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Pinhoti National Recreation Trail

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Pinhoti Trail
Pinhoti Trail Marker / Blaze
Length335 mi (539 km)
LocationGeorgia and Alabama, United States
DesignationNational Recreation Trail (1977) 103.6 miles (166.7 km) in the Talladega National Forest[1]
TrailheadsFlagg Mountain in Alabama / Benton MacKaye Trail in Georgia
UseHiking & MTB
Hiking details

The Pinhoti Trail is a Southern Appalachian Mountains long-distance trail, 335 miles (540 km) in length, located in the United States within the states of Alabama and Georgia. The trail's southern terminus is on Flagg Mountain, near Weogufka, Alabama, the southernmost peak in the state that rises over 1,000 feet (300 m). (The mountain is often called the southernmost Appalachian peak, though by most geological reckonings, the actual Appalachian range ends somewhat farther north in Alabama.) The trail's northern terminus is where it joins the Benton MacKaye Trail. The trails highest point is Buddy Cove Gap, with an elevation of 3164 feet near the Cohutta Wilderness. Its lowest point above sea level is close to Weogufka Creek near Weogufka State Forest at 545 feet.

The Pinhoti Trail is a part of the Eastern Continental Trail and the Great Eastern Trail, both very long-distance US hiking trails connecting multiple states.

Geographic characteristics

The north terminus is approximately 70 miles (110 km) west of Springer Mountain, which is the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.[2]

Georgia has about 164 miles (260 km) of the trail, and Alabama contains the other 171 miles (280 km) of the 335-mile-long (540 km) trail.[3]


From the Pinhoti Trail Alliance. The PTA Facebook account has the most history and current trail conditions online.

"The Pinhoti Trail is considered the realization of forester Benton MacKaye's original 1921 vision of a trail extending the length of the Appalachian Mountain chain, connecting several existing trails, and sprinkled with permanent camps and constructed to "stimulate every line of outdoor non-industrial endeavor," including recreation, recuperation, agriculture and study. He hoped to spark a "back to the land" movement to relieve the ills of urban industrial life."

From the Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association website:

The original plan for the Appalachian Trail was laid out in 1925 at the first Appalachian Trail Conference. This plan showed a main trail running from Cohutta Mountain in north Georgia to Mount Washington in New Hampshire. This plan also proposed a spur trail from Mt. Washington to Mount Katahdin in Maine and one from the Georgia Mountains into Northern Alabama. The spur in Maine was completed in 1940, while the spur into Alabama has yet to be blazed. However, the effort to make this Alabama spur trail a reality is underway and is the result of persistent work of many groups, individuals, agencies and organizations.

Construction of the Alabama Pinhoti Trail began in 1970 within the Talladega National Forest in east central and northeast Alabama. In 1977, the Talledega National Forest portions of the trail were designated a National Recreation Trail.[1] By 1983, 60 miles (100 km) of trail had been constructed and Mike Leonard of the Alabama Wilderness Coalition proposed connecting the Pinhoti to the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. The U.S. Forest Service and Alabama's Forever Wild land trust aided in the acquisition of major wilderness tracts. The Pinhoti Trail currently travels through some of those acquired lands and others in which it is planned to go through.[4]

The Pinhoti Trail was initially completed in February 2008, and officially opened to the public on March 16, 2008. Efforts continue to improve the trail, mainly involving moving road walk sections of the trail onto trails away from the road.[5][6] A new southern terminus of the trail at the base of Flagg Mountain, opened in March 2015.[7]

Appalachian Trail designation

For many years, Alabama and Georgia hiking groups have been advocating for U.S. Congress to officially designate the Pinhoti Trail as a part of the Appalachian Trail — a move that would make Flagg Mountain the southern terminus of the AT.[8]

Trails used in the system

Connecting trails

  • The northeastern terminus is the Benton MacKaye Trail.
  • Heflin Spur (3.5 miles) established in August 2018 connecting with the Pinhoti at FS 500 parking lot to Heflin City Hall.
  • Chinnabee Silent Trail (8.0 miles) established in 1977 connecting with the Pinhoti at Little Caney Head in the Cheaha Wilderness to the Chinnabee Lake Recreation Area.

Public lands traversed

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Pinhoti. National Recreation Trails. Last Updated 06/06/2011. Accessed 2011-07-16.
  2. ^ a b "The Pinhoti Trail Alliance homepage". Retrieved 2 November 2010.
  3. ^ "The Pinhoti Trail Alliance homepage".
  4. ^ "Pinhoti Trail History". Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
  5. ^ "Volunteers blaze new section of Pinhoti Trail". Online Athens. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Land buy to move Pinhoti Trail leg off-road". Northwest Georgia News. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  7. ^ "New Trailhead for the Southern End of the Pinhoti - Ribbon Cutting on March 22". Outdoor Alabama. Archived from the original on 2015-07-17. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  8. ^ Appalachian Trail expansion gets closer to linking with Alabama. Birmingham News. Published February 13, 2010. Accessed July 16, 2011.
  9. ^ a b M. Lee Van Horn. The Georgia Pinhoti. Alabama Hiking Trail Society. Last Updated April 2003. Accessed 2011-07-21.
  10. ^ TrailsNet webpage about "Chief Ladiga Trail". Picture caption. Image date: 2008-01-28. "While riding the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama, you will come to junction for the Pinhoti Trail, an Alabama hiking trail. The turnoff is located between two river/bridge crossings very near mile marker 7.0." Accessed 2011-09-03.
  11. ^ "Indian Mountain Complex". Retrieved 2011-08-15.

Coordinates: 32°58′41″N 86°21′17″W / 32.9781°N 86.3547°W / 32.9781; -86.3547

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Pinhoti National Recreation Trail
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