nature trips





dogs on leash

wild flowers





Beautiful, just beautiful

16 days ago

Hiked September 28th. Recent rainfall has really increased water flow esp in first two creek crossings... I don’t think it’s suitable for kids or dogs. For the first crossing, which is about 0.5 miles in, my friend and I climbed on rocks of bank to go upstream for a bit prior to Crossing (to find a somewhat slower part of river to cross ). Water flow very heavy and rapid .. up to our waist on first crossing and I’m 5,7. Met two hikers turning around (after crossing second creek) Bc they were not comfortable w trip. .. As for other crossings , they weren’t as deep /fast but hiking sticks, good water shoes and just thinking about footwork all helped. You will be wet. Did see one copperhead snake but it was far off trail... just always be on look out and don’t go alone. By the way - this is more of a 7.5 mile round trip hike and def for the adventure seeker !! Yes trees and large branches are obstructing path in some places from recent storms and occasionally path is ambiguous but always go for most obvious answer . The end fall is very rewarding ... I am messy, tired and dirty but an unforgettable and challenging hike

This trail has it all without busting your hump.
The only thing missing is a big expansive view hence not (busting your hump) but it certainly gives you everything else. Jacks river is a clean and healthy river with lots of shallow swimming holes. Rhododendrons abound alongside wild azaleas under large trees of every kind.
Very nice campsites with fire rings.
There are trees down from a recent storm.
We didn’t see anyone during the week and only a few over the weekend.
A Great leisure trail for hikers of all kind.

Hiked yesterday September 22. The first marker was hard to spot. We ended up hiking the wrong creek for about a mile, before we back tracked, we did find the trail. Other than that the falls were beautiful. It would make a great weekend backpacking trip too

Take trekking poles for the slope right before the falls

23 days ago

Hiked this trail today and found that the work we all did a few weeks ago clearing out up to Hemptop was well worth it and the trail looked great. From Hemptop to Double Spring Gap was an even grade down slope. Was surprised at the preponderance of mature eastern white pine at Double Spring Gap. It is clear that the western spring is more reliable and I would expect it to be reliable even during drought. The steep trail up to Licklog Ridge is pure brutality. On top of the gradient, the eroded shale treadway made for difficult traction. Once past Licklog Trail I was again struck by the size of the black cherries in this area up to Big Frog Mountain. Note that there is a good spring right to the west, immediately below the top. Unfortunately, no good late summer views from Big Frog, but did chill out and munch on some wild hawthorn berries, like I do. Needless to say the track back south was substantially tempered by the earlier saga of going up, and made the long climb back up Hemptop fairly relaxed. I have come to feel that the Cohuttas will be amazing if allowed to continue to grow undisturbed for the next 50 years or so. In the meantime I just have to imagine what that will look like and continue to explore.

Fun creek crossings, great waterfalls!

This was a short hike with a bushwhack to the summit of Cowpen Mountain and back. Long forest/service road drive to the trailhead at Three Forks Mountain. Still smells like fire in this area of the woods. Also, the bow hunters are out so be careful! I hiked East Cowpen Trail to the backside (north) of Cowpen Mtn where the ridge line comes down to the trail. At that point I turned back south and bushwhacked the ridge to the summit. Encountered only briers which were easy enough to go around or through. Pile of rocks is all there is to the summit. No views. From there I headed almost due East back to the trail and from there to the trailhead.

Great waterfall. Perfect for hot parts of the year because you’re going to get wet. 11 creek crossings in and the same amount back out.

1 month ago

The first crossing was a bit of a challenge due to the recent rainfall. The rest where pretty easy comparatively. There are a few spots where the trail requires some guesswork. It seems pretty well traveled and makes for a fun adventure for any experience level. Chacos or Keens are a must for the this slippery trail. There are swimming holes on the way to the trail and at the end once you reach the falls. Make sure to bring something dry for the ride home. Enjoy!

Great hike with the family today! The first crossing is pretty intimidating, but after that it's all fairly easy. We didn't bother trying to keep our feet dry. It would have been a waste of effort anyway. The numerous crossings made for a fun adventure with the kids and the falls are beautiful!

This is a unique trail. There are 12 creek crossings on the way to the falls, then you have to backtrack all of them. The only sketchy part is the area leading up to the first creek crossing and the crossing itself. Other than that it's fairly easy. If your up for an adventure, this trail will give it to you. The falls at the end are large and well worth the trip. Bring trekking poles or at least a walking stick.

1 month ago

Emery Creek trail/falls is my favorite hike so far. The hike was pretty easy and well worth it to see the falls. They were stunningly beautiful. The pools at the base of the falls are a great place to cool off. Really enjoyed eveything about this trail. Also crossing through the creek is great for cooling you off during your hike. ♡♡

easily the best hike to a waterfall in the state of Georgia...

1 month ago

Absolutely gorgeous! The trails aren’t the clearest marked trails, but you can get by if you actively look for the blazes. The beginning is the most confusing.

Note: You will NOT have dry feet/ankles/calves on this hike. There are 20+ creek crossings (round trip.) Unless you have weak ankles, I would suggest wearing something other than hiking boots. There are a few technical sections, but I did fine in my Merrell Vibrum Vapor Glove Shoes. I took my 5 year old with me and he had a blast. I would suggest taking a life jacket for the little ones to enjoy the pools at the foot of the falls. One of my favorite hikes.

