Fort Mountain State Park

What’s so fascinating about Fort Mountain State Park?


The mysterious ancient rock wall!

Fort Mountain Park entrance sign

Fort Mountain State Park offers a variety of outdoor events, activities and facilities that I have enjoyed. One of the many events offered at this park was the Poisonous Snake Handling event. I learned about poisonous snakes and let the professionals handle the snake!

Once I took the entrance road to the park, I came to a fork in the road. I was offered the high road and the low road. Luck there were signs directing me!

The low road took me to the park facilities. They include hiking trails, picnic tables, group shelters, miniature golf, sandy beach, large playground, 17-acre clear mountain lake, paddleboats, canoes, and a concession stand.

There are several hiking trails that may be of interest to you. The 0.5-mile Big Rock trail takes about 1-hour. While is short and does not take that long to walk, it is very scenic as it follows Gold Mine Creek and some of the most beautiful small cascading waterfalls I have ever seen. Another trail is the 1.2-mile Lake trail that loop around the lake that does have a difficult 20% grade that is about 75-feet long (not too bad).

From the fork in the road I went up the high road also. This brought me to the main event.

The attraction that Fort Mountain offers is the ancient 855-foot long rock wall.
There are a combination of trails that will get you to the rock wall, the stone tower, and the scenic overlook. It took me about 15-minute to get to the top of the mountain. At that location there is a cross trail. The right is the stone tower, which you can see up the hill.

Fort Mountain Park tower

The left is the overlook, which you cannot see down the hill.

Fort Mountain Park girl describing bear
Going straight will take you the long way back the parking lot. This is where I met a sweet family whose daughter told me about a bear that they saw while driving up the park road. I asked, “How big was the bear?” She showed me (see the picture).
This rock wall is near the top of the mountain and is about a 10-minute walk up the inclined trail.

While the trail starts off relatively flat, after a couple minutes I hit the incline and it did not get any worse. The trail is dirt and about 6-feet wide giving plenty of room for hikes to pass and few tripping hazards.

The rock wall is not that easy to see from the trail. Watch for it on the right as you go up the trail. I had to go up the earthen steps around a tree to get to the wall. The wall is more like a long pile of rocks and not overly impressive at first. But after walking several hundred feet along the wall and reading about the wall I was more impressed. Why is it there? Who constructed it?

Fort Mountain Park wall description sign

Again, it is all about relaxing and enjoying the journey (which has taken me a while to learn). For the task oriented person, look at the wall and move on. But for the rest of us, ponder what you are looking at. Imagine the work gathering all of those rocks. Imagine the fear that would motivate a tribe to build something as difficult as that. It is quite impressive.

Printed trail map brochures are available at the park office.

If you want more information on Fort Mountain State Park facilities and events, call the park at (706) 422-1932.

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