Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Cohutta Wildlife Management Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Beautiful, easy hike to the falls. Great setting with easy, safe photo opportunities. This trail was active with many groups of hikers of all ages. We started our day with 3 Forks Trail Loop across the trail head and then ended with this hike to the falls. We are glad we made the extra effort to see the falls. Also appreciated that the loop we did first was quieter and less traveled. The two hikes together give the best of both worlds if you are fit enough to hike 7+miles in a day.

I LOVE THIS TRAIL. I’m sad it took me so long to find out about it, seriously. This trail has it all! 3 waterfalls, a river, a mountain, an AMAZING lookout.... I loved it so much. The first two miles are fairly easy, then the last two are climbing up to Pinnacle Knob. I really, really enjoyed this hike. I went on a Saturday and maybe saw about 15 people the whole time. I also took my three dogs and they had a great time. Highly recommend this trail! Parking is nice and convenient too. Also a lot of really cool camp spots. Another thing, the trail has been rerouted since it was last updated on here, so it’s definitely more like 4 miles to the top.

Perfect time of year to hike this trail! Beautiful colors and scenery. Recommend stopping mid-way and taking the steep little trek to the smaller falls before the larger falls . . . both are amazing!

Great trail , two really great views , colorful !

Great hike with lots of water features along the way. Steady incline towards the top but with a nice payoff.

Beautiful scenery.

Go in the fall (we went first weekend of November) and you will get an excellent view of black rock mountain and the southern end of the smoky mountains. Nice waterfalls too. Keeping in the list of repeat hikes.

Great hike - trailhead is tough to locate, basically marker between the two parking areas (we parked at Warwoman) marked blue/difficult that takes up up some switchbacks to cross the road. A few waterfalls and through some camping areas. Lot of up and down and flat until you pass the camping area and then it’s a steady up for the last mile and a half. Great views but very windy so we didn’t spend too much time at the top. A solid 8 miles and we did it in just under 4 miles with few breaks.

It was a perfect day for spending a few hours on the trail. The little bridge over the tree roots was creative.

Really enjoyed this hike. Not very difficult, but a nice view at the top with a couple nice waterfalls.

October 15-16. This was rated hard and I agree. We hiked half a day stayed the night just after the “Cheesecake Factory “ water source but just before Tray Mountain shelter (we knew the shelter was going to be full, and wanted some peacefulness) we had a beautiful view. Watched the sunrise the next morning from our tent. I can’t say enough about this spot. Then hiked out. It was a great hike to test and challenge yourself.

Ps. If anyone could share WHY that water source is called “the Cheesecake Factory” please do.

trail to Jack's River falls. multiple creek fords. don't lose the trail! camping is allowed about a mile past the falls you have to Ford the river. great trail. will come back in summer

Great trail. Going out was somewhat of a slight incline. The rough rocky switchbacks were a challenge. Especially coming back. Ugh! Plenty of camping spots. It rained on our way beck and boy does the trail get flooded. But it is all good.

I completed the trail on Oct 3, 2018. Some challenging ascend in certain sections but overall it was a good work out with some beautiful views. After multiple hikers asked me for wasp nest , I was eventually got stung by one and it hurt and last few days but its all part of the wilderness experience.
Since it was a week day, the trail was not crowded at all. I came across maybe 10 hikers and one gentleman who was there to maintain the trail.

I feel like it should be rated Hard instead of Moderate! Lots of fun!

Our 2nd time hiking Jacks River in, and like last time the river crossings can get very slippery on the rocks with many crossings containing a moderately heavy current. We set up camp where Jacks River and Penitentiary Branch trails met, and took Jacks River Trail a little further all the way to the falls.

First time taking Penitentiary Branch Trail out and it was rough the next morning as it’s mostly incline. Saw bear droppings but luckily no bears! Lots of horse droppings on both trails.

