Springer Mountain Loop Hike with Owen Vista
The Owen Vista offers one of the most beautiful vistas on the Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) in Georgia. This is a wonderful half-day, or modest full-day hike (5.0 or 5.4 miles) that incorporates the southern termini in Georgia of two great trails and lovely vistas.
Park in the AT parking lot on Forest Service (FS) Road 42, and begin hiking on the AT — across the road from the parking lot — toward Springer Mountain’s summit. At the southern terminus sign for the BMT, turn left to start your journey on the BMT. Or, continue straight ahead to the AT terminus summit on Springer Mountain, situated atop a rock bluff with an exquisite overlook view to the west.
Continuing mostly downhill on the BMT, you’ll pass a bronze plaque embedded in a rocky outcrop. The plaque is a memorial dedicated to the trail’s namesake, Benton MacKaye.
Your next stop will be at the sign for Owen Vista which is located a hundred feet to the south on a side trail. A favorite among hikers as a resting and snack location, this south-facing shady bluff vista is named after one of BMTA’s founding members, George Owen, who first noticed this spectacular view.
Continue on to again cross FS Road 42 at Big Stamp Gap (the BMT parking lot is to the south, with a connecting trail east of Road 42). The next 2.2 miles of the BMT undulates through mixed forest and over three shallow streams with rock crossings.
At the AT / BMT intersection, trek the AT to the left 0.3 to return to the AT parking lot and your vehicle.
You’ve just done the Springer Mountain Upper Loop using two famous trails!
Once you have enjoyed the trail consider giving back to the dedicated volunteers who maintain the Benton MacKaye Trail. Learn more about Membership and Volunteering with the Benton MacKaye Trail Association.