The United States Congress designated the Mark Trail Wilderness (map
) in 1991 and it now has a total of 16,400 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Georgia
and is managed by the Forest Service.
The Mark Trail Wilderness is bordered by
the Raven Cliffs Wilderness
to the south.
The logging roads that once ran along the streams, waterfalls, rocky outcroppings, and high peaks that distinguish the Chattahoochee Wildlife Management Area are rapidly returning to their natural state. The mountains (Horsetrough is the highest at 4,045 feet) are covered in second-growth upland and cove hardwoods in excess of 60 years of age.
Trout fishing is top-notch, with 65 miles of streams chock-full of rainbow, brook, and brown trout. Some of the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River flow through here. Deer, squirrels, raccoons, grouse, and wild turkeys dominate among the landlubbing residents, with smaller populations of black bears, woodcocks, and doves.
Most hikers take the Appalachian Trail (AT), which follows the crest of the Blue Ridge through this area for 14 miles. The two shelters on the AT are Low Gap and Blue Mountain. Jack's Knob Trail enters the Wilderness at Henry Knob and travels south before dividing and joining the AT in two places. Less than an hour's hike on a trail on the east side leads to Horsetrough Falls, which plunges year-round. Hunters and anglers are common sights, and hikers appear almost every day from spring through fall. Just across State Highway 75 lies Tray Mountain Wilderness.
Hikers should be aware that encounters with black bears are common in the area. The use of bear proof food storage containers is highly recommended.