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Exploring the Panoramic Views from Lookoff Mountain Overlook at the Highest State Park in Georgia |Moderate 3.1 miles

Today we headed 35min north of Bleu Canoe to check out the panoramic views on Lookoff Mountain in Black Rock State Park. The Eastern Continental Divide runs through the 1,743 acre park and it boasts being the highest state park in all of Georgia with a peak elevation of 3,640ft. Lookoff Mountain, where we are headed, comes in at 3061ft elevation. The Eastern Continental divide is a hydrological divide, all water on the eastern/southern side of the divide drains to the Atlantic Ocean; water on the western/northern side of the divide drains to the Gulf of Mexico. And as long as water is involved Bleu is exited to go!



The park boasts numerous trails, but the trail we went on this day starts at Black Rock Lake. Here you can enjoy the lake and picnic areas. For our anglers out there the lake is regularly stocked with rainbow trout in spring. In addition, there are catfish, bream, yellow perch, and large-mouth bass. The Lake is open to small non motorized watercraft. There is also a short 0.8 mile trail around the lake that can be combined with this hike, that we did not do this day.



We accessed Lookoff Mountain overlook via the James. E. Edmonds Trail which in its entirety is 7 miles long. However, from Black Rock Lake you can take a small unadvertised shortcut to only hike 3 miles of this trail, when you are not up for the full 7 miles. If feeling frisky, definitely do the whole trail which starts in another area of the park near the campground.



To find the shortcut, locate the small picnic area on Taylor Creek which feeds the lake, near the parking area. Make sure to stay following Taylor Creek and do not veer far from it immediately. This will connect you with the shortcut.




After this bridge keep the creek on your left for awhile.



The creek has some fun areas you can stop and explore, before you eventually cross the creek again via another bridge. After the bridge you will start seeing well marked signs for Lookoff Mountain Overlook and Campsites. Once you cross the road you begin your climb to the overlook, so get ready to get a little exercise in.



After the first steep climb you will walk along the mountain crest between Scrugg Knob and Marsen Knob. It was early spring when we went, so the leaves were not out yet. Because of the sparse foliage, we had great views to both sides of us during this part of the hike.




We really enjoyed this trail because it had a lot of variety, from the steep accent, to flat crests with the open views, followed by dense thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron, kept the trail interesting. Being in the service industry our "weekend" is Monday and Tuesday, probably lending to the vacant trails, as we did not pass a soul on this March hike.



WE MADE IT!



After half a mile walking on the crest, you will make one more rocky accent to reach the overlook. Unfortunately there were controlled burns in Rabun County this day, so the view was not as spectacular as it usually is, because the valley was full of smoke and you could not see the normal distance. On a clear day Lookoff Mountain Overlook offers a stunning vista of Wolffork Valley and surrounding mountain ranges. Backcountry Camping is available by permit only. Contact the park if interested in reserving one of the 4 spots available.



After taking it all in, you backtrack for a short while before taking the fork to the right for your decent. Along the way back we saw an abundance of diverse flowers starting to signal spring.



This is a great trail (or any trail at Black Rock) to combine with a trip to Clayton, only 5 minutes down the road. We decided to end with a cold one, at Currahee Brewing. We highly recommend checking out Clayton while staying at Bleu Canoe or the surrounding area. It has numerous family and small business minded stores and restaurants and is one of our (and Bleu's) favorite nearby small towns.




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