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Chattooga River Trail is a 19.1 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.

Length 19.1 mi Elevation gain 3,100 ft Route type Point to Point

Dog friendly

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

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

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

Directions from Clayton: Take US Hwy. 76 east for 9 miles. The trailhead parking is on the South Carolina side of the river AFTER the bridge if you're coming from Clayton.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (86)
Photos (139)
Recordings (59)
Completed (114)
Bryan Beauchamp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 11 2020
Hiking

Hiked about 7 miles in and spent a couple of nights last week. (second week in June).Parked at Chattanooga river "info center" off 76, below Bull Sluce and hiked north-eastwardly. It was my first time here and I was very impressed. Trail is well maintained, there were only a couple of blowdowns but they were clearly from a storm that had just come through a few days before. Trail was very pretty, has some ups and downs but nothing too intense. Looks like I missed the peak of the rhododendron blooms by a couple of weeks. Plenty of water sources and a few good campsites. As others have mentioned, trail parallels the river but for many miles is away from it. The parts where it connects with the river and follows it for a bit usually have some good lunch spots and campsites. It was a good place for someone like me who was trying to get back into backpacking after being away from it for a while, and just wanting to hike and camp with no particular distance or destination in mind. The river is very busy with kayakers and commercial rafters which are fun to watch, even though I was alone I never felt "lonely" as ever so often a raft would come by and wave at me. Saw some other hikers and campers, but only a few - like maybe 4 a day. I’ll definitely be back. If I was to day hike this trail from the same starting point, I would probably hike to the first or second part of the trail where it connects with the river, have my lunch and then turn around. These would be 10 and 14 mile round trips, respectively. I could see this place being miserable and buggy during the hottest part of summer, but where in Georgia wouldn’t be during that season? I look forward to coming back in the fall, and next year when the Rhododendrons are in full bloom.

Kendall Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 31 2020
Hiking

A large amount of poison ivy along the trail, but a good workout without much steep incline. Over five miles from the parking lot to the point when the trail first hits the Chattooga.

View Kendall's Recording
Paul Horne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 24 2020
BackpackingBlowdownOver grown

My brother and I did an overnight on this trail. We hiked from Hwy 76 to Dicks Creek Falls before hiking out on the Bartram Trail to Warwoman Dell. As other reviews have mentioned, there was some poison ivy along the trail, so watch out for that. The trail was nice and fairly open for the first 4 or 5 miles, but there was quite a bit of vegetation and down trees after that. At times, the vegetation was so overgrown that I had to check the GPS to make sure we had not gone off trail. The trail crosses a water source at least every two miles, so there are plenty of locations to filter water. There are also wooden bridges at every water crossing, but they can be quite slick when wet. With stopping almost an hour for lunch, it took us 7 hours to get to Dicks Creek Falls. We found a nice little beach spot on the river to camp just past Dicks Creek Falls. Not a ton of spots to camp in that area, so make sure you arrive early enough to keep hiking up the trail if camp spots are taken. We have Verizon and had no cell service at the bridge or anywhere along this trail, but we did catch a good signal about 20min up the Bartram Trail. I’d love to come back and hike the other half of this trail, but I’ll probably wait until winter when there’s less vegetation.

David Hicklin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon May 18 2020
Hiking

Great overnight trip taking two 9 year olds on first true backpacking trip. Started at 76 bridge. Hit river and camped about 5 miles in. Lots of poison ivy but trail in good shape. Mountain laurel in full bloom. Beautiful!

Lesley Cortright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 10 2020
Running

Such a beautiful trail! Well cared for and perfect for just about anyone

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Mark Barrett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 18 2020
Hiking

A very pleasant trail. a few ups and downs but not too strenuous. very shady. watch out for the poison ivy as it is everywhere.

View Mark's Recording
Artem Popazoglo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Apr 10 2020
Hiking

The trail was super simple to follow. Hardly any fallen trees or uncut paths. We hiked throughout the night along the river with no issues. The elevation climb was mild followed by level ground. Super awesome trail, would definitely recommend to anyone.

View Artem's Recording
Jordan Frith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Apr 05 2020
Hiking

I've never done the entire thing because I've focused on day hikes, but I have done 10 miles in and 10 miles out in a day, and this trail is wonderful. It's relaxing but difficult enough as far as the ups and downs. Also, most of it isn't by the river, which makes it very satisfying when you do get river access. Also, it's mostly empty. I went for 10 hours on a Sunday in the middle of this quarantine and didn't see a soul.

Bill Petree
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Mar 29 2020
BackpackingBlowdown
View Bill's Recording
Crispin Henry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jan 21 2020
Backpacking

1/19 - 1/20 - 9 year old daughter’s first backpacking trip. She had an awesome time. Trail is easy to moderate and made it a pleasant experience for her. Camped at “hippy beach”. Only 2 down trees on the trail that she had to climb over.

