Coosa Backcountry Trail is a 12.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Blairsville, Georgia that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Nice loop with significant elevation gain going through the Chattahoochee National Forest and Blood Mountain Wilderness.
The trail was incredibly difficult. It took two days in total with around 12 hours hiking in total taking the counter-clockwise route. My daughter and I can typically grind out 12 miles or so in a single day, but not on this trail. It reminded me of the AT. There were lots of ups, and then a few more ups after that. We had to stop several times on the last stretch of trail up to Coosa to rest our legs. The second day was pretty intense, too, especially the hike up to Slaughter Mountain. The last few miles of the loop after Slaughter Gap were much, much easier.
We parked at Vogel State Park, picked up a backcountry pass from the visitor center and set off from the state park around 10 a.m. Saturday morning. We made it to Coosa Bald from the Coosa Backcountry Trail around 4. There were a few places where forest roads crossed the trail, and there seemed to be a few people taking advantage of closer parking. I imagine that you still need to get a backcountry pass, even if you don't park at Vogel itself.
The trail is located in the Blood Mountain Wilderness of the Chattahoochee National Forest, but I'm not sure who is ultimately responsible for maintenance. It was well maintained. Only one or two times during the 13 miles did we see a fallen tree or trees blocking the trail.
I recommend it, for sure, but I'd suggest making it an overnight trek and stopping close to where we did 7 or so miles in. There were campsites every mile or so. It's officially 12.9 miles, but with the approach trail and the half mile or so up to Coosa Bald along Duncan Ridge added up to around 15-16 or so.
good trail in preparation for our Appalachian trail thru hike
Great trail. I hiked counter clockwise. give yourself plenty of time. I did in one hike, about 7 hrs, but, is probably, more enjoyable as an overnight hike. not much water on the tops. more long range views in winter,
I did this loop counter-clockwise in 6.5 hours. It featured some tough ascents with false summits that broke my heart a few times. No real view at the top. What made this challenging was the steep grade on freshly fallen leaves. It was slow going at times just to keep my footing. No water except in the valleys. So if you're planning to stretch this into a backpacking trip, you'll need to haul your water up the mountains. You never go more than a mile without seeing a flat campsite.
Hiked on 11/13/16. We originally planned to hike the Arkaquah, but it was closed due to fire. Decided to try Coosa Backcountry. Very tough hike with a few steep ascents. It took us about 9 hours to complete in one day. Lots of nice camp sights if you want to do an overnighter. A little hazy due to area fire, but still a great , challenging hike. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the area.
Completed the Coosa Back Country trail today as a day hike. The trail is very tough with intense ascents. There were still plenty of leaves on the trees, so the views were not as great as I had expected. This was a good workout - I'll be going back to do it again soon.
Just finished a two day backpacking trip starting at Vogel state park and doing the Coosa back country trail, dropping down via the Duncan Ridge Trail onto the AT. I went south on the AT to slaughter creek, and took that down to Jarrad Gap road, where I cut over (maybe 100 yards on dirt road) to the Jarrard gap trail, back up to the AT, and then headed north to blood mountain (with minimal backtracking in between slaughter creek and duncan ridge trail turn offs) Spent the night on blood mountain, went back south on the AT to Duncan Ridge Trail and back on to the Coosa Back country trail back to Vogel state park.
While on the Coosa BCT there were almost no hikers and plenty of camp sites, with beautiful fall foliage and, while there were occasional car sounds, I was generally treated to the glorious soundtrack of nature. There was a LOT of poison ivy right next to the trail so watch out for that if you're seriously allergic.
Once I cut over the AT there were a lot more people, but it was still beautiful. The detour down slaughter creek was nice if you're looking for a longer day. I'm a fast hiker and it took me about 6 hours to do my full route to blood mountain.
On the way back from blood mountain I decided to stay on the Coosa BCT and not take the Bear Hair gap trail, which was a mistake since the Coosa trail dumps you into about a half mile of RV campsites while the bear hair gap trail bypasses these.
All in all a great 2 night loop with minimal backtracking and a nice amount of alone time on the trail.
Took trail almost all the way to Appalachian trail before twisting ankle and went back. Trail up to Appalschian is a gentle gradual uphill climb all the way. Enjoyed it though very much.
Great trail! Lots of hard work. I was the only one out there which made for a quiet hike. Ran out of water so didn't do the full loop. Planing to go back and finish soon.
As stated in other reviews, great trail with some challenging uphills; overall very rewarding. Tree coverage provides great shade along entire route but does block visibility (no panoramic views). Quiet, not too busy, very green with undergrowth. You will hear road noise throughout most of the trail.
We hiked with full packs (20-25 lbs) with an overnight on Coosa Bald to break in/test some new gear. If camping on or near Coosa Bald there isn't water very close (like the top of most mountains) as noted in other reviews, but the map was accurate on water sources and we just picked up a few liters at the closest crossing on our way to the top.
We did Vogel to Coosa (counter clockwise loop) in ~4.5 hours and Coosa back to Vogel in ~4 hours*. Definitely doable in a day with packs and in decent shape, but enjoyable as an overnight. We ended up on the Bear Hair trail near the end due to confusion over signage and blazes (approx ~1 mi from end, 3100 ft). In hindsight, the map and highlighted trail was accurate, we chose poorly and added a nice walk down the bear hair trail :).
Although we enjoyed Coosa Bald, there were a few campsites we saw on the DRT just beyond the Bald (Wildcat Knob area) that were very nice as well; plenty of options with fire rings.
Hard work, lots of climbing. I loved Duncan's Knob.
Very tough but beautiful and well worth the hard work once you've finished/ definitely wore me out.
Absolutely kicked my butt, but I can't think of the last time I had such a good time suffering.
Beautiful trail, the elevation gains are frequent and quite steep. Not much to look at on the trail in terms of rock formations/waterfalls etc, but if done in early spring, there are plenty of views to be seen through the trees. I did this as a two-night trip, however, and included a detour to the AT up to Blood Mountain to make the incline less intense.
On the final day, after making it back to Coosa from the AT, we got caught in a thunderstorm for a while and lost the trail somewhere around 2-3 miles away from Vogel State Park, due to some fallen trees and trying to hurry to get out of the rain and probably not looking around as much as we should have. Had to spend a little while scrambling around trying to find it again before giving up and following the creek for a minute where we came across Bear Hair trail. Definitely be aware and scope out where you're about to head before attempting it. We saw several tracks straying away from the trail at some points, so we definitely weren't the first to get lost. I think this section of the trail had been rerouted several times, too, because even with decent cell signal and a trail tracking app, the map we were looking at seemed less than accurate to what we experienced in practice.
Also, we saw several reviews that mentioned water being scarce on this trail, but we seemed to come across it quite frequently. Could be a seasonal thing, but if you're doing this as an overnight and you have a water filter, you should be able to find plenty of spots to filter.