Originally, I had planned an intermediate hike through the Pigeon Mountain area, including the renowned geological structures of Rock Town (not to be confused with the gnome-ridden, commercial setting of Rock City). However, upon our arrival at Rock Town the group was so enamored with it that the entire hike was spent in this one area.
Background & History
The Pigeon Mountain is located in Northwest Georgia in Walker County. Its name is derived from the once plentiful passenger pigeons once native to the area but now extinct. Most of the site has slowly come under the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area.
Along with splendid dayhiking opportunities the site also hosts primitive overnight camping, rockclimbing/bouldering and caving. Probably the most famous feature of Pigeon Mountain, however, is Rock Town, a 150 acre area featuring massive boulders; splintered, eroded and balanced in a wide array of shapes and conditions.
After a slightly late start we arrived in the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area Checkpoint from which a rough dirt road winds up to the trailhead and parking area. Vehicles with poor suspension or low clearance are ill-advised from attempting this approach, and a four-wheel drive would be highly desirable. Upon reaching the trailhead there were already a handful of campers and several rockclimbers present.
We set out on the southern trail to the Rock Town site which we originally planned to take, in turn, to the blue blaze mountain trail. However, as we approached the Rock Town area, the series of increasingly larger and more bizarre rock formation became too tempting to simply pass by. We proceeded to spend the next three hours criss-crossing the area, exploring fissures, scaling structures and winding through the footpaths. Several shallow caves, strange erosion structures and indescribable features beckon visitors to linger and take in this unique place. One hiking companion got in touch with her inner mountain goat while the other seemed to at least appreciate the scenery (both native and visiting, wink).
As the day wound down, I was very glad that we’d taken a closer look at Rock Town but a little disappointed to have missed some of the other structures elsewhere on the mountain. In an attempt to circumvent the confusing footpaths of Rock Town, we circled its perimeter to try to reach the pink blaze trail that initially led us in. Unfortunately, we overshot it and instead had to bushwhack north until we hit the access road. Although this only resulted in about 50 minutes of light undergrowth and no substantial delay from our planned time, the moaning was epic. On a mental note, I must put the words “Intermediate” and “Several hours” in 24pt, bold font in my next invite email.