My wife and I visited from CO, so we may be a bit biased, but other than the falls ( which would be very nice after a solid rain) I wouldn't not return. The trail was very difficult to follow. Several times we were only assured that we were on the trail by trash left by other hikers. The trail was overgrown and covered with spiderwebs. We made it around 2 miles in and stumbled on a yellow jacket nest, and were stung several times apiece, at which point we decided it wasn't worth continuing. If we were to return, we would only go to the falls and not attempt the hike.
This trail would be beautiful in the late fall! The view was a little grown up and the falls are dry in the summer. Also be prepared for a lot of large red ants along the trail and some pretty overgrown paths. At one point there is a magnificent overlook but past that the map seemed WAY off and it led to nothing but another trail- possibly a connector? You also could not call this a loop trail it is out and back. Overall challenging enough with a good amount of flat and cool breezes. It is lightly travelled and peaceful!
We parked at the parking area approximately 2 miles from the campground and swimming area. The trail is marked well to coleman Lake. The lake was a mile or so in from the parking area. We went on the Saturday before Memorial Day and we saw no others on the trail. There were people camping in the campground and swimming in the swimming area across Coleman Lake.
Hiked the loop beginning at Adams Gap. A few portions of the Pinhoti and Skyway are overgrown and it felt like moving through a jungle, but overall these trails are well maintained.
If you're doing this loop counter clockwise, be advised the junction with the Skyway trail is easily missed. If you reach the Chinnabee Parking lot, you've gone too far. Back track and you'll see a sign for the Skyway trail that will lead you to where you cross the water. Additionally, the Skyway trail is poorly marked and there are two creek crossings where the trail can be hard to distinguish.
While the Skyway does have some great campsites, the Pinhoti and Chinnabee sections of this trip are the most scenic. Views from Odums Gap are highlights.
The road out to Coleman lake is gravel and has many scenic views. There is a place for camping (Rv's and Tents), swimming, birding, kayaking, and walking. I walked the loop this morning with a 4 month old puppy and it was a beautiful walk with lots to see. I even heard a Turkey just up the hill, saw some geese, wood ducks, butterflies, frog. A great place to explore. The trail is in great shape with several benches along the way and a few foot bridge crossings. The day parking area is $3.00.
Parked at Adam's Gap and took the Pinhoti to the top of Stairway to Heaven (rock garden that climbs 500' in >1/2 mi) with 11 year old on his first backcountry overnight hike. Pretty hike with plenty of water. Camped on overlook roughly 3/10 mi past top of Stairway to Heaven - and just 2/10 of mi shy of small stream and developed campsite just 2/10 mi further. Total out and back about 11 miles.
A fire recently made us lose the trail quite a bit. After following along the creek for 1.5 miles we just headed strait uphill till we met up with the Odum trail up on the ridge. Water was flowing good along the creek, crossing with the baby was a bit nervous. We camped up on the ridge where there are some good flat spots and large rocks you can sit on.