Be mindful of nature and pick up after yourself if camping! Saw lots of plastic bottles, cans, and wrappers. :(

~19 miles total

Very unique hike with around 20 river crossings out and back. The trail is poorly marked and it is very easy to lose track. Follow the light green markings/ pink ribbons. The hike itself is easy up to the waterfall but gets harder and steeper after that, to the overlook. Went mid October and the shallow water was mid calf deep. Get ready to hike with wet shoes

Beautiful hike with a lot of ups and downs! The views at Cowrock are amazing and you get another view shortly as you continue on to Wolf Laurel. As others have said the view at Wolf Laurel isn’t as grand as Cowrock but you still have a view & it’s very peaceful. Not too many people on the trail today but there was one very large timber rattler right off the side of the trail sunning itself. Just be watchful as the weather gets cooler for snakes trying to soak up the sun.

Great trail with beautiful views. We stared at the Unicoi Gap trailhead next to the App Trail sign and logged 11.6 miles out and back.

beautiful trail for a short hiking

It was a great way spend a Sunday morning/afternoon. Didnt see anyone until about halfway on the way back. The view at the top is as others say...incredible for sure. Trail is a bit tricky to find depending on where you park. Signs arent real helpful.

backpacking
1 month ago

This trail IS currently open - though trails around it are not. HOWEVER the road as of 09/30/2018 is impassable due to a large fallen tree about 2.2 miles away from the trailhead.

Amazing views! I got stung by a yellow jacket but it was no big deal. Totally worth it;)

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked Beech Bottom Trail on 9/23/2018 and did not see any signs saying it was closed. We did see a sign that told of other trail closures, but not Beech Bottom Trail. I also called the Rangers office a few days before our hike and they said Beech Bottom Trail officially reopens Saturday 9/22/2018.

There were still several downed trees, but nothing was impassable. I love hiking, but I am a day hiker and not a backpack hiker. My plan on every hike is to find the waterfall or overlook and return to my car and my bed the same day. I found the Beech Bottom Trail slightly worrisome because of the lack of trail blaze. Several times we were troubled on which way the trail was going as it either disappeared or split... particularly when it intersects with Jack's River Trail. There were no signs indicating which way to go to find the waterfall (GO RIGHT by the way).

Once we found the falls, the only way to the base was along a steep side trail that was highly questionable in terms of safety. So we stayed low and grabbed shrubs branches on the way down just in case we slipped. Jack's River Fall was a glorious sight to see and it spoke with a thunderous roar.

The storm other reviews have spoken about must have been a tornado, because the hillside above the falls seemed to be devoid of trees. The ones still barely standing were completely stripped of their leaves and limbs.

The waterfall is worth the hike no matter which trail you take but be forewarned: If you are a day hiker like me, Beech Bottom Trail is not a scenic stroll and the drive to the parking area is LONG! Overall the hike took about 2 hours each way.

Trail was good even with all the blow downs from past storms. The trail crews hadn’t made it all the way down Jacks River Trail so if you’re not confident in your ability to spot a trail when it’s not clearly marked I’d suggest maybe avoiding this one alone. The river wasn’t high at most thigh deep in some spots and I’m only 5’9. Overall great overnight trip and will repeat in the future.

This is a terrific trail, a steady climb all the way up, but you get too see a couple of cool waterfalls on the way. The view from Pinnacle Knob is well worth the effort. One tip..If you are going to park at Warwoman Dell parking area, the trailhead is not obvious. It is on the right as you drive in, past the first small parking area on the left, ignore all the signs on the left. We and another group of hikers spent some time milling around trying to figure out the misleading signs on the left....

Trail is in great condition! Beautiful overlook, and as other reviews have said, lots of hills coming back! Marked well.

Great, easy hike along a creek with a Falls. Good spot to camp for a night on the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain.

Great trail, the down trees at the beginning of the trail have been cleared! It was actually about 8.2 miles up to the top and back. Got here at about 8am on a Wednesday morning and never saw another person. The view from the top is amazing!

2 months ago

Hiked from Brasstown Bald to Trackrock Gap! Being a senior citizen (70) & “flatlander” (Louisiana), I thought I’d try the predominantly downhill trail first! Look forward to going back later in the fall for more great views! Other reviewers mentioned the tough “uphill” from Trackrock at the beginning, but it wasn’t a picnic for these tired old knees going downhill either! Very little water so better pack yours in! Definitely take hiking sticks! Lifesavers! 3 1/2 hours! Not bad for an old guy! Hike on!

Amazing hike, 7 creek crossings, loved both falls on this trail. Well worth the hike.

Load More