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Bear Creek Trail is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Ellijay, Georgia that features a river 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.

Distance: 6.4 miles Elevation Gain: 1,108 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

camping

hiking

mountain biking

bird watching

forest

river

views

wildlife

muddy

rocky

Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism, P.O. Box 1776, 285 Peachtree Center Avenue NE , Atlanta, GA, 30301, Phone: 404-656-3590

hiking
6 days ago

perfect mile in and mile out to the gannett poplar. today a tree by the creek had a handful of salamanders all over it. maybe they were newts. very cool.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trial

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

We absolutely loved this trail. Drove the Jeep to the trailhead and went counterclockwise on the loop. First half didn’t see a single person. Second half a bit more crowded with many fast moving mountain bikers. All in all, easy to navigate, beautiful scenery and just a fun hike. Highly recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail was an old road bed for over four miles which was nice. It’s mainly a mountain bike trail so wider than a footpath only. Many stream and creek crossings which brought a nice variety and sometimes a challenge. Got a couple of soakers

mountain biking
7 months ago

First of all, this trail was well-maintained and well marked. If you leave the parking lot and go counterclockwise most of the trail is going to be a service road. There is a shortcut where the pinhoti trail dissect the trail and cuts it in half. I would recommend this route. Having walked the trail and it’s entirety, it seems to be more suited for mountain biking than for the actual pleasure of hiking. There is no need to take trekking poles or a camera, the trail is relatively easy throughout not very rocky,not very scenic. I would recommend a bottle of water maybe a snack ultralight backpack. The only point of interest that I could find was a huge poplar tree, that is marked. This trail is great for getting out into nature and enjoying a beautiful day.

mountain biking
rocky
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Great day for a hike. The weather was cool so there were both hikers and bike riders out. I did have some close calls with riders coming down fast on some of the trail so definitely should keep an eye out. It’s listed as a 6.4 mile trail but when I was finished I logged just over 7 miles. Trail was easy to navigate and not terrible on the inclines.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Good hike, dog friendly, though we had a few close calls with mountain bikers riding through and had be on alert

hiking
9 months ago

If you have littles or want a shorter hike, park up top and start at the Pinhoti sign. As you go along the trail, there will be a fork, follow the sign for the tree. It’s approximately 1 mile in and 1 mile back to see the tree. There’s a few creek crossings. We have done this a few times since it’s so close to where our cabin is.

hiking
10 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
11 months ago

hiking
Mon Jun 17 2019

Start clockwise, there is not much elevation Follow sign Pinhoti trail than follow sign Bear Creek. it’s easy and enjoyable trail If you start on right from parking lot, follow sign bear creek loop, than you will hike steep up to hill for ... sometime ... I met hikers who been tired after one mile because they started on the right.

hiking
bugs
Tue Jun 11 2019

hiking
Tue May 14 2019

No big waterfalls or amazing outlooks but still a beautiful hike! Very well maintained trail. The big tree is about 1 mile from the parking lot if you go left. Try to bring a car that is a little bigger than a Honda Accord ;)

hiking
Sat Mar 02 2019

Really great hike!!! Minimal people, stream crossings, different terrain throughout! Highly recommend! The directions they provide on maps is not accurate. It will prompt you to turn off Gates Chapel... don’t. Use the service road off Gates Chapel not far from where it prompts you to turn. It’ll take you right to the trail head. Definitely recommend this hike!!!

Wed Feb 13 2019

One of my favorites. Creek crossings, not too steep. really nice hike!

hiking
Fri Jan 25 2019

First time to Bear Creek today and I did it all wrong. I followed the Google Maps Directions (don't do it) which took us to the very top of mountain at upper access point (instead of the lower loop access point) and we had to walk down a gravel road for 2 miles to get to the Loop. Then went clock-wise from the loop which turned out to just be more gravel road. Thus, ended up the hike by walking a gravel dirt road instead of my intent of hiking an actual mountain trail. Will go again and this time access the lower access point and hike the entire loop along Bear Creek and see the giant tree

Sun Jan 13 2019

Great easy hike today in the misty rain. The poplar tree is much bigger in person than in pics! Trail was great. Very beautiful area. Only about a mile hike to the tree.

hiking
Mon Jan 07 2019

Nice weather today for the fist hike of the year. Not too many people out today. This trail is easy with a few moderate spots. Overall a good trail for people beginning hiking or for seasoned hikers as well. Not many views but a chance to see the Gennet poplar, the second largest tree in GA.

Tue Oct 16 2018

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

Sat Oct 06 2018

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

hiking
Sat Sep 08 2018

A must see! I did not realize that we had trees that big in Georgia.

Thu Jun 07 2018

If you click the Directions arrow through Google Maps, it does not take you to the lower parking area with the easiest access to the trail. The link takes you to the upper which is a 2 mile forest service road walk. The trail is beautiful once you arrive on it.

mountain biking
Fri Sep 29 2017

Great trail. With many ride options.

Fri Sep 01 2017

I took the bear creek spur to the loop, which tacks on a few miles. Great hike, a lot of ups and downs. Crossed some creeks 6 times or so. Plenty of scenery, some fell trees across the trail. Some great campsites, and in the Cohutta wilderness you can camp anywhere as long as regulations are followed. Loved every minute of this hike.

hiking
Thu Aug 10 2017

amazing, gorgeous trail that is pretty easy. frequent run ins with the creek and frequent changes of scenery. be aware of the narrow road on the way in. also, watch out for black bears!! our hike got turned around when we crossed paths with a mama and 4 cubs. the trail also features north Georgia's tallest and widest tree. awesome hike all around

camping
Mon Jul 24 2017

God's country! my happy place! this is the most beautiful place in the world to me! I come here every chance I get. Plenty of private camping areas around the creek or away from it your chose!

Sat Jul 22 2017

A classic!

hiking
Sun Feb 26 2017

Dual use trail, narrow with mountain bikers. can be a bit perilous since the sight lines are too short to see people flying at you.

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