GetBackpacking! Weekend Escape: Doughton Park


Our Weekend Escape to Doughton Park is the perfect marriage of backpacking and hiking, with 25 miles of hiking, only 3 of which is in full pack.

Dates: Friday, June 21, to Sunday, June 23, 2024.

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Looking for a way to escape the “Heat Dome?”  We have a late-breaking basecamp trip to Doughton Park that avoids 90-degree weather and has some great water options. Better still,  only about 3 miles of this 20-mile weekend involves a full pack. For the rest we’ll be hiking in a light daypack.

Here’s the plan for our Doughton Park adventure:

Friday, June 21: We’ll meet at the trailhead to the primitive camping area at Longbottom Road at the base of Doughton Park at 11 a.m., hike in a mile and a half on a relatively flat old roadbed to our primitive campsite, set up camp, then hike 3.3 miles up Basin Creek to the Caudill Cabin.

Saturday, June 22: In day packs, we’ll do a 16-mile loop, heading out Grassy Gap Trail for 1.5 miles, then  up the 4.4-mile Cedar Ridge Trail. At the top, we’ll pick up the Bluff Mountain Trail (aka Mountains-to-Sea Trail) and hike 6.4 miles through woods and mountaintop meadows to the Grassy Gap Trail, for the 3.5-mile return to camp. Cedar Ridge gets 80 percent of the climbing out of the way, Bluff Ridge offers sweeping views.

Sunday, June 23: Break camp and back to cars at 9:30 a.m., with an optional day hike at nearby Stone Mountain State Park.

Cost: $85


  • Camping
  • eguide for the trip detailing all hikes (including a custom map and elevation profile), tips on what to bring and how to dress, information on the terrain we’ll be exploring. Maps are included as separate downloads.

Hike is limited to 6 participants.

NOTE: Friday’s and Saturday’s hikes are subject to change depending upon weather conditions and water levels in creeks that need to be crossed.


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