We love exploring little known treasures. Throw in a beautiful outdoor landscape, a little history, and the thrill of the hunt and we’re all in.
When we found out about Georgia’s TAG Tunnel, we were in the car the next day.
The tunnel is a relic of the now defunct Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway which operated from 1891 to 1982. The tracks are long gone, but an easily navigated path and piece of history remain. Ominous yet gorgeous, the 1700-foot tunnel curves it’s way beneath Pigeon Mountain, and upon entering you can’t see the opening on the other side, which adds to the fun. Inside, it looks more like a natural cave than man-made tunnel, complete with waterfalls.
Enter at your own risk. While we felt comfortable and safe the whole time, as comfortable as we’ve felt on our more difficult hikes, the walls are almost 150 years old and could be prone to crumbling and falling rocks.
Lacking more powerful lighting and wet water gear we opted to walk in a few hundred feet or so and then turned back while we could still see the entrance, not without protest from our 11-year-old explorer. We do plan to go back sometime with better lighting.
Here are a few tips to help plan your visit:
- I wish we knew this earlier, but the TAG Tunnel is on Google Maps. You can even simply put “TAG Tunnel” into Waze
- On GA 193 you’ll pass a cool, roadside waterfall at a very sharp S-Curve in the road. A few tenths of a mile past this point you’ll see the entrance to a gravel road on your right. When we visited the road was blocked by a gate. There’s room around the gate to safely park – just don’t block the gate.
- The tunnel is less than a half a mile walk from the parking spot. When the path forks, stay to the right.
- We visited just days after record rainfall in GA. We had to walk through about 50 feet of 12-18 inch water. The boys had rubber rain boots – we did not. It was COLD, but fun. If you don’t want to do this bring high top boots or consider visiting during a drier season.
- Bring strong flashlights – at least one for everyone in your group. The flashlight on your cell phone or with a mini-flashlight is not strong enough to penetrate the darkness here.
- If you’re into Geocaching, head to the Iron Horse cache just a short hike away. Enjoy views of the beautiful, moss covered creek along the way.
- Bring some bags with you to take found trash out. And of course, leave no trace! The place was overall pretty clean but we did find the occasional telltale sign of the North American dumbass.
- Plan to visit Pigeon Mountain Grill afterwards for some southern food and BBQ, just up the road.
We hope you enjoy this beautiful piece of southern history as much as we did! Did you make it all the way through? Did you see any ghost trains heading your way? Leave us a comment to let us know what you think.
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