located on top of Pigeon Mountain in the extreme corner of
Northwest Georgia, about 1/2 way between Atlanta, GA, and
Chattanooga, TN. It is nearest to the town of Lafayette,
Georgia. Pigeon Mountain is actually a spur jutting northeast
off 80 mile long Lookout Mountain.
Here, on the
southernmost vestiges of the Cumberland Plateau, an area of
large boulders has been exposed on the top of the broad ridge.
Rocktown is comprised of several acres of large sandstone
boulders, averaging 30 - 40 feet high. The rock is unusually
juggy, with tons of hand and foot holds, and some very unique
formations. This area remains in essentially pristine condition,
unpolluted by the trash and graffiti due to the easy 1 mile hike
in from the trailhead that discourages riffraff.
(from points to the south)
~ Take I-75 until north of Atlanta.
~ About 1/2 way between Atlanta and Chattanooga watch for I-75
exit for Resacca, Lafayette, (HWY 136) - Turn L onto HWY 136 &
cross over I-75.
~ Go 6.5 miles to T intersection turn Right to stay on HWY 136.
~ Go 14.3 miles (through Villanow & over mountain) to T
intersection & turn Left to stay on HWY 136.
~ Go 1.3 miles and turn Right to stay on HWY 136. (be careful
this intersection will sneak up on you).
~ Go 3.9 miles to HWY 27/136 (traffic light) - continue straight
ahead to HWY 27 in the town of Lafayette, Georgia.
~ Turn Left onto HWY 27/193 and go a short distance. HWY 193
north will turn Right.
~ Go 2.7 miles on HWY 193 to Chamberlain Road and turn Left onto
Chamberlain (Fina station on Right)
~ Go 3.3 miles on Chamberlain Rd to Crockford-Pigeon Wildlife
Area sign on Right - turn Right onto gravel road.
~ Take this road approximately. 1.8 miles (as the road steepens
it gets rougher, and goes up the Mt. via a series of
switchbacks) Lost Wall Parking is just past the fourth
switchback on the left. Continue past the Lost Wall pullout up
the mountain. The road improves again once it levels off near
the top of the mountain.
~ When the road splits, take the Right fork (Rocky Road ) 1.3
~ Turn Left onto Rocktown Road (sign) dirt road 1/3 mile to
Trailhead is @ the right
corner of the parking lot, next to the information kiosk. There
is a flat trail leading 1 mile to the climbing area.
If coming from the north
(i.e. Trenton, GA or Chattanooga, TN), You can come across
lookout mountain on 136. When you intersect 193, take it to the
right. You will come to the Fina station at the right turn onto
Chamberlain Rd after 10 minutes or so. This eliminates driving
into and out of Lafayette, GA.
Maps & other
More information about
Pigeon Mountain and Lookout Mountain form a V, like the thumb
and index finger of a person's left hand held palm down, with
Lookout being the index finger and Pigeon being the thumb.
Nestled in the V shape is the Chickamauga Valley's lovely
McLemore Cove, a National Historic District. The mountain was
named for the passenger pigeon, now extinct, which in the 1800s
roosted there by the thousands. In the 1920s and 1930s some 30
families lived on Pigeon Mountain, working small farms and
perhaps making moonshine liquor. Their names have stayed behind
as part of the landscape, as in Rape Gap, Ellison's Cave, and
Pettijohn's Cave. The 1930s saw a lowering of the water table on
the mountain, causing all the wells to dry up and the families
to abandon their homes. The water table has yet to return to its
This is an area with
many natural features of exceptional value for wildlife,
recreation, and historical, archeological, and educational
purposes. For years it has been studied by scientists, who are
still finding new and exciting plants, animals, and natural
environments. Some 21 rare plants and several rare salamanders
are found here. The area was leased by the Georgia Department of
Natural Resources in 1969. Since that time, the state has
purchased more than 13,000 acres of the mountain. The land is
managed as the Crockford–Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management
Area, primarily for wildlife and the protection and
enhancement of the mountain's many natural features.
CAMPING @ Crockford-Pigeon Mountain
There are free camping areas, with NO facilities, that are first
come first use. There are two designated areas, which are
strictly enforced, so be sure you’re in a real campsite before
you set up your stuff. The first area is at the bottom of the
mountain, off the main road to the right, just passed the
Pettijohn’s parking area. There is a rough loop road cut
through the woods and plenty of spots available. At the top of
the mountain, past the road to Rocktown is a horse camp that
also has camping.
Other camping options
If you’d rather not camp at Crockford-Pigeon Mountain, the
Cloudland Canyon State
The reddish rocks of this ancient river delta that hikers see
along the trail or imbedded in the sandstone formations of
Rocktown are iron ore deposits. At one time there were 10 iron
mines on the mountain. These deposits add a special visual
interest to the Rocktown environment, because the softer
sandstone erodes around them. Rocktown is easy to reach and
would be a suitable hike for those of almost any age or physical
condition. The trail is marked with pink blazes.
ROCKTOWN TRAIL to get to the climbing area
1 mile one-way. Exploration of the massive boulders within the
150 acres of Rocktown can easily consume the better part of a
day. Some of the boulders are as large as three-story office
buildings; a narrow pedestal supporting a caprock resembles a
25-foot-tall champagne glass; and deep inside a narrow, dark
crevice it is cool enough for hikers to see their breath even
though the outside temperature may be close to 80 degrees