Chattooga River Trail

MODERATE 20 reviews

Chattooga River Trail is a 20 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Clayton, Georgia that features a waterfall 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
20.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4005 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

trail running

walking

whitewater kayaking

forest

river

views

waterfall

Directions from Clayton: Take US Hwy. 76 east for 9 miles. The parking area is on the left before the Chatooga River bridge.

backpacking
14 days ago

This trip was completed not quite three weeks after Hurricane Irma blew through. Irma blew down a LOT of trees, many of which totally blocked the trail. Lots of bushwhacking and scrambling were necessary. As others have noted, the Chattooga River is not featured as prominently as you might think. If the blowdowns were not so prevalent, this would have been a great trip. I hiked 20.53 miles North to South from Russell Bridge on Hwy 28 down to Hwy 76.

backpacking
14 days ago

A good trail to find a campsite with the sound of water from the mountains or near the river. River campsites seem to be taken on the weekends. Love this trail will come back often

1 month ago

Great trail for everyone. Great place to introduce your children to the beauty of nature. It is safe and beautiful.

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

4 months ago

This trail is a delight! We got in at Hwy 28 and hiked down into Georgia. There are plenty of campsites along either tributaries or on the Chatooga. Some good ups and downs, but nothing too bad and the views of the river coming down from the mountains are fantastic.

5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

The CRT is a lot longer than 20 miles. The best section is from hwy 28 to ellicott rock and seems to have been omitted from here. Been hiking it in sections. Can be strenuous if you're not prepared but otherwise well kept.
My favorite place to hike.

backpacking
7 months ago

Did a solo trip starting at the 76 bridge heading Northbound....first portion of the trip was beautiful hike through big hemlocks staying off the river most of the time. You first hit the Chattooga at 4.5 miles and follow it for a mile or so before heading back up away from it. I camped on Dicks Creek which was around the halfway mark. The second portion of the trip up to the 28 bridge the following day was quite a bit more difficult thru higher elevations. Overall a great trip and a beautiful river....looks like it should be out West....I took some off shoots to the river along the way and believe I logged around 25 miles

mountain biking
9 months ago

Challenging bike, I loved it. Lots of up and down. River not far away if you want to check it out. Wasn't aware you could not bike until I completed the trail, oops! Please change this rule.

backpacking
11 months ago

We hiked from the trail head all the way to the first part of the trail that dips into the chattooga river and back. There are 2 small camp sites within the 1st 15 minutes of hiking from the trail head. Each are located right after you cross a small wooden bridge, the 1st one is after the first bridge, and the second site is about 400 steps after the 1st bridge, you'll cross a pair of wooden bridges and its on your left. The next camp sites are several miles further in. Great views and quite pretty. Surprisingly I didnt see much animal life, I only saw one bird during a night hike and some small fish once I reached the river, it may have been due to it being November. I estimate from the trailhead to the first point you reach the river is about 6-7 miles. Great hike if you're looking to be alone in the woods, I barely saw many folks. Also a good hike to bring a dog. .

Monday, September 19, 2016

Absolutely beautiful! Go down to the campgrounds for tranquil and peaceful views!

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Backpacking was a thrill!

hiking
Sunday, April 10, 2016

camping
Friday, July 25, 2014

Beautiful, fun and easy hike. Great for camping too!

hiking
Friday, February 28, 2014

hiking
Thursday, June 07, 2012

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B3cudVH39UDgZkVORWNIWTVQZzg

Link to helpful maps available from Chattooga Native Plant Society

hiking
Monday, April 23, 2012

For a river trail, there was very little river views. (Call me idealistic, but only about 1/3 of the trail provided river views.)

Part of Meetup backpacking trip that started at Russell Bridge at Ga/SC border. 6 people. 3 dogs.

Trail well-marked. Did not see any wildlife on day one - attributed to the dogs scaring off anything. Trail is not flat. (I was nursing a cold, and didn't bring trekking poles bc I was told it was flat... not killer by any means, but on a hot day, it was noticeable.)
Numerous stream crossings, but various size 'bridges' keep you dry. Lots of campsites ranging from unimpressive, to very nice spots. We camped near Sandy Ford. Some campsites are near very shallow-slow-moving sections of Oconee. We ended up at a section where the water was really moving. (Not ideal for wading) Water was chilly but felt good. Lots of wood nearby for campfires (rings already established)

The group continued on day 2 another 8 miles. Since I was feeling crappy and we weren't exactly sure of topography of remainder of trail and wanting to hike without dogs, I opted to go back the way we came. We didn't pass a soul on the trail on way out - except some fishermen in the river and a family camping at a spot you can drive in. On the way back, I encountered 2 boy scout groups.

Saw lots of critters - deer, raccoon, woodpeckers, salamanders, dove, black snake... Enjoyed it A LOT more. Still, no need to do again. Left campsite at 9:15 am, 2 breaks to take off some layers & deal with a hot spot. Made it back to trailhead by 12;45

The report from the rest of the group was that the remainder of the trail was wicked - constant inclines and descents, non-bridged creek crossings, Even the seasoned hikers said it was rough. They also left at 9:15, took a lunch break - they got back to trailhead after 4.

LOTS of ticks and gnats and poison ivy. Some of the trail parallels horse trails - so you'll smell 'horsey' sections. Remember, most horses are freaked out by backpacks.