Dowdell's Knob Trail
Blazed Light Blue
This mile-long nature trail (one way) introduces you to the plants and animals in a dry oak-hickory forest found along the crest of Dowdell’s Knob. As the trail descends from the ridge top, look for changes in the forest as soils get deeper and conditions more moist. The markers end at a waterfall near Brown Dog bluff with a couple options for returning to the trail head.
Mountain Creek Trail
Blazed Red and starts behind the Trading Post
This 3.2 mile-long lop trail introduces you to the plants and animals in a mixed oak-pine forest found along the headwaters of Mountain Creek. As the trail climbs and descends, look for changes between the drier ridges and the wetter stream bottoms. There are also differences due to past human activities. Early in the morning or just before sunset is a good time to hear woodpeckers tapping on snags or see deer grazing in forest glades.
This lovely and well-maintained trail is rated one of the best trail systems in Georgia. It was built and is maintained by the Pine Mountain Trail Association. Designed for maximum enjoyment of both the day and overnight hiker this trail is one of the jewels of the Georgia Park System. The trail system contains almost 40 miles of hiking trails. A map is sold at the Park Information Center, a valuable tool in planning your hike. The Trail starts at the Park entrance off highway 27 across from Callaway Gardens Country Store and ends at the WJSP TV Tower on highway 85W. This is a distance of 23 miles. The main trail is indicated by a BLUE blaze. All side trails and loop connections are indicated by WHITE blazes.
There are six loops along the Pine Mountain Trail. Any of these make a good day hike, Please ask at the Park Office for details.
- Mountain Creek Nature Trail (3.2 miles) This RED blazed loop trail starts at the Trading Post in the main camping area. It is one of the less strenuous. The Mountain Creek Trail is also one of the loveliest trails as it passes through several plant habitats.
- Dowdell's Knob Loop (4.3 miles) This loop can best be accessed from the Knob parking area. Entering the main trail (blue blaze) and going either right a distance of approximately 1 mile or left a distance of approximately 2 miles to the Boot Top Trail a white blazed 1.3 mile connection back to the main trail, returning back to the parking area (Note: The Dowdell's Knob gate closes at 5:00 p.m. October 1–March 31 and at 8:00 p.m. April 1–September 31).
- Wolfden Loop (6.7 miles) This is considered one of the most beautiful stretches of trail in the Southeast, and is the most popular section of trail on the park. There are two entry points to this loop. One is to park at the TV tower parking area the other at the mile 18 parking area on Highway 190. Either one gives you good access to start into what should be a pleasurable experience in the natural surroundings of FDR State Park.
- Longleaf Loop (6.9 miles) This loop has the most trail connections in the trail system a map is highly recommended for this loop. There are six highway crossings and one on the campground road for a total of seven paved road crossings. It has at least five trail connections that you must make.
- Big Poplar Loop (7.8 miles) This is our longest loop, and a favorite one of most hikers. Named for the large poplar tree located close to the ten-mile marker. It also has a number of rock formations and creeks to cross. It has two entry points one at the mile six parking area on Highway 190 and also on 190 at the mile eleven parking area.
- Overlook Loop (3.4 miles) This is the newest loop to be added to the trail system. The most convenient parking for this loop is the parking area across from the Callaway Country Store the other is at the Gardens Overlook on Highway 190.
One can also enjoy a quiet walk into the parks natural surroundings at any of the trail crossings on Highway 190 or from the Park Information Center. Simply enter the trail and go as far as you wish. This can prove to be an enjoyable experience. But remember to carry water and a bite to eat. Also plan for the time it will take you to return. It is a good idea to tell someone your plans or leave your itinerary at the Park Information Desk. Leave the trail better than you found it. Pick up the trash left by someone less thoughtful than you. Learn more about the Pine Mountain Trail.