Explore the most popular hiking 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.

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.

it is a tough hike out of vogel up to slaughter gap. gets easier on duncan ridge up to the AT and then blood mountain. I missed the right turn on the way down too. this route is a great way to avoid the insanity of the Byron Reece trailhead.

We use this trail as an intro backpacking trail. We camp in the back next to the creek. This essentially gives us two different hikes. A valley hike with lots of pretty creek crossings and a ridge hike with some views. Little to no traffic every time I’ve hiked it. Great trail.

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.

Awesome trail! Watch for snakes! they love the wet rocky terrain.

Good easy trail, only about 92 feet in elevation change and beautiful scenery. I would give it 5 stars but the blazing is poor and several parts are overgrown and can be tough to navigate late spring and summer.

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

Great trail, you will see bikers. Nice Creek crossings, easy trail to follow.

Easy hike. Good elevation gain and gorgeous views.

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 quick and easy. Plenty of kids and seniors hiking it no problem. Pretty waterfall, definitely not huge but a great family hike.

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 hike with an amazing view at the top!

Great for novice hikers like me and my husband. Dogs loved it!

beautiful trail for a short hiking

Beautiful trail. Challenging on MB. Worth the climbs.
Water crossings.

hiking
17 days ago

Nice trail. Well marked. A little treacherous in spots. Just watch your step.

hiking
18 days ago

Trail was quiet. Path was what seemed like an old service road with large gravel/Rock. It was pretty flat and shaded. Nothing spectacular, wooded but no creek our mountain views. (PSA for those with dogs: We walked early October with long haired dogs and by the end they had 100+ burs stuck to them.)

We just hiked to the falls which was an easy in and out hike and not too far. Pretty falls, great way to cool off with the family!

This was mine and my dogs first trail to hike in Georgia, go big or go home. That being said, totally worth it. It’s rating is accurate and it is challenging, but not something that can’t be done. If you need to, stop and take breaks along the way. Super rocky trail, I felt bad for my pup but he was a champ. You live and you learn!

Tip: once you reach the top of the devils stairway, you will find out what I’m talking about soon enough, take a right and follow the AT white markers. Fool proof up to the summit.

hiking
20 days ago

Worth every second of the climb. Take the trail not the tram!

I tried to make a mental map based on previous comments. But I wasn't able to discern what the best way to the summit was. Personally, I parked at the Byron Reece Trailhead parking lot (found an spot at 3pm on a Sunday) walked in using the trail connector. This is .7 miles of straight elevation gain. Not terrible, but definitely indicative of the terrain the rest of the way up. There was a split in the trail I wasn't expecting about .4 miles in. I ran into a couple and they directed me to the right (uphill), and that led to the intersection. which is actually a 3-way trail intersection Three trails converge (AT, Freeman and Byron Reece). If you're coming from my direction Byron Reece(and want the most direct route) then you bear right following the white AT blazes uphill... if you're taking the long way and following the Freeman trail you go straight which is downhill. I've heard the Freeman is a more gradual approach to the summit, but I was pressed for time, so I opted for the more difficult AT summit route.

There are at least a collective quarter mile of rock scrambles. These are fun during the ascent, but a complete pain on the descent. Once on the AT, the trail is pretty clear, with guiding blazes that mark the right path on most questionable areas. I took my time and sat at the top for a good hour. This hike took a collective 5 hours. I would recommend treking poles and more water than you would normally carry. The view is worth any pain and suffering in the approach. 10/10 will hike again.

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
22 days 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;)

Good track well marked and I thought it was in good condition. Make sure you bring walking stick if you have a heavy pack, the stairs around the waterfall are steep and any help steadying things is a good benefit. Almost to water on the trail and the site we camped at had no water, we did stash some water at the top of the mountain where the trail connects at a parking lot which has a observatory deck. We then carried water (about .2 miles) to the site. Was a great site for hammocks, tough one for tents since the amount of flat area was limited.

Great trail if it wasn’t so crowded. This is definitely not lightly trafficked on a Sat. But it is less crowded than the other route up Blood mountain. Save this one for a weekday.

hiking
25 days 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.

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