Appalachian Trail: Tesnatee Gap to Cow Rock Mountain

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Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Appalachian Trail: Tesnatee Gap to Cow Rock Mountain is a 1.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cleveland, Georgia that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 656 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

The current response to the COVID-19 emergency has closed several trails and recreation sites in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Please see website for up to date info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/conf/recreation

hiking
4 days ago

Short but difficult trail- rocky and a steep incline. Worth the view when you get to the top.

hiking
rocky
22 days ago

I truly enjoyed the serenity, the views & the birds chirp on top of this mountain. A little steep at the beginning but nothing too intense. Took us around 25-30 mins to get to the top.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

This was a great hike, but pretty hot in August for the 2017 solar eclipse. The path was relatively clear — other than the number of people all doing the hike to get to the mountaintop. Once we got up top, it was a gorgeous view — well worth the hike. Biggest concern was copperhead snakes all over the place — conveniently marked by other hikers with an impromptu sign on a flat rock where they were staying cool. I’d do this again when it is cooler.

It’s a great trail for a short hike with some very nice views.....beginner friendly

Great trail, didn’t make it to the end, we found a great spot to sit on and look at the view about half way up

hiking
icy
muddy
3 months ago

Fun day on the AT. Did a 5.5 mile round trip from parking lot south towards Neels Gap. Met Dave who was camping at the top of Cow Rock. Cool dude and very knowledgeable of the area. Met other cool folks as well!

Pretty Steep in the beginning and very rocky but once the switchbacks begin its a fairly easy hike up to cow rock

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

Pretty nice trail. Moderate is a good classification. Fairly narrow. Took our dog up with us today, maybe 45 min walk each way. We hung around at the top and walked across the ridgeline to the other summit and took some pictures. Stayed long enough to make a couple sota contacts (amateur radio).

This one will give you a challenge from the start racking the switchbacks you to Cow Rock. You get a little bit of a reprieve for a little while before it gets challenging again heading up to Wolf Laurel. This is one of my favorite hikes in the area. The overlooks are just beautiful and the challenge of it makes you feel accomplished when you are done. The trail is well maintained. Be aware that is can be rocky with plenty of tree roots in places, so watch your step. I saw maybe a dozen other people out enjoying by this stretch of trial today.

hiking
6 months ago

We really enjoyed this trail. Rocky and steep in the beginning, nice views along the way. Cow Rock is a great place to sit and enjoy the view. Took our Mini Aussie and she loved it too. A bit of ice on the rocks this morning but not treacherous. Would hike this again.

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

11/3/19: hiked this Trail and then on to Wolf Laurel after stopping at Cow Rock. Loved the views at Cow Rock. Great place to sit & enjoy the view. Amazed at how many dogs on this trail (not a bad thing, just an observation). Trail was rocky but manageable. Couple great camping spots beyond Cow Rock. Will hike this again. Enjoyed it!

hiking
7 months ago

Rocky but manageable. Definitely worth the time, it was a cloudy damp day and the clouds added to the spectacular vistas.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Beautiful views at top. I would say it was between moderate and dificult going up.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike - when we got to the flat rocket area - we met another couple that told us about the lockout at the end of the ridge - amazing views!!

hiking
7 months ago

Excellent views

hiking
9 months ago

If you want to proceed from Cow Rock, take the trail to the left. I had trouble finding the trail from there. It's a rock slab and there are no signs. The white blaze on a tree to the left is barely visible.

hiking
rocky
Mon May 27 2019

steady upward Rocky trail, not exceedingly difficult. cow rock is just an open area of exposed rock. pretty views but not spectacular.

hiking
Fri Feb 08 2019

Hiked this last friday with a friend and our 7 children, ages 4-11. Had to carry the little ones on a couple sections. They all did great, it was crazy windy. So super cold, but overall enjoyable experience

camping
Mon Jan 28 2019

Went 2 weeks ago. Rain was coming Saturday so I didn't think I'd get to backpack. Got out early-ish on Friday. grabbed my gear and went. Got to trailhead about 4pm. Hiked to CowRock and found a cozy and sheltered spot and parked it for the night. Trail was in good shape overall. some ice and mud but not terrible. one washed out area with a downed tree about 1 mile up. Great night and awesome drive to Vogel State Park next morning. Exactly the reset I needed. Go!

hiking
Sat Jan 05 2019

Hiked this while visiting the area last week and absolutely loved it. Hiking this in winter time was great because we had perfect weather (50s and rain held off) and we didn't see another person the whole time up or down the trail. We hiked a mile up to the scenic outlook on rocks that others talked about. Absolutely beautiful views. We brought our dog and he loved it and had an easy time too. It is a little steep but well worth the view up top. Also loved going in Jan because trees are bare so you can see off the mountain the whole time while hiking - probably different views in summer when foliage is full. Definitely recommend!

Wed Dec 19 2018

Excellent hike if you have a dog they will enjoy it too.

Mon Nov 26 2018

Tough at first but view is amazing!!

Fri Nov 23 2018

Tough climb up but the view on the top of the rock about 1 mile in is fantastic!! It makes all that climbing worth it!!

Mon Nov 19 2018

steep but worth the view at Cow Bald.

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