Camp Three Forks Trail is located in the northeastern mountains of Georgia. It is nestled in a corner of Georgia that is less than a mile from the North Carolina border and about 8 miles from the South Carolina border. Camp Three Forks Trail is a rustic atmosphere away from the distractions of the world. The property is off of the road and the mountain scenery is beautiful. The camp is made up of 83.2 acres and is located in Rabun County.
Around 1700 a wagon master from Pennsylvania decided to pull up stakes and seek his fortune further south. When he reached the mountains of northern Georgia he decided he had gone far enough. He had a son named Prior Talley whose oldest son was Evan Talley. Evan then had a son named Nathaniel Talley. Around the end of the Civil War, Nathaniel decided it was time to settle so he applied for and received a land grant from the State of Georgia for a half section (320 acres) of land in the extreme northern part of Rabun County. For over one hundred years most of the original land grant stayed within the Talley Family. In 1973 Nathaniel Talley’s great grandson, Riley Howard Talley, deeded eighty-two acres of the original land to the Southern Methodist Church for the purpose of developing a church camp now known as Three Forks Trail Camp. The property was transferred from the Talley family to the Eastern Conference of the Southern Methodist Church on August 16, 1977 at 2:00pm.
In the beginning years of the camp, the campers slept in tents down near the log cabin. All of the food was prepared in the log cabin and a temporary structure was built beside the cabin to eat and have services under. The campers bathed either in Talley Mill Creek or used the hose behind the back of the log cabin. The spring house was used to keep the drinks cool for canteen time. Two outhouses that were previously used at Fairview Southern Methodist Church in Seneca, SC were brought up after bathrooms were installed inside the church.
Other buildings and structures were assembled over the years. The Nix brothers were contracted to build the exiting road and the road that now leads to the kitchen, well, and back to the front gate. Mr. John Lewis Jackson led the construction of the bath house; floor plans from South Carolina State Parks were used to construct the building. Todd and Hal Arrant from Bowman Southern Methodist Church donated the stainless steel tank to store the water piped downhill from one of the spring heads. For the few years following the building of the bathhouse, the campers stayed in tents where the kitchen is now located. However, they still ate meals at the log cabin and used the spring house to keep canteen drinks cool.
Next, the temporary shed that currently sits in front of the kitchen was built. The support poles for the structure are the original poles but the roof has been rebuilt. Then six of the birdhouses were built after a model of a cabin at another youth camp in Brevard, NC. In 1990, the kitchen was built and this was also the year that Mr. Riley Talley passed away. The Dining Hall was built in the following year in 1991. Other buildings that were added included the seventh birdhouse, another log cabin, and the “duplex” in the valley. Current plans are underway for the building of the Faith Life Center that will be a multi-purpose facility with a half-basketball court, bathrooms, showers, and storage room; construction on this building began in September of 2010.
- Birdhouses- six that sleep eight people each
- Director’s Cabin- sleeps eight people
- Commercial Kitchen
- Enclosed Dining Hall with stone fireplace
- Bathhouse with 3 showers and facilities on men and women sides.
- Tent Sites – Electrical and water hookups or secluded sites with no hookups.
- RV sites – electrical and water hookups
- Amphitheatre – for outdoor services and activities
- Gazebos – for lounging in afternoon hours
- 82 acres of mountains, trails, streams, and fresh clean air