Coosa Bald: Drive to Trailhead & Trail Guide

Drive Guide - Coosa Bald (W4G/NG-006) from Atlanta

  • Duration: 1:45 from Atlanta
  • Google Maps URL from I-285 at 33.91819, -84.33747: http://goo.gl/maps/YvxLT
  • Seasonal/Limited Access:
    • There were no gates on Duncan Ridge.
    • We drove it after a snow/melt/re-freeze in a Toyota Corolla.
  • Directions:
    • GA-400 N from I-285 - go 46 miles
    • Left on US-19 (GA-60 N) - go 5 miles.
    • R on GA-9 N - go 8 miles.
    • L on GA-60 - go 7.3.
    • R on GA-180 (Wolf Pen Gap Rd) - go 7.7
    • L on Duncan Ridge Rd - go 1.2. (a.k.a. Forest Service road FS 39.)
      • Duncan Ridge Rd Landmarks, where Duncan Ridge Rd meets GA-180:
      • Watch for “Wolf Pen Gap” highway sign on the right.
      • On left: Dirt road with “Coopers Creek WMA” sign.
    • Duncan Ridge Rd is barely drivable in a Corolla in December 2013. Deep ruts. Particularly challenging on the day after rain.
    • Note: If Duncan Ridge Rd impassible, trail meets GA-180 at Duncan Ridge Rd and runs to the trailhead 1.2 miles up Duncan Ridge Rd, adding 1 steep mile distance to the hike.
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: Dahlonega
    • Penultimate McDonalds: GA-400 at GA-53 (38 miles north of I-285)
    • Dinner: Smoke-n-Gold Barbecue in Dahlonega

Drive Guide - Coosa Bald (W4G/NG-006) from Wildcat Mtn

  • Duration: 0:30
  • Google Maps:
  • Seasonal/Limited Access:
  • Directions:
    • Head NW (R exiting parking lot) on GA-348 and go 6.9
    • L on GA-180 and go 0.9
    • L on US-19 / US-129 and go 2.4
    • R on GA-180 (another GA-180) and go 3.3
    • R on Duncan Ridge Rd “Coopers Creek WMA” sign and go 1.2

Drive Guide - Coosa Bald (W4G/NG-006) from Sheriff Mtn

  • Duration: 0:15
  • Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/YR6fQ
  • Seasonal/Limited Access:
  • Directions:
    • R on SR-180 (Wolf Pen Gap Rd) and go 1.4
    • R on Duncan Ridge Rd at “Coopers Creek WMA” sign and go 1.2

Drive Guide - Coosa Bald TO Atlanta

  • Coming from the trail, turn Left on Duncan Ridge Rd
  • R on GA-180 and go 7.8
  • L on GA-60 S and go 7.3
  • Bear R on GA-60 S and go 8
  • L on GA-60 S and go 5
  • R on GA-400

Trail Guide

  • Duration: 0:30 up (0:40, if tired), 0:20 (0:25, if tired) down, and an 0.7 mile hike.
  • Navigation
    • The trailhead has easy parking for two cars.
      • It is 1.25 miles from GA-180, and it is pretty obvious.
      • The trailhead is marked by a brown post with a green blaze.
    • Once you’re parked, if you look back up the road, you’ll see where the trail from GA-180 comes in.
    • On the trail, you’ll see blue blazes and green blazes. Follow the blue blazes when the green blazes turn right (trail junction).
      • Duncan Ridge Trail goes straight, leading to Coosa Bald. Blue blazes.
      • Green blazed Coosa trail goes right (when hiking TO summit) and does NOT lead to Coosa Bald.
      • There is a double green blaze on a tree to the left of this junction.
      • On December 28, 2012, there was a trail sign, clearly labeling the trails.
  • Trailhead altitude: 3788’ @ short trailhead @ 34.77199, -83.95870
  • Summit altitude: 4300’
  • GPS tracks/waypoints:
    • Parking for long trek = 34.764, -83.9524
    • Trailhead for the long trek = 34.76409, -83.95297
    • Trailhead for the short trek = 34.772,-83.9587
    • Trail junction = 34.77750, -83.96065
    • Summit = 34.77880, -83.96364
    • Grid Square: EM84as

Summit Guide

  • Hang antenna from tree: No problems.
  • Space to guy mast: Not a lot of space. Could bungee a mast to a stump.
  • Antenna notes:
    • Trees around the opening at the summit. Not a lot of real tall trees. Mostly semi-dwarf. Space to guy out a vertical is limited right at the summit, but there’s space among the trees within the activation zone.
  • Cell coverage:
    • No cell coverage is available at the summit. However, I got 4 bars on the trail about 1/4 mile short of the summit. If you want to self-spot, take a collaborator with you and send him/her back up the trail.
    • I briefly had VZN coverage, and got out a test email, but could not post a spot.
    • KI4SVM reported no cell coverage on 2013.01.19
    • 2013.12.15 - My APRS self-spot went out promptly.
  • Unique features:
    • There is a view in the winter.

Plan-B Candidates

  • Sherrif Knob
  • Blood Mountain
  • Buckeye Knob
  • Akin Knob