About 25 hikers made it to Blackjack Mountain for the March Walk and Talk in spite of our inadequate directions. At least two people failed to find us, as the park entrance is not yet clearly marked. The park is located in the southwest corner of Carroll County just at the lines of Carroll and Heard Counties and Alabama. Traveling west on HWY100 the park entrance is the first driveway beyond the green Carroll County boundary marker.Approaching from the east, the mountain comes into sight as a long, north-south ridge gently rising to an elevation of 1545 feet, making it the high point in Carroll County and one of the highest points in Georgia south of Interstate 20.
Big Blackjack Mountain is separated from Little Blackjack by a slight dip in the ridge. With the help of the Trust for Public Land, Carroll County purchased both properties from the Jubal Watts family in 2005. Our hike leader for the day was Jim Watts, who grew up riding the trails of Blackjack with his siblings and friends, fishing the lakes and camping out in the forests. These experiences gave Jim a cache of first hand stories to tell us. The park includes 312 acres of pines and mixed hardwoods. It is named for the Blackjack oak trees found there. The property includes two small lakes, several tributaries and a federally designated wetlands. The property is a valuable habitat for wildlife. Blackjack is believed to have been important to the regions Native Americans as a reference point along trading routes and for sacred ceremonies.
The hike up the mountain is not steep, and once at the summit, the path is quite level and easily navigable. The views from the top are limited by the thickness of the tree growth and the abundance of large Chinese privet. There are a few places where the tree cover is less dense and one can see to Bowdon to the NW, to Roopville to the E and to the SW the water towers at Woodland, Alabama. The group agreed the site is a wonderful asset to Carroll County and should provide many opportunities for citizens to enjoy nature. In the future, we would like to have a “geology hike” at the mountain, and find out more about the specific sites and uses of the mountain by Native Americans. We would also like to explore the wetlands.
Please click here to view Walk and Talk photos.