Dale Niemiec
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFri Sep 06 2019
Hiking

If you have issues with poison ivy you may want to look to hike elsewhere. It’s everywhere.

Mauricio Infante
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Sep 01 2019
Hiking

Great trail. Alternately shaded and not. Fairly clear with a lot of water access. Water seems low this time of year.

View Mauricio's Recording
Susan McGraw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 27 2019
Hiking

While this trail does run along the river, you can only SEE the river at the beginning (if you start at US 76). You HEAR the river, but in the summer there is too much vegetation, and you are up too high. Lots of cool plants: Wild Bergamot was my favorite. Goldenrod about to bloom. Wild Hydrangea. Ferns. Phlox. Lots of poison Ivy so watch out. I went in from US 76 about 4.5 -5 miles and turned around. Be careful about following the right path. There's a fork about 1/4 mile in. Take the left. You have to choose a direction after the first bridge. Go right. Very sparse 4G and phone service so be careful. Let someone know where you are going.

Lee Wheeler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 16 2019
HikingBlowdownBugsOver grown

Awesome trail. Pure wilderness. Started at 28 bridge and made it down to 76 in 3 days. Not bragging either. This trail for that particular 20 miles is moderate to difficult. Some very tall climbs. The gems are hidden within and come up on you right when your about to give up hope. Bring a map. Nat-geo works well. Shows you routes to waterfalls and such. Bring plenty of food for energy but don’t weigh yourself down. That’s the catch. Swim bait for smallmouth bass. Caught 2. If you would like to test your experience then this trail is perfect. You won’t die if you bring water filtration of some variation, however, you will if you don’t.!

Paul Whitaker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 11 2019

trail was not well marked at crossings. but otherwise a great hike. very quiet and peaceful.

Christopher Barron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 05 2019
Hiking

Not as scenic, or water accesible as it appears on the maps. A nice flat trail through forest with some river views...

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Ryan Floyd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 27 2019
HikingRockyScramble

Downed trees beyond Bad Creek make it hard for dogs and children. my dog clamored over a tree and fell down a cliff.

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Barry Mills
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarTue Jan 15 2019
Hiking

Nice hike but the trail is really not very close to the river. Was hoping it would be a nice hike along the river. This was up in the hills above it. Still a good hike, I just had different expectations. Also every creek crossing is bridged which most probably greatly appreciate. I personally prefer my trails to be a little more wild. Water crossings and wet feet are part of the fun.

Ca Cheeee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Dec 13 2018
Hiking

beautiful and peaceful.

Emily Good
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jul 10 2018
Backpacking

First things - we started from the end (Hwy 28) and hiked south, and we did not hike the entire trail. We only hiked to Earl's Ford (it was my daughters first backpacking trip and we wanted to keep it light. I guess I was just hoping for more highlights. We though a lunch at Earls Ford would be nice - play in the water and then work our way back... Earls Ford is beautiful and would be a perfect picnic spot, except for the car campers and ORV folks. Lots of trash and trucks. The trail isn't used much by hikers - we saw 1 hiker over the past 2 days. The campsites are large, but nothing too exceptional, and they seem to be spaced out ever 3 miles or so. There were a few sections with lots of horse traffic (although marked as hikers only), and the spiders are plentiful. We'll try the south end of the trail in a few weeks.

Mat King
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 08 2018
Backpacking

First I need to clear up a couple facts: -This trail is 25 miles one-way and says so right on the sign at the trailhead. -The trailhead is on the South Carolina side of the river. It's on the left immediately AFTER the bridge from Clayton. As for my review we loved this trail! Its far less crowded than the AT, has tons of water, great camp sites, and it's easy hiking. The negatives: It was spider season! And I mean lots and lots of spiders. I'm an avid outdoorsman and have spent a lot of time backpacking and I've never seen close to this many webs and spiders. I had to walk with a trekking pole up in front of me to catch the webs before my face did, because they were every 20 feet across the trail! There was also lots of ticks, so take precautions. There was 2 side trails within the first mile that aren't marked. Take a right on the first one to stay on the trail, and a left on the second one. There were also a number of down trees to climb over, and at one point (at a fork about 6 miles in) there is a total blockage that you can't get around. So take the left fork about 10 feet and there's a little trail to cut back down to the main trail... I made an arrow out of sticks but who knows how long that will last. Overall we will go back here and hike it over and over just for the beautiful water camping and the solitude. Its one of the best hikes in Georgia!

Crispin Henry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Feb 04 2018
Backpacking

Only saw 3 other backpackers. They were a few blow downs on the trail that we had to cut trails around. There’s a creek crossing about 7 miles in from the hwy 76 trailhead that was a little challenging to cross.

John Gorman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jan 27 2018
Hiking

Uhhh The Chattooga Trail is alot more than 20 miles. It goes all the way up to Ellicott Rock at the Ga and NC line.

Jamie Free
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Oct 04 2017
Backpacking

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.

michael taylor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 04 2017
Backpacking

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

Ricky Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 23 2017

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

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