Hike and Camp the Big Poplar Loop , F.D. Roosevelt SP

F.D. Roosevelt State Park Campground

Easy, back country trails with plenty of options and lots of mileage. The Pine Mountain trail and adjacent loops cross and follow the breathtaking Pine Mountain ridge in west central Georgia, located inside the Franklin Delano Roosevelt State Park and near Callaway Gardens.

We camped a few nights in the F.D. Roosevelt campground in our Airstream before setting out for two nights in the backcountry. Our first stop was at the Visitor Center to talk with the ranger and plan our route. Some of the campsites are limited and must be reserved in advance with the ranger, so we figured we needed to see what was available.

The ranger on duty was incredibly helpful providing trail grade information, where we were likely to find water, etc. There are many sections of the trail that form fairly good-sized loops for families and younger kids, or you can hike the entire 23-mile Pine Mountain Trail end to end if you are feeling ambitious.

Pine Mountain Trail Website: www.pinemountaintrail.org

We finally settled on Big Poplar Loop for a total of 7.8 miles due to the campsite locations and proximity to water sources. We parked our truck (left the Airstream nearby at the closed Swimming pool parking lot) at Fox Den Cove and got started around 2pm in the afternoon.

We packed in quite a bit of water and camped our first night at Grindstone Gap since there was a chance there'd be little to no water at this first site. There was a trickle of a stream, but I'm glad we packed most of it in. There were no other campers and we had the place to ourselves.

The next day we hiked over to Jenkins Spring Campsite, managing to show up early afternoon. There is a fairly size able stream, and we camped on a bit of a hill overlooking the stream bed.

Our third day we had a pretty easy hike back out to Fox Den Cove and made it well before lunch.

In all honesty, we probably could have day hiked the whole loop (and we saw plenty of hikers who were), but where's the fun in that? Much more relaxing if we take three days.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Backpack to carry gear
  • Water
  • Seeping bag
  • A good book
  • Hammock & straps
  • Camera
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RT Distance 7.8 Miles
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Family Friendly


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