Since 1975, volunteers of all ages have labored to build and maintain the Pine Mountain Trail, a 23-mile footpath. This system of loops, which crosses and follows the beautiful Pine Mountain ridge in west central Georgia, is inside the Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park and near Callaway Gardens. Quiet woods, sparkling streams, misty waterfalls, rock outcroppings, varied forest, scenic overlooks, deer and turkey await your discovery. Just follow the blazes (6"by 2" rectangles painted on trees). Two-foot-high rock cairns and mileage markers assist the hiker. Location and mileage signs have been placed at each road crossing, trailhead, junction, campsite, and at all named parking lots. The Pine Mountain Trail offers clear crisp views of distant ridges in winter, with occasional snowfall. In the summer there are lush green ferns and lowland flowers. Wild flowers are abundant and in spring you will find flowering dogwood, native azalea, mountain laurel and rhododendron. Fall brings bright and beautiful leaves of hickory, oak, dogwood, maple, which change from day to day.
Copyright: Pine Mountain Trail Association, Inc.
Slippery Rock Falls along the Pine Mountain Trail
Much of the land that the Pine Mountain Trail crosses once belonged to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His farm was near the site of WJSP-TV. FDR often visited Dowdell Knob and the area of the Wolfden and Cascade Falls as well as the fish hatchery ponds built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the late 1930's. On April 12, 1945, Roosevelt died at the Little White House at Warm Springs, less than a mile from the trail and Cascade Falls.
The Pine Mountain Trail Association, Inc. (PMTA) was organized to design and build the best trail system possible. Countless hours went into planning, scouting and preparing the land prior to construction. Members and volunteers started working on a weekly schedule, seeking the best route, selecting points of interest and building a safe and functional trail. Until new trails could be built, old existing horse trails and Boy Scout trails were used as temporary connecting paths. Miles of trail were obtained in this way but it took years of rerouting and work to get the final route.
The result: a trail designed for maximum enjoyment with many points of interest and few steep, tiring grades. After working in summer's sweltering heat, a 23-mile, blue-blazed trail was opened from the FDR park entrance (near the Country Store at US 27 and Georgia 190) past Dowdell Knob and on the WJSP-TV tower near Warm Springs. Less than two miles remain of the old trail. The Pine Mountain Trail Association appreciates the cooperation of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the continuing efforts of the employees of FDR State Park.
Registries at the eastern end of the trail and near the FDR Park office have been signed by tens of thousands of hikers from nearly every state and many foreign countries. It is estimated that 50,000 hikers use the trail each year and over 1 million hikers had hiked part of the trail by 1995. The trail is for foot travel only. Horses and wheeled vehicles are strictly forbidden.
Thirteen designated back-country/backpacking campsites are at various places a short distance off the trail. FDR State Park does not charge PMTA members (who present their membership card) for the required permits to back-country camp on the trail.
In addition to the 23-mile main trail there are six loops formed by connecting trails.
Overlook Loop 3.4 miles
Mountain Creek Loop 3.2 miles
Long Leaf Loop 6.9 miles
Big Poplar Loop 7.8 miles
Dowdell Knob Loop 4.3 miles
Wolfden Loop 6.7 miles
The Pine Mountain Trail is within FDR State Park. FDR, like all state parks requires a daily use fee for parking anywhere within the park. Annual Georgia Park Passes are good at all state parks such as FDR. Contact the FDR park office for fee/permit rates and other information.
In 1999, the PMTA printed and still offers for sale an updated map full of information to help hikers and backpackers. This updated, waterproof and detailed topographical type map can be purchased at the FDR State Park office and RV campground Trading Post, Little White House gift shop, Corner Stop Foods (Chevron) and Country Store near Pine Mountain, Outdoor World & Kinnucans in Columbus and at REI (2) and Galyan's (3) in Atlanta, or by mail from the Pine Mountain Trail Association.
Send map and patch orders, membership application and dues or tax-deductible contribution along with name, address and telephone number to address below. Contact the PMTA for current prices.
If you have questions about the trail or The Pine Mountain Trail Association, contact them at:
Pine Mountain Trail Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 5
Columbus, Georgia 31902
Directions from Warm Springs: F.D. Roosevelt State Park is found west of Warm Springs on Georgia Route 190, or south of Pine Mountain off U.S. Hwy. 27. The trail can be accessed at numerous locations from within the park.