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It’s a trail by a river and miles of it, it’s alright.

Trail is tough. Not super crowded. No views, but beautiful area. Summer growth is over taking trail in places.

I’ll give it middle of the road, if you like hiking or what to see what it’s like on parts of the AT this is a good place. There’s not any overlooks past the Bear trail and no waterfalls but for pure hiking this is still fun. Our family enjoyed it.

We did the full loop, clockwise, in just under 5 hours. I’ll give it three stars because no matter what, it’s still in beautiful north Georgia. Downsides include lots of road noise, major overgrowth (at times I couldn’t see my feet and the growth was above my waist), pretty much zero scenic lookouts in the summer, and bears. There was one loose at the camp site when I started the hike and I’ve noticed a common theme in these reviews.

Did in November and was a challenge then counter clockwise and was even more challenging in the summer clockwise!

We did run into a few bear cubs, but nothing major and was safe hanging in a plastic bag unexpectedly spending the night on trail!

I love this track. It’s a great challenge and wonderful workout! I have been able to complete counter clockwise in one day, but clockwise always catches me a few miles short for a one day completion. I’ll get there!

My main reason for setting camp was the downpour and being out of water after the Duncan ridge split. Clockwise, it was straight up!

Heard the thunder threatening, and booked it to a camp site I’ve stayed beforehand re and knew water is close. Hunkered down for the rain in the hammock. Once it moved on, came out for a nice fire since we covered the firewood and a warm mountain house meal!

Tried to catch some rest, but after the storm and out location in hammocks, the breeze was a bit chill. May have slept 3 hours. Got up, warmed by a nice fire, mountain house meal for breakfast and come coffee. A few miles and we were off the trail.

We parked in an intersecting road and tapped the tail from there. Much recommend if you want the “free feeling.” Not as in not paying out park fees, but able to do what you like. We entered a great spot to start our trip.

Great track! Get out and hit it! It’s a great conditioning run!

After hiking the Foothills Trail four times I have seen this one enough. Besides I like Upper Whitewater Falls better..

backpacking
27 days ago

Just finished an overnight on this loop. Last nights highlights:

-torrential rain, has a rain forest jungly feel
-trails are clear but lots of growth hanging over and slapping my bare legs, i recommend long pants unless you like thousands of plants slapping your ankles. i was astounded i had no poison ivy rash or any issues though so the plants on this trail are not mean
-i rounded a corner and surprised a black bear on the trail..fortunately he panicked first and sprinted down hill so fast he started tumbling
-lots of climbing and elevation(for georgia) 4200 ft. that means cooler air and a nice sleep if you camp above 3500
-not stunningly scenic but a great workout loop. you should be in decent shape or the climbing might get old
-personal pet peeve with this trail is hearing highway noise while in my tent. i like hearing owls, crickets, and running water when im in my tent. maybe it was where i camped.

I did lower half of the trail it was challenging but fun. I got lost few times and water was little higher then I expected.

I love hiking in Georgia! I know that there are great places in NC and TN too, but that ain't Georgia. That being said, I did teh Coosa trail counter-clockwise startng from the Vogle visitors center at 7:30 this morning and was back at my car at 2:15. I felt like I was hiking at an average pace. I was alone, so I didn't have a reference...so I didn't have to make any unnecessary stops. But, I did take plenty of time to enjoy the limited views (jungle like in summer) and take plenty of selfies! BTW...I had cell service (att) for most of the hike. Anyway, to keep this short.....Awesome trail, good challange, no bears (for me!), It's in GA, and it can be done in a day despite what the sign says.

I was not quite ready for this trail. It took us almost 9 hours and we started a little too late. It started getting dark! The trail itself was great! I would love to do it again now that I’ve been hiking for a while. I would not recommend it for a beginner.

backpacking
2 months ago

I made this trip an overnighter, getting on trail at about 5:30pm on a Friday, hike a couple miles, and finishing the loop the next day. Challenging but enjoyable hike, dense undergrowth in the summer so there weren’t many “payoff” views at the end of climbs, but still a solid trail.

