Heralded as the most difficult and steep trail in northwest Georgia, this short trail climbs up to Rocky Face which is a mountain west of Dalton Georgia. The area is also the site of the Battle of Rocky Face back in May 8-10, 1864. The name of this trail pays tribute to a Confederate Civil War soldier of the 4th Kentucky Infantry. A historical marker of George Disney’s grave is located on US41 near Mill Creek Gap at Georgia State Patrol headquarters. This is one of the oldest trails in Georgia which has been used for more than 80 years to access the Rocky Face.
The trail is part of the Rocky Face Trail System which is also an access point to the north section of the mountain where the Army of Tennessee held their defense during the Civil War. The battle occurred in Dug Gap and Mill Creek Gap which went on for two days until William T. Sherman overtook Joseph E. Johnston’s battalion.
The lone grave was discovered in 1912 by the Dalton Boy Scouts who trekked the mountain that year. Led by their scoutmaster, they made a project of creating a pathway to the site and restoring the lone grave. The Disney Trail even existed 20 years prior to the Appalachian Trail. The trailhead starts at a short and steep climb that leads to a historic level road that stays close to the mountain’s curve that reaches further to Mill Creek Gap.
Along this gap, the trail then begins another sharp ascend, this time to the top of Rocky Face Ridge where George Disney’s lone grave is situated nearby. Expect the trail to become more challenging and demanding halfway through it as the path becomes steeper while making a series of switchbacks. Continue further to the top of the mountain until you reach the grave of George Disney. This ultimately marks the focal point of the Disney Trail.
On your return, you may access another 6 miles of trail blazes but the trail further has not yet been fully developed at all. For the adventurous ones, you may take these trails that take you to the ridgetop at the Hardee Trail that has its trailhead back at Dug Gap Park. To the right of this trails, you will approach the Palisades trail where you can emerge to the spectacular views of the Ridge and Valley Section of northwest Georgia.