The beauty of the Conasauga River's rushing waters attracts many hikers and campers to the west side of the Cohutta Wilderness. Every single trail in this part of the wilderness crosses and follows the Conasauga at some point, but no other trail is as notable as the Conasauga River Trail. This trail follows its namesake river for nearly a dozen miles, as it gradually grows from a small rivulet at the headwaters area near Betty Gap to a wide boulder-strewn river lined by cliffs and full of swift rapids below the confluences of Rough Creek, Thomas Creek, and Hickory Creek. A whopping 38 fords of the Conasauga River - some of which are up to waist-deep - make this a fairly challenging aqua-hike, but those who choose to shuttle the full trail will be rewarded by countless scenic cascades and small waterfalls. An out-and-back hike from either end of the trail is worthwhile as well, as beautiful water features are scattered evenly throughout the river. This hike occurred on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017. My plan was to hike the Conasauga River Trail from its southern trailhead at Betty Gap on FS 64 to its northern trailhead at FS 17B. I arranged to have two cars for this point-to-point hike: one at FS 64 and the other at FS 17B.
Pinhoti Trail: Mulberry Gap Road to Highway 52 and Cohutta Overlook, Ellijay, Georgia
The Pinhoti Trail is a long-distance trail that runs for over 300 miles across Alabama and Georgia. Portions of it are still in the development stage, particularly in West Georgia where little public land is available. The northernmost part of the PT is in the Cohutta Mountains, where the trail is remote and little-traveled due to an overall lack of significant features. The section of the Pinhoti between Mulberry Gap Road and Highway 52 is on the southern fringe of the Cohutta Mountains is a well-constructed trail that is great for a mostly relaxing walk with good exercise. Even though this segment of the trail is a bit more popular due to its proximity to two roadways, you will still find it mostly peaceful except where it approaches Highway 52. As a bonus, a very short road-walk from the end of the segment will lead you to a grassy clearing with panoramic views of the Cohutta Mountains. This hike occurred on Saturday, August 19th, 2017. My plan was to hike out and back along the Pinhoti Trail from Mulberry Gap Road to Highway 52 and to Cohutta Overlook.
Emery Creek is a mountain stream located on the southern fringe of the Cohutta Mountains. The creek is full of waterfalls and cascades, with five waterfalls visible from near the trail and many more smaller cascades. To see all of the waterfalls on Emery Creek, you'll have to get a bit wet, with two dozen fords roundtrip, but it's worth it. Additionally, you can extend your hike to Little Bald Mountain, where in the winter, the views are extensive, and in the summer, the trail goes through whole fields of ferns. This hike occurred on Saturday, September 12th, 2015. My plan was to hike the Emery Creek Trail out and back from the southern terminus near Holly Creek to the northern terminus near Little Bald Mountain.
Cohutta Wilderness: East Cowpen - Panther Creek - Conasauga River Trails Loop, Ellijay, Georgia
The Cohutta Mountains in North Georgia are considered as some of the oldest mountains in the world. They are part of the Cohutta Wilderness, which is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest. With nearly 100 miles of occasionally traveled trails that drop from high ridgetops to valleys full of rushing mountain water... the Cohutta Wilderness has some of the most interesting hiking opportunities in Georgia. This hike occurred on Saturday, April 26, 2014. My plan was to park at the East Cowpen Trailhead (Three Forks on USFS 64) and follow the East Cowpen Trail to the Panther Creek Trail. From there, I would take the Panther Creek Trail down into the Conasauga River Valley, and follow the Conasauga River Trail south to the Betty Gap trailhead on USFS 64. I would finish of the hike by hiking the portion of USFS 64 between Betty Gap and Three Forks back to the starting point.
Mark Oleg Ozboyd
Dear readers: I have invested a tremendous amount of time and effort in this website and the Georgia Waterfalls Database the past five years. All of the work that has gone in keeping these websites updated with my latest trip reports has almost been like a full-time job. This has not allowed me to pick up a paid job to save up money for college, and therefore, I I've had to take out loans. If you find the information on this website interesting, helpful, or time-saving, you can say "thanks" and help me out by clicking the button above and making a contribution. I will be very grateful for any amount of support you give, as all of it will apply toward my college tuition. Thank you!
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