Best bird watching trails in Cohutta Wilderness, Georgia

237 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Cohutta Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Cohutta Wilderness, Georgia
Park information
Helpful links
Top trails (19)
#1 - Jacks River Loop with Spur to Falls
Cohutta Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(43)
Length: 15.9 mi • Est. 8 h 7 m
Note: hikers recommend doing this counterclockwise because of the incline. Depending on the season this trail can get flooded and river crossings can be difficult. Please read the reviews below for more details on exact trail conditions. Show more
#2 - Jacks River Day Hike
Cohutta Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(42)
Length: 4.1 mi • Est. 1 h 51 m
#3 - Jacks River Falls via Rice Camp
Cohutta Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(24)
Length: 10.3 mi • Est. 5 h 21 m
#4 - Panther Creek Trail
Cohutta Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(19)
Length: 17.3 mi • Est. 9 h 36 m
#5 - Cohutta Wilderness Loop Trail
Cohutta Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(14)
Length: 23.7 mi • Est. Multi-day
This loop requires off trail hiking and bushwacking at this time as it has not been cleaned up since the fires last year. There are trees down all over the trails, making this hike very challenging to complete. This hike is a better option at this time: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/georgia/east-cowpen-to-jacks-river-and-rough-ridge-loop Dotted with place names like Crooked Dog Gap and Rough Creek, this route mixes rugged ridgeline climbs and quiet riverside campsites. The Cohutta Wilderness is more than 30,000 acres that is not to be changed by man, and only visited by people. The trails are mostly unmarked, so bring a map. The loop is made up of several trails, East Cowpen, Hickory Ridge, Jack's River and Rough Ridge (it is). There is two river fords along Jacks River. There is no water on the East Cowpen and Hickory Ridge side. A real nice spring is at a great campsite along Rough Ridge about two miles south of Jack Creek. Additional camping along Jack,s Creek, and at junction of East Cowpen and Hickory Ridge. Heading north is all downhill, and south is all uphill, especially from Jack's River.Show more
#6 - Hemp Top Trail
Cohutta Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(18)
Length: 11.8 mi • Est. 6 h 35 m
This is a hiking and horse trail in the Cohutta Wilderness. 8.2 miles from Dally Gap to Licklog Trail in Tennessee at the top of Big Frog Mountain. Gentle climb from Dally Gap to the base of Big Frog Mountain at the Tennessee Line, then a steep climb for about a mile to the top of the mountain. Part of it is also the Benton Mckaye Trail. At the Georgia-Tennessee line, (Double Spring Gap - there is water here) the trail enters the Big Frog Wilderness and climbs up Big Frog Mountain where it intersects with Licklog Trail. Licklog Trail to the East is a hiker trail only. Hemp Top turns West and connects with Chestnut Ridge Trail (Horse/Hiker) which leads to a parking lot/trail head on Big Frog Road. Only this section of these trails is open to horses in the Big Frog WildernessShow more
#7 - Rice Camp, Hickory Ridge, East Cowpen Loop
Cohutta Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(12)
Length: 11.8 mi • Est. 6 h 27 m
This circuit is a beautiful and challenging trek filled with a few challenges to conquer. On this trek you will need to cross Jacks River twice, so be prepared to wade through thigh high water that adds to the excitement of this hike. Be prepared for many downed trees on the trail. You will have to climb over, under, and around a lot of debris. Finally, on the last section of the hike be aware of the trail change at Hickory Ridge and East Cowpen. The trails are NOT marked well. If you are up for a challenge this is an awesome step into hiking. I made this a two day hike which works out perfectly. Enjoy!Show more
#8 - East Cowpen to Jack's River and Rough Ridge Loop
Cohutta Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(17)
Length: 15.3 mi • Est. 8 h 31 m
The Cohutta Wilderness Area is located due north of Atlanta on the Tennessee border with more than 40,000 acres in Georgia and Tennessee. The Cohuttas comprise the largest wilderness east of the Mississippi. Within the Wilderness Area are 13 trails that total more than 87 miles of unusual remote hiking. This hike combines 4 trails into a loop trail that descends along the Rough Ridge Trail, crosses Jack’s River, follows the north bank for about 50 yards before crossing the river and ascending along the Hickory Ridge Trail to join the Cowpen Road Trail to close the loop. It is not an easy drive to the trailhead at Three Forks Parking Lot as most of the last 20 miles is steep dirt roads, but it is a beautiful drive in and sets the stage nicely for the hike. The trails are well established, clean and easy to follow for the most part, but expect a few downed trees. When you are up on the ridges, there are signs for most junctions and you shouldn’t get lost even without a GPS. When you are down around the river, things can get really confusing. When coming down the Rough Ridge Trail, after the steep final decent, the first water you come to is NOT Jacks River (its Rough Creek and looks like a creek). The trail follows this creek a bit but never crosses it. As the trail really comes along side the creek and just before turning left up a steep bluff, the Jacks River Trail (JRT) crosses over from the creek from the right. There is a large sign at this junction, but it is facing the other direction as it is a sign for travelers on the JRT. The trail appears to either head up to the left up a steep bluff or follow the creek (the apparent trail disappears in about 50ft). You will turn left up and over a ridge before coming around to Jacks River after about 1 more mile, the trail finally descends and deadends into Jacks River. The crossing ahead is quite deep, but a shallower crossing is available in the rapids to the right. Remember, don't cross Rough Creek, keep left up the steep bluff, you will know the river when you come to it. The falls are over 1mi down river from this crossing. Probably the most difficult trick is finding how to get to the Hickory Ridge Trail. Once you cross the river and are on the north side of the river, you will only travel about 50 yards before crossing the river again to find the Hickory Ridge Trail. Some landmarks: after crossing there is a maze of several little trails (created by some campsite and alternate crossing locations) that finally coalesce into the main trail within about 30 ft. Once the JRT is established and obvious, to the left of the trail there is a large (illegal) camping area, which is less than 50 yards from where you crossed the river. To the right is a trail coming down a slope and a sign indicating it is the Beech Bottom Trail. There is a sign for the Hickory Ridge Trail on the main trail and it is exactly opposite from where the Beech Bottom Trail meets the Jacks River Trail. So this is really a 4-way intersection. The JRT goes straight through, the Beech Bottom is to the left, and Hickory Ridge is to the right. The sign looks like it is pointing you down the JRT toward the falls, but it is NOT. The arrow on the sign pointing west is directing you to a trail back across the river, but you cannot see the trail from where you start to cross. If you follow the arrow on the sign through the camping clearing to the river, you will see a row or rocks forming a type of dam. Cross over the river at this dam and make your way around the patch of rocks on the other side continuing west until you find the trail. There are several legal camping sites on the the Hickory Ridge Trail beside the river. The rule in summer is you must be at least 1 river crossing away from the falls. This is a very rigorous trip (or rather about half of it is) and it rates about 7 of 10 for difficulty. The hike in is quite easy, but does get pretty steep as you descend into the river gorge. The hike out is quite strenuous either way you go. Moderately strenuous, but very doable even for positive-minded older children. If you pace it (and keep pack weights low for kids) this can be a very leisurely camping trip.Show more
#9 - East Cowpen Trail
Cohutta Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(6)
Length: 13.1 mi • Est. 7 h 22 m
#10 - Jacks River Trail Through Hike
Cohutta Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(9)
Length: 15.8 mi • Est. 7 h 22 m
Showing results 1 - 10 of 19