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Bear Creek Backcountry Trail

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Cloudland Canyon State Park

Bear Creek Backcountry Trail is a 7.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Rising Fawn, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,279 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

Note: The park closes this trail after heavy rain. Please check with the park before visiting the trail. The primitive campsites are now open, as of May 2019. Primitive campsites are sites 12 and 13. Backcountry sites 1-11 are located along the 2 mile backcountry loop, near bear creek backcountry trail. All can be booked online.

hiking
21 hours ago

Great trail but creek was up and all hikers could not cross it. It is the rainy season and look forward to walking it this summer.

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail! The trail leading up to the loop was the best part of the entire trail. Definitely challenging at times because of the evaluation gain. The creek was at a good level so we could cross without taking our shoes off. The creek was a good spot to stop and hangout/explore. The loop was quiet, we didn’t see any other hikers at that time. The loop portion lacks water or mountain views, 3 miles total, we did see deer and other small wildlife. We started the entire day’s hike from the West Rim Loop/Walk-in campsites, connected to Overlook Trail, then completed the entire Bear Creek Loop. This totaled 12 miles out and back. If you start the trail from the Overlook Trail, it totals 5 miles, not 7 miles if you started from the Backcountry camping sites.

hiking
15 days ago

If you like walking, this is the trail for you

hiking
blowdown
15 days ago

Beautiful! Well worth it.

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful views, highlights are the waterfall and overlook point. Definitely plan to do it again!

hiking
1 month ago

If you park at the trail head near disc golf (in the gravel lot) go left when trail forks. Soon you’ll see the sign for Bear Creek to the left. To save mileage, We parked at the playground over near the main parking area(up the hill behind bathrooms). The trail head is visible just behind the equipment. Turn right onto the trail. Once you get to the bench (where the trail splits) turn left to head down into the gorge. Once you get to the creek it may seem as if the trail ends but it does not. Cross the creek for another 7miler. Strenuous climb back out, with several switchbacks. It is beautiful with shelf rock overhanging the creek to create a shelter type effect. Low levels of crowds here!

hiking
1 month ago

Good cardio, rich hopping, creek crossing, great water features, and definitely less traveled once you break off of the two-mile backcountry Loop. Be prepared for steep climbs and creek crossing.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

04.01.20 Great day for a hike. A cool and sunny 54 degrees out. Brought the kids with me this year, with plans to turn around at the wet crossing. My Future Girl Scout (5YO) and Second Class Boy Scout (12 YO) handled it well, ie. read- no blood, no sliding down the side of the mt. Started off at the G3 and Disc golf parking lot and headed down through the Meadowlands trail. Went round the left side of the pond to hook up with the Bear Creek Back Country trail. This choice kept it nice and short for the less experienced little people. As is all over the park, every plant is about to leaf out. Found a couple of flowers and berries showing too. At the water crossing, creek is flowing fast and I suspect moderately high with the rains yesterday. Looks about the same as my trip last year this time though. All in all, the trail was in good shape after yesterday’s rain. We didn’t see any washed out areas, very little mud, and no debris was blocking the trail. There is a lot of large debris down along the creek at the crossing, but it was difficult to tell if it all was from a high water storm or trail maintenance to control traffic flow. I’m suspecting the latter.

blowdown
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

very decent trail. hiked this march28th 2020. i parked at the main trail head and took the connector trail to commect directly to bear creek trail. its straight down hill to bear creek. two water falls and a nice bluff at the bottom. cross over the creek which is about 30ft wide and up to waist to knee deep. trail continues straight across and up. you might have to search a second to find the first marker before continuing. now its a steep and technical climb up a goat trail over a few rocky facings and down onto a side creek. follow that essentially hiking in the creek to the top. once you reach the top you are met by the loop. i recommend going counterclockwise, right. from here its a couple miles of leisurely flat wood walk. you'll pass camp 1 almost immediately. you'll go for a while before reaching camp2 which has no water source. as you pass youll notice you are turning back towards the canyon. head down a ways and when you flatten back out you are right up on the canyon walls. a few good off shoots to have lunch at. continue onward and youll go up two short but steep hills, curve away from the canyon and cross anothe creek. youll eventually find yourself back at the cross roads and head back down the way you came up. this hike is a nice challenge for intermediate hikers, and provides the expert with a decent excercise locally. beginners should bring hiking poles to help cross bear creek, be unafraid to get your feet and shoes wet, and plan to make atleast 5hours out of this trip. this trip took me three hours.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

best trail I have ever hiked!! very scenic, lots of waterfalls, and a few cliff edges where you can see the entire canyon open up if you venture from the trail a bit. Bring chacos, there is one big creek crossing and multiple more before you get to the loop. It is a challenging hike, youre going to want to be in shape before hand.

