SOTA Guide - Buzzard Knob, W4G/NG-021

Note: Buzzard Knob is also accessible via Charlies Creek Rd and Blue Ridge Gap. See my Hightower Bald guide for access to Blue Ridge Gap via Charlies Creek Rd.

Drive Guide - Buzzard Knob and Little Bald Knob Double-header

  • Duration: 2:00
  • Google Maps URL from Ashford Dunwoody Rd and I-285 at 33.917, -84.3378:
  • Seasonal/Limited Access: Paved road all the way. Parking may be a problem on weekends.
  • Directions:
    • I-285
    • I-85 N
    • I-985/US-23 N and go 75.5
    • In Clayton, L on US-76/GA-2 and go 16
    • Paved Parking on R
  • Food
    • Last McDonalds: Clayton
    • Penultimate McDonalds: Cornelia, on Level Grove Rd.
      • It comes just BEFORE Cornelia and your exit to US-441.
  • Notes
    • You cannot reach Cowart Gap via Mr. Bert Road in a passenger vehicle. You may be able to reach it via ATV. Road becomes a wide trail by the time it reaches Cowart Gap.

Trail Guide

  • Durations (Buzzard, then Little Bald 2013): 3:00 - 3.5 Miles total, but it includes significant bushwhack.
    • 2:30 - 3.3 miles, Dicks Creek Gap to Buzzard Knob. 1100’ total climb + 400’ dip to Cowart Gap. Medium-difficulty bushwhack in summer.
    • 2:00 - 2.1 miles, Buzzard Knob to Little Bald Knob. Cowart Gap to summit is 3/4 mile and 500’ climb. Tough bushwhack in summer.
  • Durations (Little Bald, then Buzzard 2014):
    • 1:15 - Parking to Little Bald
    • 1:30 - On summit, Little Bald Knob
    • 1:45 - Little Bald Knob to Buzzard Knob
    • 1:15 - On summit, Buzzard Knob
    • 1:50 - Buzzard Knob to parking
    • Note: This was so fast that I hurt a lot afterward. Take more rest breaks and don’t push so hard the next time.
  • Navigation
    • Follow the AT blazes.
    • Bushwhack to Buzzard from N34.93261 W83.60191
    • Bushwhack to Little Bald from N34.91090 W83.60449 or N34.91260 W83.60179 and I don’t like either one.
      • I went up from the second and down to the first in September 2013. Miserable.
      • I went up from the first and down from the second in January 2014. Hike up the hill was strenuous, but bushwhack was easier with winter die-off. The bushwhack down wasn’t too bad.
  • Trailhead altitude: 2675’ at Dicks Creek Gap
  • Summit altitude:
    • Little Bald Knob: 3460’
    • Buzzard Knob: 3740’
  • GPS tracks/waypoints:
    • Dicks Creek Gap Trailhead: 34.91201, -83.61855
    • Little Bald Knob: 34.9133, -83.6041
    • Buzzard Knob: 34.9335, -83.6025

Summit Guide

  • Hang antenna from tree: Heavy vegetation makes it challenging.
  • Space to guy mast: Heavy vegetation makes it challenging.
  • Cell coverage: Good. AT&T had 3G internet. VZN SMS good. No APRS msgs or beacons worked.

Scouting After Hike

  • Scout the drive to Rock Mtn (NG-024) via Finney Creek Rd. You can’t get there via Courthouse Gap Rd because it becomes a private road near its start.