Need to Know
You'll need $5 (2018) or a state parks pass for parking.
Tsalaki Road is the main road through Smithgall Woods State Park. (No vehicles are allowed inside the park). Roughly the first half of the trail and a couple other particular steep sections are paved, but otherwise the base is a gravel. The pavement ends in the heart of the park at a covered bridge over Duke's Creek and then the road parallels Duke's Creek for about a mile. Then you leave the creek and a couple of short climbs take you the (locked) gate for the park of GA75.
Duke's Creek is where gold was first discovered in the area in 1828. The discovery of gold in this area is one of the factors that lead to the removal of the Cherokee Indians from the area during the Trail of Tears in the 1830's. A US mint existed in Dahlonega a few miles to the southwest from 1838 until the start of the civil war in 1861.
The road connects a number of short hiking trails. Martin's Mine Trail features some of the area's gold mining history and the Cathy Ellis Trail
goes down to a waterfall on the Alabama Branch.
Shared By: Lost Justpastnowhere