Hiked: January 19-21, 2001 weather info: Pine Mountain, Georgia 31822 Columbus, Georgia 31902 Permits must be obtained at the ranger station at the park. Total for car permits and hiking permits is around $5 per day. We were able to use the campground shower facilities at no extra charge. Reservations are required for the campsites, first come, first served. With the number of campsites and trails, making alternate plans on the fly shouldn’‘t be too much of a problem. The trail is about 23 miles total, but a number of side trails make loops possible. A shuttle is available for point-to-point hikers, for a donation. The entire trail ranges from easy to moderate. Apparently the park has regular sheriff and ranger patrols so vandalism is not a big problem for unattended cars in the park. Day1: We showed up intending to hike the entire trail, but the weather proved disagreeable so we rented a campsite at the park the first night. There is a small town nearby with some sights to see, but as it was cold and raining, we opted for pizza and headed back. Day 2: We started at the Dowdell Knob Trailhead. Parking is available there. We hiked to the end of the trail (MM 23) and then took a side trail to loop back to MM 18. There are numerous water sources along the trail, as well as a few pretty water falls. From MM 18 we backtracked to about MM16, the Brown Dog campsite. This is on top of a mount so it was quite windy. Less then 100 yards west of the approach to the campsite is a good water source. The approach itself is probably 150 yards, not too bad. There are several spots for camping and a few fire rings. The weather during the day was just above freezing, at night below freezing. The trail crisscrosses the ridgeline. When on the windy side, it was cold. The other side wasn’‘t too bad for hiking. Day 3: This was a fairly easy 2 or 3 miles back to the cars. Overall a nice hike with good facilities. The security adds to the peace of mind when leaving a car overnight at the trailhead. The trail is very well marked and maintained. Because of the numerous loops and entry points, day hikers are common. We did run into quite a few people along the trail, both overnight backpackers and day hikers. We had the campsite to ourselves. There is no convenience store at the park so stock up in one of the small towns nearby. The country store at the park is more of a restaurant, not a convenience store.