If you and your pooch are looking to hike a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, you could do a lot worse than Jack’s Knob! This furrifically fur-friendly Georgian trail runs from the parking lot at Brasstown Bald (which charges a $3 parking fee) all the way to Mark Trail Wilderness and the source of the Chattahoochee River, just below the peak of Jack’s Knob Mountain. The trip there and back can be done in a day if you push it, but if you and your buddy are finding it hard-going, you can pitch your tent at the campsite at the Chattahoochee Gap, at Red Clay Gap, or at Enota Resort, where wagging tails are welcome as long as they’re leashed.
Jack’s Knob is a fantastic hike for pups and owners that don’t mind a couple of steep ascents -- while it’s downhill on the way to the knob itself, what goes down must come up. The trail makes its way around Wolfpen Ridge, and through full, thick rhododendron bushes towards tall and majestic hardwoods. At the Jack’s Gap stretch, you’ll see some fabulous views of piney forests below. You’re also sure to see plenty of wildlife on the route -- ravens, hawks, eagles and small mammals are common, so you might want to keep your buddy on a short leash if they have a tendency to tear after squirrels!
Beginners shouldn’t even consider getting to grips with Jack’s Knob without an experienced guide -- this trail is definitely not for the unsure of foot or unfit of heart! Not only are there some sharp climbs, but the ground is pretty rocky and uneven in parts. Facilities are also pretty limited, though there are primitive toilets at most of the campgrounds along the route. Be sure to bring waste bags and plenty of water, and enjoy everything that Jack’s Knob has to offer!