Grab some take-out food and head south for a picnic supper on top of the world (or at least our part of it)! Black Rock Mountain State Park sits on the Eastern Continental Divide at 3571’ and offers a 180 degree view south and east for almost 80 miles. The covered picnic tables are right on the overlook for the best dinner show around as you watch the sun set and the mist rise from the valleys. All of this for just a minimal fee park pass and a 30-minute drive from Franklin!
This highest o fGeorgia’s parks was named for the dark rock outcroppings at the summit. Several hiking trails wind through the park, including a short and steep trail to Ada-Hi (Cherokee for “forest”) Falls. I viewed the falls after several days of heavy rain and there was still only a trickle of water dripping over the mossy rocks. Enjoy the wildflowers from the benches strategically parked along the path. The Tennessee Rock trail is a 2.2 mile very hilly trek past the 3625’ overlook of the same name. My personal goal is the 7.2 mile James Edmonds Trail to Lookof fMountain and the backcountry campsite there.
The walk-in campsites are graveled and very private with no facilities but nature – definitely the place to hide out for the weekend. Other campsites near the Ada-Hi trailhead have water and electricity hookups. The Trading Post has the usual camping goodies: drinks, snacks, and brochures. This looked like a pretty interesting place to camp if you’re looking for someplace different. The cabins have 2 or 3 bedrooms, and most have fireplaces. Cabins 3,4, and 6 have magnificent views of the sunrise over the mountain for many miles. There is a small playground for the kiddies, too.
This is one of the best places for us photographers to catch a good sunset without hiking too far. I used a 14mm wide angle lens at F32 to get both the distant mountains and the close rhododendron in focus. Years ago, I was up there at 4am with family to view Haley’s Comet. The Blue Ridge Overlook faces east and has mountains in the foreground and the distance for a good dawn shot. You may need to camp here for some night or pre-dawn shots as the gates don’t open until 7am and close at10pm.
Directions from Franklin: 441 south toMountain City,GA. Turn right at brown sign for Black Rock and follow signs