The United States Congress designated the Tray Mountain Wilderness (map
) in 1986 and it now has a total of 10,343 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Georgia
and is managed by the Forest Service.
At 4,430 feet, Tray Mountain dominates the southern portion of this rugged Wilderness, which straddles the crest of the Blue Ridge. From up high, fast-flowing streams tumble down narrow gorges and over many waterfalls. Second-growth hardwoods at least 60 years old are the primary forest cover. Deer, squirrels, grouse, and wild turkeys make common appearances, along with the ever-elusive black bear, raccoons, doves, quail, and woodcocks. About 41 miles of trout streams produce rainbows and browns. You'll see remnants of past logging operations, mostly abandoned roads. Just across State Highway 75 lies Mark Trail Wilderness.
The Appalachian Trail (AT) follows the crest of the Blue Ridge for 16.5 unusually level miles from Unicoi Gap to Dick's Creek Gap, with a shelter at Tray Mountain. The High Shoals Trail leads about 1.5 miles to the High Shoals Scenic Area, where a waterfall drops over dramatic cliffs. Hunters and anglers come often to this area, but the AT attracts the most visitors.