Smithgall Woods State Park Martin’s Mine and Cathy Ellis Memorial Trails

Cleveland, Georgia

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It’s hard to imagine that the vibrant forest surrounding the Martin’s Mine Trail was once stripped barren. But in the 1850s, hydraulic mining, including the use of water cannons, lay waste to the Smithgall Woods landscape. This path explores the area where Scottish immigrant John Martin established a gold mine in the 1890s. The trail takes you through the old stamp mill site and passes the area where Martin dug three shafts. After completing the Martin’s Mine Trail, proceed to the Cathy Ellis Memorial Trail, which is named in honor of a young woman who died while hiking in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The short trail leads to the top of a ridge where a pavilion provides a good place to sit, relax, and enjoy this particularly peaceful part of Smithgall Woods. You then descend to the confluence of Dukes Creek and Alabama Creek and end with a visit to a secluded waterfall.

Smithgall Woods State Park: Martin’s Mine and Cathy Ellis Memorial Trails Professional Review and Guide

"It’s hard to imagine that the vibrant forest surrounding the Martin’s Mine Trail was once stripped barren. But in the 1850s, hydraulic mining, including the use of water cannons, lay waste to the Smithgall Woods landscape. This path explores the area where Scottish immigrant John Martin established a gold mine in the 1890s.

The trail takes you through the old stamp mill site and passes the area where Martin dug three shafts. After completing the Martin’s Mine Trail, proceed to the Cathy Ellis Memorial Trail, which is named in honor of a young woman who died while hiking in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The short trail leads to the top of a ridge where a pavilion provides a good place to sit, relax, and enjoy this particularly peaceful part of Smithgall Woods. You then descend to the confluence of Dukes Creek and Alabama Creek and end with a visit to a secluded waterfall."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cleveland
Distance: 6.8
Elevation Gain: 440 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3–4 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Smithgall Woods State Park
Local Maps: A trail map is available at the visitor center or online at gastateparks.org/SmithgallWoods-Hiking

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Jun 2018