Appalachian Trail Community: Hiawassee/Towns County

Connecting Town and Trail

After a week of hiking north from Springer Mountain, hikers need somewhere to re-supply and recover from the toils of the ups and downs of the A.T. in Georgia. The Top of Georgia Hostel and Hiking Center, an A.T. Community Supporter and non-profit, is the A.T. hiker's gateway to Hiawassee. Located just a Fall Sunrise, Lake Chatuge-p3half-mile west of the A.T. at Dicks Creek Gap (mile 69.7), “TOG”  hosts A.T. Community events in addition to serving as a one-stop re-supply, bunkhouse, shuttle, information, and gear hub for hikers and A.T. enthusiasts. Just a 15 minute drive from Dicks Creek Gap, where the A.T. crosses Highway 76, Hiawassee in Towns County is the first trail town for a majority of A.T. hikers headed northbound in Georgia. It provides rest, food, supplies, and a friendly environment, with folks who genuinely care about hikers and their stories. A city of approximately 900 people, Hiawassee has several hiker-friendly businesses, a library with free internet, and of course lots of restaurants, featuring everything from gourmet burgers to an “all you can eat” buffet. From integrating lessons about the A.T. into school curriculum to providing town visitors with information about how to access the Trail, Hiawassee and Towns County continue to provide support for the Trail in a variety of ways. 

Plan Your Visit

Located on the edge of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Towns County offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, including several other well-maintained hiking trails ranging from moderate (Miller Trek and the Lake Chatuge Trail) to more demanding trails like those found on Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest peak at 4,784 ft. ​The 7,000 acre Lake Chatuge offers another outlet for those who love the outdoors through boating, water skiing, fishing, kayaking and even ziplining for wakeboarders. For mountain bikers, Jackrabbit Mountain boasts eight trails of various degrees of difficulty, and is located just five minutes from downtown Hiawassee in North Carolina. Information on hiking and other outdoor activities, as well as things to see and do in town, can be found at Mountain Top GA, the Towns County Chamber of Commerce website. To find out what's going on in ​Towns County during your stay, check out the events calendar here.