Indian Seats Trail – Sawnee Mountain

My first Georgia Quest of 2014 begins at Indian Seats Trail on Sawnee Mountain. It’s a very close 30-45 minute drive from Atlanta or North Fulton area. The Indian Seats Trail starts at the Bettis-Tribble Gap entrance off Spot Road. The trail is a loop and it’s very well-marked but still, pay attention to the signs and arrows! Indian Seats Trail is 4 miles long and it really isn’t a hard trail.. I took the clockwise direction on the trail from Spot Road, as advised by fellow hiker friends. The preserve trail map says 3.5 but going through this way makes it about 4 miles.

When you pull into the parking lot from Spot Road the trail will be to the right, marked by blue. It will take you all the way to the overlook, passed the abandoned gold mines, the tree house, the visitor center and then back to the parking lot. You can even stop and walk through the Fairy woods! At the top of Sawnee you can see one of the best views I’ve had the privilege of seeing thus far on my Quest. The Blue Ridge Mountains, Springer Mountain, Mount Oglethrope, Mount Yonah, and Blood Mountain are all visible from the overlook. The cliffs are very daring and makes for some amazing photographs.

Unfortunately, I went up there the Saturday before the snowpocalypse in Atlanta. It was cold, windy and did I mention it was cold? The wind was so strong that I didn’t spend too much time up at the top. I just couldn’t take the wind stinging my eyes or the frozen hands. As soon as the weather warms up and the skies are bluer, I will do an Indian Seats Trail Revisited. The awesome thing about this trail is the history and all the cool spots along it that capture your attention!

Here are some fun history facts:

  • Evidence suggests that the Woodland Indians were using Sawnee Mountain as early as 500 BC.  The Woodland Indians were prehistoric to the Cherokee’s.
  • Sawnee is part of the Hall County Gold Belt and not the Dahlonega Gold Belt (which sparked the Georgia Gold Rush) You can see two abandoned gold shafts along the trail. One on the north side and the other is a little off the trail on the south side to your left.
  • There are several natural depressions in the rock at the top. It’s said that they were used by the local tribes to sit and be on lookouts as well as for meditation.
  • Dogs are NOT allowed on the trail
  • Be careful for runners, they crept up on me several times and I had to dodge to get out of the way.
  • Check out the Fairy woods and see where the fairies live!
  • I saw a man walking in shorts and bare feet while on this trail, no joke.
  • You can rock climb here but, you need a permit.
  • No camping is allowed

Put this in your Google Maps:

Sawnee Mountain Preserve, Spot Rd, Cumming, GA

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