Cherokee County High Point Trip Report

Flagpole Mountain (1,968 ft)

Date: October 22, 2000
Author: Fred Lobdell

For the approach to Flagpole Mountain, see the trip report for Polk County, GA.

Flagpole Mountain is 0.8 miles due west from the Polk Co. HP as the vulture flies, but if you're walking, it requires a more roundabout route. From the closed contour just west of the state line, bushwhack a little west of north (about 340 degrees) and drop about 150 feet down to a saddle. It is possible to follow rough use or animal trails for part of this. From the saddle, bear around to your left until you're on the northeast ridge of Flagpole Mountain. After ascending a short distance you should intersect a trail, not shown on the topo. This is a northern extension of the Pinhoti Trail, not yet open to the public. Turn left and follow the trail as it ascends to within a few feet of the summit. (The elevation gain from the saddle to the summit is almost 400 feet.) Two bench marks were found on the summit.

On our descent, as we were walking out on the dirt road to the gate (described in the Polk County report), we were stopped by a hunting ranger. He was not happy that we were there. He said that the sign saying "Hunting Rights Leased" carried with it an implied "No Trespassing" under Georgia law.

For those who wish to use this route, it is strongly recommended that hunting season be avoided. However, access promises to become more readily available when the Pinhoti Trail is opened in this area. Part of the trail had been built just the day before, according to the ranger. As Fred Dale pointed out, we were undoubtedly the first recreational hikers to use that portion of the trail. We understand that eventually the Pinhoti Trail is supposed to be extended into Georgia and connect with the Appalachian Trail. Perhaps the best plan for those wishing to do this high point is to wait until the Pinhoti is opened, perhaps next spring, and hike in from the nearest trailhead. Then the Polk County, GA high point could be done as a relatively short bushwhack from the Pinhoti Trail. Even after the trail is opened, however, it may be a good idea to avoid hiking during hunting season.