
This trail climbs uphill over a boulder-filled path. You can start to see the mountain views through breaks in the trees to your left.
When the trail reaches a fork, you can take either path. The left fork takes you to stairs near the overlook at about a midway point. The right fork will take you to the top of the stairs. We chose the left fork, passing a rock outcropping just before coming to the stairs.
Follow the stairs down to the overlook platform for some amazing views of the mountains, Cohutta Wilderness, and valley below. To the right, you can see the Grassy Mountain fire lookout tower.
The hike retraces its steps up the stairs where you’ll come to another junction.
CCC Stone Tower Trail
Follow the trail straight across the junction on the red-blazed CCC Stone Tower Trail. You’ll have a short climb where you can start to see the fire tower through the trees.
The trail reaches a clearing with the four-story stone fire tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). This tower was used for 30 years to spot fires up to 40 miles away. The building of the tower was led by local stone mason Arnold Baily, who carved a large stone heart into the tower for his sweetheart, Margaret.
There are three paths leading away from the tower: the path you came in on, a path to the east, and a path to the south. We took the path to the south, which leads to the ancient rock wall. The path reaches the wall after only 0.1 miles.
Stone Wall Trail
The trail comes to an intersection near the top of the stone wall. Now more a pile of rocks than a constructed wall, the 855 foot long structure dates back to sometime between 550-1500 AD.
Cherokee lore says that the “Moon-eyed people” built the wall. They were said to be light skinned and could see better during the night than during the day. However, the wall’s true purpose, and whether the Moon-eyed people actually existed, remains a mystery.
Take some time to explore the rock wall, using the stone steps to check out the bottom section of the wall.
There are four paths leading away from the ancient stone wall: the path back to the stone tower, a path to the west toward the section of the West Overlook Trail you’ve already hiked, a path to the east toward an unhiked section of the West Overlook Trail, and a path to the south toward the trailhead.
We took the path to the east because we still felt like we had some hike left in us. This follows the blue-blazed Stone Wall Trail.
The hike follows along more section of the ancient wall. At what seems like an intersection that isn’t marked on the trail map, there is a large sign point you left toward the Stone Tower. Follow left to keep on the blue-blazed trail.
The trail then meets the red-blazed CCC Stone Tower Trail; follow this trail to the right. The trail will then meet the yellow-blazed West Overlook Trail.
Finishing the Hike on the West Overlook Trail
Follow the yellow-blazed West Overlook Trail to the right to head back toward the trailhead.
This section of trail is much less trafficked than the opposite side of the loop and the trails leading to the stone wall and tower. Be sure to keep an eye out for black bears when hiking in Fort Mountain State Park, especially on the more remote trails. Know the BearWise basics to keep you safe on the trails.
The trail ends back at the trailhead at about 1.5 miles.
Read next: Cabin Weekend at Fort Mountain State Park
More North Georgia Hikes
Looking for more great hiking trails near Fort Mountain State Park? Check out these other North Georgia hikes:
- Fort Mountain Lake Loop Trail
- Big Rock Nature Trail
- Amicalola Falls Trail
- Anna Ruby Falls Trail
- Brasstown Bald Sunset Hike
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Have you hiked the Stone Wall, Tower, and West Overlook Trails at Fort Mountain State Park? Let me know in the comments!