Gorgeous river and waterfalls. Great swimming holes at the base of the initial decent. However this trail does not allow camping due to whitewater corridor protection (the reason for the 3 star rating). However we hiked to Thompson river, 2.7 miles past the turnaround. This was a spectacular 4 star hike. Next time we will start at Bad creek parking to get to Thompson river. (A lot of ticks in June!)

I would rate this trail an overall moderate one. Nothing too difficult, beautiful views around the lake! It's a great trail for training or trail running. The only strenuous part I'd say is the foot traffic only portion of Brissy ridge. Overall decent hike, wish there more views.

backpacking
3 months ago

Backpacked this trail early May 2018. Parked at the end of the trail.

Day one hiked from mile 11 to mile 7.
Day two day packed from mile 7 to 3 and back to 7.
Day three hiked back to car.

Loved not having to carry much water around with me. Just filtered a liter or two at a time as we hiked along the river.
Made the mistake of wearing open toed Tevas. While it was nice being able to get them wet, they were slippery on the rocks and actually broke halfway through the trip

My biggest regret on this trip was not bringing hiking poles. Would have made the crossings way easier.

Would advise lining your pack with a trash bag for when you inevitably take a dip in the river.

River Crossings:
Depending on if it rained recently, you might not be able to safely cross. It hadn’t rained in the week before going, and it was still pretty hard to cross in some areas. This made for a great challenge! Sometimes hard to find the right place to cross. Sometimes the trail crossing spot is too dangerous, and you have to walk down or upstream to find a good crossing point. The rocks in the water were pretty slippery.

We were never worried about getting swept down the river, more just falling in and getting the packs drenched. I fell in a few times :)

Camping:
There were a few camp spots between 11 and 9, but very few between 9 and 6. South of 6 there were a ton! The campsites were somewhat dirty and could use a visit by rangers.

Trail:
The elevation change in the trail was easy. The trail was very poorly marked between miles 11 and 6. While you can’t get lost (you just follow the river), you’re kind of bushwhacking it in this section. Lots of poison ivy around but we never got it - probably because we were constantly getting washed off in the river. Bring cream just in case.

Miles 3-6 were much better traveled and the trails were clear.

Overall really liked this hike and would visit it again.

Completed a full 7.5 mile loop with a group of 5, varying in experience and fitness level. The only “view” was of the lake, no waterfalls or anything of the like. Still a beautiful hike. Overall a good experience, will do it again.

backpacking
3 months ago

We hiked this trail counter clockwise camping overnight at Coosa Bald. The first .8 Miles is moderate and then turns relatively flat for about 2 Miles then you start to go up all the way to Coosa Bald. Steady and more challenging as you get closer to the Bald. From the Bald to Hwy 180 is predominately downhill. The trail heads up from hwy 180 sharply all the way to Slaughter Mt. It is downhill from Slaughter on a path of mostly rocks and roots. I think this path is a good parallel to the harder sections of the AT in Georgia.