hiking
3 months ago

Went yesterday (Feb 17). Rangers stated they weren't letting anyone past the creek (1-mile from the Bear Creek / Backcountry junction); good call, as it was flowing very high and fast. Beautiful waterfall and gorgeous scenery at the creek.

hiking
4 months ago

If it’s been raining heavily, call the office before to find out if the trail is open. After the three days of constant rain a few weeks ago, they had the trail closed as the first crossing was waist deep. Great trail otherwise.

hiking
4 months ago

Good short hike to the creek. Water too high. Still worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

Very well maintained and marked trail. Very few people on the trail. Like some of the other reviewers, once I got to the first creek crossing it was too deep to cross so I turned back and did some off shoot trails. Beautiful river tho. Will go back in summer when the water isn’t so deep.

hiking
blowdown
fee
rocky
washed out
5 months ago

Walked this trail, 12/26/2019, Great trail, it was easy to follow, marking throughout, but some areas were difficult to maneuver, trees down blocking some of the paths, had to roll up my pants and take off my shoes and socks and wade through the creek twice, it took about 3.5 hours, but I did stop to eat lunch under the huge rock cliff, yes, once you go down the first cliff, waterfall is on the left off the trial 50 feet,

hiking
6 months ago

I love this trail and have hiked it several times in the past year. Prefer parking at the playground, taking the blue blaze Overlook Trail to the right about .4 mile to Checkpoint 11. Then left to descend .6 mile to the creek. It's a bit shorter than parking at the Backcountry campsite parking area. Still, I always clock 7 to 7.4 miles each time. Some other reviewers complain of "not even a waterfall". Well, it's been VERY dry here. Usually there IS a waterfall. Another said "there's nothing to look at". What? Bear Creek itself is gorgeous! This trail is varied. Some areas have boulders to navigate. There's the big creek crossing, along with a few other little ones. There's a lot of up and down. The loop portion (which is maybe 3.5 miles) is beautiful forest in all seasons. True, the gorge views are clearer from the other side of the rim. But it's also very crowded over there. Often there's no one else on this trail. This is my go-to hike for wanting to get my butt kicked. Sometimes the creek is an easy rock hop, sometimes the water is high and your feet will get wet, and sometimes after really big rains it would be dangerous to attempt crossing.

backpacking
rocky
7 months ago

Great trail to get away from the crowds at Cloudland Canyon. 2 primitive camping sites are definitely worth checking out. Decent elevation gain and loss, so this trail is for reasonably fit hikers.

hiking
7 months ago

The husband and I hiked this trail over Memorial Day weekend to escape the west rim and waterfall crowds. We only saw one other couple and thoroughly enjoyed our time alone together in the woods! The trail was marked moderate in the park map so we were not prepared for how strenuous it is and had to turn back before finishing the loop. I now have a personal vendetta to return for a rematch! This trail is lovely but hard. The waterfall and water crossing are gorgeous- a great place to picnic. We plan to revisit in November and check out the backcountry sites on the ridge.

hiking
8 months ago

in the woods hike

decent hike. only two really nice views of the canyon at the top of the loop if you go of trail by 20-30 yards. no waterfall to be found, even hiked a mile off trail up the creek looking for it. overall a fun hike, but very little to look at. very strenuous trail for exercise.

hiking
scramble
9 months ago

Where to start! Lance and I decided upon this hike based on prior review and were devastated! This hike was measly! No mimosas were had to celebrate, rest assured. We began this hike at the lay-person campsite area where it was packed with many running children (cmon moms!). When we finally made it to the so called “primitive campsite” we were vastly devastated. NO primitive markings, ancestry, or alternative medicine whatsoever. The restroom huts along the way were however quite enticing and pleasant. My favorite part of this hike was a hand-crafted by nature staff for walking, how delicate the wood felt in my bingers. This staff was theived! Robin hoods how dare thy!!

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
9 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
9 months ago

nice trail. I would come back again to the small fall that is has. going down there is about 3miles I would say round trip. doing the whole loop in my opinion doesn't offer much sight seeing but is does kicks your butt really good trail if you want to exercise. if you are more into sightseeing just get to the fall and come back not much to see up there after the fall.

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