I grew up here in the area. I’ve hiked this trail several times. Love the adventure, the solitude and yes it’s a strenuous hike but well worth it. Currently the trail is closed per USFS due to storms recently.

1 month ago

After summiting Big Frog from the Big Frog trail, I tried to loop back around connecting to Wolf Ridge via Hemptop. Took me 10 minutes of walking around in circles at the summit to try to find the trail. I finally found it (I think) VERY overgrown in the direction the sign pointed. Was wearing shorts and irritated the heck out of my legs. There are no blazes that I saw, only a lone cairn or two. Fought my way down the "trail" for about an hour and then lost the trail in an open area with a bunch of fallen trees. Searched for 30 min with no luck. Had to backtrack through all the brush again. Would like to come from the other direction and see where it comes out. Make sure you're comfortable navigating yourself in the wilderness!

1 month ago

Get ready to get wet! This hike has plenty of creek crossings so make sure you come prepared. The falls are absolutely gorgeous and the trailhead was pretty easy to find. Best part was definitely the fact that there was such little traffic on the trail. You should totally check out Emery Creek!

1 month ago

Great hike! The river crossings are fun on a hot summer day and our dogs loved it. There is swimming at the base of both falls. Things to note...at the start of the trail there are two paths, one leading down to the river and one leading up. The one leading up is the main trail. Also after reading the other reviews we expected the first crossing to be difficult. We did a somewhat challenging first crossing where we waded across the river but it turns out we just crossed too early and there was an easy crossing further down. Basically if you think it looks like a hard crossing keep walking and look for the green blazes!

This place is tranquil and glorious. The hike is quiet and let’s you get into nature without the loud packs of people and airplanes over head. If you’re trying to get out of town and hike your heart out this is the place. The falls are beautiful. Don’t miss this!

Lots of downed trees makes the trail a bear to complete. Jack's River Falls was almost impossible to get to but fun nonetheless

Super cool trail, but we went the day after a storm and, due to down trees, could not complete. Great wildlife spotting! Saw a bear in the water, a wild turkey and a beaver! Butterfly central at the Hickory Ridge campsites.

2 months ago

Went today with my husband nice trail the first section creek crossing was the hardest .

3 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous! Easy trail, except from the parking lot to first creek crossing has some rough footing. 10 creek crossings to reach the falls, and 10 going back, of course! Some spots in the creek were ankle deep. Some were over my knees. Spectacular falls at the end. Be sure to continue the climb up above the first big fall, as there's another waterfall up above, and a perfect spot to rest. It felt 10 degrees cooler up there. Several pools of water to swim in also. Passed a handful of camp sites along the way. I definitely will hike this again, but not after a heavy rain. Could be treacherous. Also not in the winter!

3 months ago

Great hike! a bit tricky at the first creek crossing, but other than that it's an excellent trail. you're definitely gonna get soaked.

3 months ago

Great trail with some of the best waterfalls and Creek views in North GA. Wet hike with 10 creek crossing so prepare to get wet from the waist down. Can be difficult to find the trails when you cross the river so look for the green blazes. “When in doubt, look across the river.” Waterfall at the end is worth the effort to get there.

Awesome trail!!!! Few things:
Parking: we parked where there’s a sign that says trailer parking (at Dally Gap). If you walk in straight ahead from parking and go towards the dally gap sign, you’ll be going clockwise around the loop starting out with river crossings and tougher terrain and If you walk up the little hill/trail a bit to the right where there’s a gate (old service road I think) you’ll be going counterclockwise around the loop starting with going down a ridge/mountain/hill towards the penitentiary trail

We went clockwise - the river crossings were AWESOME! Campsites were great - the one that’s about 2.4 miles in had a nice fire pit and was right by the river - beautiful little area

Trails a bit hard to follow with no markings - there was a group in front of us that pointed out where to cross the river twice that we probably would have missed - those were really the only 2 problem areas - they kept going too but then realized they weren’t on the trail anymore and went back to cross.

After about 8ish miles (don’t quote me) you’ll get to a really large, flat campground area where you’ll see the penitentiary trail signs (this is where you’ll go back to the parking lot, but if you want to go to the falls - you do - you’ll just keep going and when you come back this is where you’ll veer off to go back to the parking lot)

For the falls:
From that big campground area you’ll keep going and cross the river again, keep going on the trail for a ways, then you’ll find yourself at a part of the trail that looks like you should keep going along the river - or you can go up to the left (up a little rocky area - there were also sticks up and boulders trying to block the straight trail as that’s not what you want to take). Definitely go up to the left there, you’ll cross another little offshoot of the river - really small crossing - and then the trail goes right (to the left is the rough ridge trail - you’ll see the sign for it - go right!) follow that around and you have a couple more river crossings and you’ll see the beech bottom camping area - keep going - you’ll then see signs that say no horses (someone can put those up but no trail signs lmao) keep going again and you’ll get to the falls! Once you’re done at the falls go back to that same campsite area and then you’ll take the penitentiary trail back to the parking lot!

Hope this helps!

We did also have 2 copperheads right on the trail just before the big campsite area- so keep your eyes open as always!

Had to cross the creek so many times. There are snakes but absolutely beautiful waterfalls and swimming areas the water is cold which is nice when you are hot!

3 months ago

It’s fine. Nothing much to write home about. Leads to a spot with river access with a few campsites and fire pits. Nothing remarkable. I’ll have to come back and press on to the falls next time.


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