dogs on leash
The Cohutta Wildlife Management Area is a huge area of forest in north Georgia, of more than 95,000 acres. This site covers only a small area along good gravel roads in the southern part of the WMA, but the whole area is worth exploring for those with the time and curiosity. This WMA is encompassed within Georgia's Cohutta Wilderness area, which is the state's second largest wilderness area. The Cohutta Mountains are part of the oldest known mountains in the world. They run from Fannin County northeast to the Tennessee-North Carolina border, where they are known as the Smoky Mountains, and once bordered a prehistoric ocean. It is from these mountains that the Cohutta WMA gets its name.
Hiked this SOBO with a friend from work. My GF was hiking Blood with her ladies hiking group, so she dropped us off at Hogpen Gap with plans to meet her at the Byron Reece parking area.
The descent from Wildcat into Tesnatee Gap is quite steep and you would be well advised to bring some trekking poles.
Coming out of Tesnatee you will hit a 600' ascent to the Cowrock Mountain overlook. It's not a hard section as there are numerous switchbacks to help ease the elevation gain. Be sure to rest a few minutes and take in the view when you get to the overlook There are also a couple more views to the south (left if SOBO) just after Cowrock.
You will be walking on a fairly narrow ridgeline for part of the way which offers a great North and South view.
Be sure to relax and have a Pizza at Mountain Crossings when you reach Neel's Gap. You'll also get a chance to walk the only part of the AT which passes through a building. Sign the log on the left as you pass through.
Love this trail. The views on the summit are breathtaking. It is a constant climb all the way to the top for about 5 miles. Great workout. At the summit is an AT shelter where hikers regroup for there descent to neels gap. Great people outstanding views. Park at Vogel state park. Take the bear hair gap trail to the coosa trail. Take a sharp left at the Duncan trail and then left on the Appalachian trail. Follow about a third of a mile to the summit and enjoy!!!!
Ok so WOW! We did not expect to have this much fun on this hike. As we prepared for this trip we assumed the river crossings would be nothing more than puddle jumping but we were wrong. We started at the Dally Gap. Our trip was in the last weekend of March and the river was ROARING. Apparently the river is a lot rougher in the spring. Every river crossing brought us to at minimum waste deep water. Many times we were chest deep and even having to swim. The rocks were very slippery and the current was very strong. We were 4 grown, strong men who love to hike and we were struggling at times. A few of the crossings were fairly dangerous, but it was a blast! We crossed the river 21 times before settling into camp just before the 22nd (and final) river crossing before the waterfall. A total of 6.5-7 miles the first day. The next day we originally planned to go back the same way but none of us wanted to venture back into the cold water 21 more times! Haha. Instead we headed to the falls and spent sometime there. We hiked the few miles up beech bottom trail to the parking area where we set off down the road, eventually hitch hiking back to our truck. We had a long journey back home and decided it be better to get a head start.
Overall we would have loved to hike the entire river but we just didn't have the time. I would highly recommend venturing this trail in the spring. It's not for the faint of heart and def not for children. Pack your stuff in drybags or it will certainly get wet!