The Hightower Trail in Dunwoody

This page provides links to several different-sized images of a map of the Hightower Trail, as it meanders runs through Dunwoody neighborhoods in DeKalb and Fulton Counties {Georgia}. This map was created through the research of James Perkins, a local writer with historic interests, and originally prepared / printed in 1995 under his supervision. We have modified the colorized first image {a "gif" version} to update some roads. It has been on the Hightower Trail History Page for some years and should be viewed on-screen at full size. It will print on a full-sized sheet of paper {Landscape setting -- file size about 100kb}.


 
Click here to see Map alone 
Does not show well on most laptop computers

Hightower Trail Revealed, by Jim Perkins

Published first in print in the Dunwoody Crier: and online at http://www.thecrier.net/articles/2004/11/03/news/pasttense.txt

I do not claim to be an historian, although there are some who consider me to be "historic." I'll admit, that in my early days of research I introduced myself to some strangers as the "village historian" in order to gain access, and to those people, I now offer my apology.
 
I like to consider myself a "man on a mission." My mission has been to create and increase the level of interest and knowledge in local history. With the generous assistance of this newspaper, I believe that I have been able to do so, even though there is no way to measure it. The Crier has published my entire body of work over the years (about 10). I always wanted to know what it would be like to have a "body of work," so I decided to try. Although, the Hightower Trail map is my signature work, it has never been published. With the help of some local printers, I have given out several thousand machine copies over the years. The Crier has delivered one more time. I hope you enjoy it.
 
The Hightower Trail passed through the Dunwoody area from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, on the east to the Chattahoochee River on the northwest.
 
It was a major Indian trail from the vicinity of Augusta, to the mountains of northwest Georgia and points beyond. It crossed the river at the "shallow ford" a short distance west of the Roswell Road bridge, where the Indians were able to walk across unless it was flooding. No one knows how many hundreds (or thousands) of years this trail served as the "interstate highway" for the Indians.
 
Because the rough terrain through this area made the trail unsuitable for wagon travel, the early white settlers did not convert it into a permanent road. It gradually faded away or was erased by development over the years. Other stretches along the trail exist as modern roads today.
 
Fortunately, in this area, the path of the trail still remains today as the official line between two land districts. Consequently, it is still shown on some modern day maps, and we are able to tell almost exactly where it ran. It also survives today as the county line between Dekalb and Gwinnett southeast of here, which accounts for the irregular boundary.
 
So let us proceed to describe the route through our neighborhoods and streets of today, proceeding northwest from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, between Tilly Mill and Winters Chapel roads.
 
It came through the woods on the northeast side of North Amberly Court in Dunwoody Estates after crossing the headwaters of Nancy Creek (I was able to identify evidence of the trail at this undeveloped location.) From there, it proceeded through the west end of the county water works on the north side of Stonehenge Court and crossed Peeler Road west of Windward Drive. It crossed Brandy Turk Way and then Happy Hollow Road north of Coldstream Drive.
 
Then it went across the curve in Heatherdale Lane between Windon Court and Redcliff Way and passed on the north side Kingsley Lake. It apparently passed through the parking lot of Kingsley Swim and Racquet Club before crossing North Peachtree Way.
 
Next, it went directly behind all of the homes on the east side of North Peachtree Road before crossing North Peachtree just north of Sandell Drive. At this point, I believe that it followed the ravine on the east side of the parking lot at the All Saints Catholic Church, before crossing Mount Vernon Road, the southeastern tip of Mount Vernon Center and Jett Ferry Road.
 
After passing across Williamsburg At Dunwoody, it entered the Dunwoody Club Forest area, crossing Trentham Drive and passing near the end of Woodland Way and just to the south of Claibourne, Calder, and Chartridge Courts. It then appears to have crossed the east end of Trowbridge Drive and Stapleton Drive before crossing Trowbridge again near the intersection with Trowbridge Cove.
 
It crossed Tamworth Court in the curve and Trowbridge Drive for the third time before passing across Durett Drive and Durett Way twice in the horseshoe curve. The next crossing was Woodsong Drive between Woodsong Trail and the Woodsong, from which point it traversed the flood plain of Ball Mill Creek.
 
Leaving the Dunwoody Club area, the trail swung in a more northerly direction, crossing Bend Creek Road just east of Bend Creek Way. It moved into Fulton County across Dunwoody Club Drive between the two Bend Creek Road intersections. The path from there to the river crossed Spalding Drive, the curve at the end of Northwold Drive, and Northridge Road east of 400.
 
Finally, it followed the route of today's Hightower trail from Dunwoody Place across Roswell Road into Huntcliff where it crossed the golf course at Cherokee Country Club (appropriate name) and descended the cliff to the shallow ford across the river.
 
Jim Perkins can be reached via e-mail at: Perk8843@bellsouth.net

Return to the Hightower Trail History Page

Also, more good information is here about the trail and its Dunwoody rededication several years ago.

New: 11/05/04