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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
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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 (97)
Photos (173)
Recordings (72)
Completed (137)
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Randy Foli
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Hiking
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Patrick Kennedy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
BackpackingBridge out

Great trail and hiked before, but tried going yesterday and a huge tree has taken out the first bridge crossing, and there was no way around.

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Daniel Cleburne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 26, 2020
HikingScramble

The trail doesn’t run that close to the beautiful river itself. We actually hung a right at the fork about .5 mile in to hug the river more closely. It lasted about 2 miles going by the river until it ended. That was more enjoyable than the actual trail. Would be really nice if they cut a new trail that followed along the gorgeous river.

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Eric Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 26, 2020
Hiking

Lots of underbrush. One of the bridges is out.

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Katrina Williams
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Hiking
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Alexander Scech
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 8, 2020
Backpacking

We hiked out expecting to hit the major campsites by the river at 4 miles like the map shows, but it’s really more like 5 miles. There are also two large camp areas around 5.0 miles and the first one has great access to the river. Tons of fire rings in most spots that would make sense to make camp. This trail has some pretty steep inclines with not a whole lot of rocks or limbs to step so if it rains be extremely careful. We got caught in the rain the last day and it was very slippery. Overall it was great, just wish the map was a little more accurate in terms on mile markers. Also reception is slim to none Sand the gps tracker couldn’t track us at some points or completely went off course.

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Kevin Wynne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 3, 2020
Backpacking

Bartram Trail was well maintained and enjoyable. The Chattooga Trail cut off to Highway 78 was very poorly maintained. Blow downs everywhere. Brush was obscuring the tail and areas were confusingly marked. This section offered few views of the river and the steep grades were rough.

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Frank O
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Hiking
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Haley Holmes
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Hiking

Never found the trail head.

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Christy Bennett
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HikingBlowdownGreat!

This trail was a pleasure to hike. In my 6 mile round trip (3 mile out, 3 mile back) I only saw 2 other people on the trail - on a Friday. Parked in the large parking lot at the end of the bridge (off US-76) on the South Carolina side. Walked down the long staircase from parking area to the bridge, and walked across the bridge to the trail head. You'll see a green sign for "Southern Highroads Trail" while walking the bridge. Well-built wooden footbridges to cross the streams, though one had some recent blow-down blocking it that I had to shimmy over. The climbs were all rolling and gradual, so not very strenuous. There were a couple of dispersed campsites off the trail, if you're looking to backpack in the area.

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Bryan Beauchamp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 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.

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Kendall Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 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.

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Paul Horne
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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.

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David Hicklin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 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!

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Lesley Cortright
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 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 StarApril 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.

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Artem Popazoglo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 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.

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Jordan Frith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 5, 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.

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Bill Petree
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BackpackingBlowdown
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Crispin Henry
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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.

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Dale Niemiec
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2019
Hiking

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

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Mauricio Infante
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2019
Hiking

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

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Susan McGraw
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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.

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Lee Wheeler
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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.!

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

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Christopher Barron
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 5, 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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