We chose this trail as a conditioning trail and the following review is written from the point of view of a backpacker carrying a 30+ lb pack. Fee is now $5.00 per person and you pay at the toll booth, it was early when we arrived and no one was in the booth but they have envelopes to fill out, bring a pen. Started the trails at shelter 5 and 6. Looked like there was a nature walk for kids going on when we started with a Ranger (think this is pretty cool). We walked past them and started up the Sulpher Springs trail. Very shortly the trail came to the first lake we would encounter for the day. Saw a turtle and a lady fall (wear proper shoes guys, there is a lot of rocks and loose debris on the trail). Continuing up the trail we made our way to the waterfall at the dam and the rock tower. Really nice pictures here, the temperature was nice and cool. There are some rock steps that go up to the trail above you that will put you back on track. Once we scurried up those I was feeling good and doubting that this trail was ranked correctly at hard as nothing we had done so far was difficult but my curiosity was soon sated. The incline began and we started up, over rocks, through two streams (very easy crossings), back over rocks, up some more rock steps, leaned against a few trees, and continued on. When I finally came to the top I held up a tree for a good 15 min before the forest sounds finally drowned out the pounding of my heart. (I want to take a moment to mention this trail is very thin at points. Be careful with your four legged pals and children as you go up this section. There is a decent drop on the right side down into a ravine). After a quick break, afore mentioned, we took Fire Tower trail and made our way down this down and back trail. Once we arrived at the burned down fire tower we stopped, had a snack and a decent break. Saw a lizard that was too quick to get a picture of and not much else. Wandered our way back down the trail and picked up Kanuga. Not much here to see until you get to the lake. I do want to mention there are some back country camp sites around the lake. I didn't really venture into them all but there did appear to be enough room for two tents. There is a grated fire pit and a picnic table in the two we did see. As you wander around the lake take a look at the contrast of the evergreens and deciduous trees behind the lake. You are at a vantage point where you can see the difference in colors and it is awesome. The water was really clear as it hadn't rained in a few days but it didn't appear that big fish were not biting as everyone I spoke to only said they were catching a lot of little ones. As you continue over the dam and walk across the little foot bridge (grates) look left down the spillway. There is a lot of debris here and you can imagine the awesome power of water that moved those huge pieces of wood. Walking on around the lake I stumbled upon a couple of more lizards and spotted a duck box, recently put up it appeared, on the far end of the lake. Didn't seem to be much duck activity but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. Next came Pipsissewa trail then Brissy Ridge. At the trail marker we stopped and had lunch and another breather then chose to do the easier side of Brissy Ridge as energy was beginning to fail a little. Down Brissy Ridge the trail opened up and I did get a couple decent pictures of the vista. These were the only ones I was able to get while on the trails. Down Brissy Ridge we went and were dumped into a parking lot. Saw a nice Subaru WRX (YOHB?) in the parking lot but thought for a minute we had lost the trail. If you feel the same way let me save you a little bit of worry, go diagonally left across the parking lot and you should pick up the Sulpher Springs trail. Wandered down to the next parking lot and kept on going. Down hill we continued, passing a tiny black snake and a bunny. Singing is how we finished the trail off as energy was waning and we needed to keep going. All in all the trail is good, I only gave it a 4 star due to the lack of vista views. I was surprised by the amount of people and would expect this area to be highly trafficked during summer. Take plenty of water. Wear the right shoes. Take snacks. Enjoy the hike.

Fantastic very diverse trail system. Time flies while hiking it. Lots of surprises along the way.

backpacking
5 months ago

Really nice trail. Fun elements of creeks and views and Vogel is really pretty. The climbs are serious but not unbearable. I took my boys aged 9 and 11 backpacking in the counterclockwise direction. Good reviews containing good details elsewhere here. This all trails gps trail location is off and wonky near Bear Hair trail. Not terrible but a wee bit disconcerting.

This is a fairly challenging trail run as most of the trail has exposed rock, scree, roots, and other debris. The trail is maintained by a local Pinhoti Trail organization and they do an excellent job removing downed trees and keeping the trail well marked with the unique Pinhoti blaze.
Mostly single track with some short FS roads at Dug Mountain and Stover Creek.
Expect some climbing, mostly short rollers with a few that are steeper/longish.
There's limited water sources and access for water drops but it is achievable with some research and planning.
Overall, this is a great trail for running/training and/or casual hiking.

backpacking
5 months ago

Beautiful trail with great views! Added part of the Bear Hair Gap Trail to get up to the overlook to see Brasstown Bald. We did the trail clockwise which I recommend. That way we had the two big peaks to accomplish first, not at the end of our trip.

Very nice! The area around the lake was very pleasant. $5/person, many parking areas, well-marked trails.

backpacking
6 months ago

Tough Trail, but the views were beautiful. There was still a good bit of snow and ice on the trail when we started on Saturday morning; however by Sunday afternoon most of it melted making the down hills little sketchy

Love the scenery and challenge!

Oh yeah!

hiking
8 months ago

Very cool views when near the water. However, the trail is not well mark so pay attention.

backpacking
8 months ago

A solid 9 hour hike. If you go clockwise the final 1/3 is tough.

elevation!

Great trail! By far one of the best in the area. We got out from Vogel at 840am and hit the turn at the end of Dawson Ridge (turn for Blood Mountain) at 2pm about 10 miles in. Hiked it today with 3 stout hiking kids aged 8, 10 and 13. Would do this one again for sure. Not for the faint of heart. Climbing is intense, and hills are very steep grades.

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