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The Benton MacKaye Trail section from Old Dial Road to Stanley Creek Road.

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Point to Point

2,146' 654 m


1,783' 543 m


539' 164 m


433' 132 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked

Section Of

Need to Know

For more information, visit the Benton MacKaye Trail Association's website.

Cherry Log Food and Post Office: The Cherry Log PO is on Cherry Log Rd 0.1 miles north of the intersection with Rock Creek Rd. The Pink Pig Restaurant (a favorite of BMT Trail Crews) with an outdoor pay phone is 0.8 miles north of Rock Creek Rd. To reach these from the GA 5/515 BMT crossing, go 1.4 miles south on the highway, then turn left onto Cherry Log Rd and go 0.7 miles to the restaurant.


Points of Interest along this section: The trail parallels for a ways a lovely stretch of the Toccoa River, also favored by paddlers and tubers in the summer. The historic 175 feet-long Shallowford Bridge was built in 1918 in the classic “Pratt through truss” design popular at that time. It is eligible for inclusion in the National Registry of Historic Places. There is a small convenience store and restaurant near the junction of Shallowford Bridge Road with Aska Road (Toccoa Wilderness Outpost).

Trail Description: The trail begins at the intersection of Old Dial Road and Shallowford Bridge Road at mile 35.6 (WP 53, 1881’). On the northwest corner of the intersection, the trail climbs steadily uphill to a ridgeline generally traveling west just to the north of Shallowford Bridge Road. The trail has several short steep sections, mostly keeping to the crest of the ridge (maximum elevation 2140’). There is a nice campsite, albeit without water, about a quarter of a mile up the trail in a small gap. At mile 36.3 the trail begins to slowly descend to the Toccoa River on an old logging road, reaching the river and Shallowford Bridge Road at mile 36.9 (WP 58, 1800’). Turn right and follow the road to the Shallowford Bridge at mile 37.4. Cross the bridge to the intersection with Aska Road (WP 59). The remainder of this section is a road hike on Aska and Stanley Creek Roads. Turn right (southwest) onto Aska Road and then turn left onto Stanley Creek Road at mile 37.7. At mile 40.8, leave the road and turn right onto a trail which follows Fall Branch (WP 60, 2000’).

Note: A nice day hike is to hike from Wilscot Gap to Shallowford Bridge, a distance of 7.1 miles.

Campsites: Primitive camping without water is available at mile 35.9 (WP 61) on a ridgeline in a gap. No other established campsites are available along this section, though one could camp near where the trail leaves Stanley Creek Road after crossing Fall Branch (WP 60).

Water Sources: Water is available from a few seasonal runoffs along the edge of Shallowford Bridge Road (A). Also, potable water and food as well as some supplies are available at the store and restaurant at the intersection of Aska Road and Shallowford Bridge Road (Toccoa Wilderness Outpost). Water is available as well from Stanley Creek (D) and Fall Branch (WP 60, A). We do not recommend obtaining drinking water from the Toccoa River.


Shared By:

Richard Harris

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Shallowford Bridge at Christmas
Aug 14, 2019 near Cherry Log, GA
Shallowford Bridge February 2019 and old and loved landmark of the BMT.
Aug 14, 2019 near Cherry Log, GA


Current Trail Conditions

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Mar 14, 2021
Ted Lach
8h 30m
Nov 28, 2020
Erin Murphy
Old dial road to shallow Ford road, skipped all the road walks

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