The Fort Mountain Mystery

Just outside Ellijay, traveling on State Road 52 to the Northwest, is a winding two lane road that ascends more than a thousand feet with sharp turns and pull-offs on both sides. Fort Mountain State Park’s entrance then takes you to the park office where you can get information about trails, camping, R.V. sites, and many activities, including hiking, backpacking, biking, picnicking, horse back riding, fishing, swimming, or geocoaching hidden treasures.

Fort Mountain takes its name from a peak that has remnants of a stone formation around part of that peak. These mysterious piles of non-native rock, many of them large, form a long discontinuous zig-zag wall that runs more than 928 feet and varies in height from two to six feet.

The original construction and function of the formation as a fort is less accepted today and its origin remains unknown.

Some scholars believe that the formation could be attributed to pre-Columbian native Americans from around 500 A.D. and that it held a ceremonial or religious purpose. The ancient wall runs east to west and the alignment illuminates one side of the wall at sunrise and the other side at sunset as ancient Native American cultures often worshiped the sun.

The myths of the culture who built it abound. Cherokee Indian culture speaks of a race of “moon-eyed” people who are said to have lived in Appalachia until the Cherokee expelled them.

Another myth revolves around the Welsh prince Madoc, who purportedly sailed to America in 1170. The story asserts that Madoc’s colonists had intermarried with local Native Americans. These “Welsh Indians” were credited with the construction of a number of landmarks throughout the United States.

For more information to Fort Mountain State Park, call 706-695-262