This national historic landmark provides panoramic views of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia, Tennessee and both North and South Carolina. Mountains visible from the tower include the Smoky Mountains to the north, the Balsams and the Cowees to the east and the Tusquittee and Slickrock ranges to the west.
Like Satulah, this is an old-time favorite for visitors and Highlands residents alike. Take the loop trail clockwise or counter-clockwise – you still end up at the parking lot. Summit is a ridge with many overlooks to the south (with a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Escarpment) and to the north and east (view of ridges and mountains overlooking more developed Cashiers area and Whiteside Cove).
This longish hike up Cole Mountain, Shortoff Mountain, around Goat Knob and up Yellow Mountain is worth the trip for the view to be had from the old fire tower at the summit. Trail is well-marked and maintained, but it will test the mettle of the weekend walker.
Follow this “county line road” dividing Jackson and Macon counties to intersection with Chattooga River Trail. Bear left another 0.2 miles, approximately, to picnic spots along Chattooga River, at confluence with Norton Mill Creek. Look for iron bridge over creek, repaired by Forest Service after the 2004 hurricanes. The Chattooga at this location squeezes into a natural rock sluice, “The Narrows,” before widening out.