Wildcat

By Johnny Malloy
  |  Gorp.com
Essentials
Travel Time: Approximately two hours
Directions: From Atlanta, take I-985 north and US 23 to GA 197 near Cornelia. Turn left onto GA 197 and follow it to Clarkesville. From Clarkesville, stay on GA 197 and follow it 22 miles to Forest Road 26. Turn left up a steep hill to access FR 26 and follow it three miles to Wildcat Camping Area #1 and four miles Wildcat Camping Area #2.
Information: (706) 782-3320
Reservations: No
Fee: Camping at Wildcat is $5 per night
Open: Year-round
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Chattahoochee National Forest

Call it the ultimate escape for the weary city dweller. When city life drags me down, I head straight for Sliding Rock, a swimming hole deep in the North Georgia Mountains on Wildcat Creek, where a cool sheet of water flows down a flat expanse of stone, forming a natural water slide. Part of the Lake Burton Wildlife Management Area of the Chattahoochee National Forest , Wildcat Creek offers opportunities for swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, and camping.

Nearby Lake Burton provides other watery recreation if you own or want to rent a boat. Just down the road is Moccasin Creek State Park, where marked trails for hiking and biking connect to the more remote trails around Wildcat (grab a Lake Burton WMA map from the state park office).

The two camping areas on Wildcat Creek, separated by a mile of road, have attractive wooded campsites with large boulders set amid them. There are no showers and you must bring your drinking water, but the location can't be beat. Just up the road from the two Wildcat camping areas is the Appalachian Trail. It's a short mile up to Addis Gap on the AT and the Tray Mountain Wilderness, 9,000 acres of untamed Southern Appalachia.


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