Conasauga River Trail

HARD 42 reviews

Conasauga River Trail is a 11.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Crandall, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
11.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,223 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

This is a great trail in a remote area for north Georgia. The river is beautiful, especially further north where it really widens out with some large boulders and rock outcroppings in and around the river. This trail would be a cakewalk difficulty-wise if it weren't for the river crossings, but those just add to the fun. The only difficult climbs are at the southern and northern trailheads where you ascend from the river valley up to the parking area. Be hesitant to attempt the northern portions of the trail after heavy rains. As the river widens, there can be a lot of water flowing after a day or two of big rain. Also, the trail blazes can be a little confusing around the river crossings.

backpacking
2 months ago

We just hiked this on 10/10/18 . I can tell you that the trails are not clearly marked. the trail head does t even tell you your at conasauga river trail. it's just a big sign with a blurry map and you walk dow a road a little with a little wooden sign that just says trail. almost missed it. once you get to the river it is beautiful down there. but it's very hard to tell which way to go. we went left oops. haha wrong way came back after a pretty good distant walk. went right this time. found the trail most of the way think we crossed the river 5 times. before we couldn't see a trail anymore so we gave up found a camping spot and camped for the night. that was the night of hurricane Michael. well we woke up and the rover did rise quite a bit and was flowing fast so we decided to pack up and head back. Just wish the trails where clearly marked in some way. even with just marking tape . other then that we will be back to do it again!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike! Started at the chestnut lead trailhead and hiked down to the river trail. The river crossings are a lot of fun but make sure you have sturdy shoes and two hiking poles. There are multiple crossings! And as a FYI the hike back up the chestnut lead trail is a killer - basically straight uphill for two miles. But overall an amazing hike!

3 months ago

It’s a trail by a river and miles of it, it’s alright.

5 months ago

I did lower half of the trail it was challenging but fun. I got lost few times and water was little higher then I expected.

backpacking
7 months ago

Backpacked this trail early May 2018. Parked at the end of the trail.

Day one hiked from mile 11 to mile 7.
Day two day packed from mile 7 to 3 and back to 7.
Day three hiked back to car.

Loved not having to carry much water around with me. Just filtered a liter or two at a time as we hiked along the river.
Made the mistake of wearing open toed Tevas. While it was nice being able to get them wet, they were slippery on the rocks and actually broke halfway through the trip

My biggest regret on this trip was not bringing hiking poles. Would have made the crossings way easier.

Would advise lining your pack with a trash bag for when you inevitably take a dip in the river.

River Crossings:
Depending on if it rained recently, you might not be able to safely cross. It hadn’t rained in the week before going, and it was still pretty hard to cross in some areas. This made for a great challenge! Sometimes hard to find the right place to cross. Sometimes the trail crossing spot is too dangerous, and you have to walk down or upstream to find a good crossing point. The rocks in the water were pretty slippery.

We were never worried about getting swept down the river, more just falling in and getting the packs drenched. I fell in a few times :)

Camping:
There were a few camp spots between 11 and 9, but very few between 9 and 6. South of 6 there were a ton! The campsites were somewhat dirty and could use a visit by rangers.

Trail:
The elevation change in the trail was easy. The trail was very poorly marked between miles 11 and 6. While you can’t get lost (you just follow the river), you’re kind of bushwhacking it in this section. Lots of poison ivy around but we never got it - probably because we were constantly getting washed off in the river. Bring cream just in case.

Miles 3-6 were much better traveled and the trails were clear.

Overall really liked this hike and would visit it again.

backpacking
Thursday, October 26, 2017

Absolutely stunning! We backpacked mid-week in October and did not see or hear another soul. River crossings were no more than knee-height 2 days after a heavy rainfall. Plenty of campsites for tents or hammocks near the river. We hiked down Tearbritches and up Conasaugua River Trail, and we wished we had just done the full CRT. About the river crossings...we did 12 wet crossings between where the Tearbritches trail meets the CRT until where the Chestnut Lead trail meets the CRT. The first couple crossings, we took the time to remove our shoes, but gave up at the third - they were just too numerous. The fires from 2016 have left their mark and the trail is a bit difficult to follow in places. Some of the signage is on the ground and partially burned so our GPS with the tracks was helpful. There is a lot of treefall, but nothing treacherous. Trekking poles were invaluable, as were quick-drying shoes and an extra pair of dry socks for sleeping. We normally don't like trails with a lot of river crossings, but we can't wait until we have an opportunity to do the entire trail. We ran the shuttle with a front-wheel drive sedan, in case anyone is wondering about road conditions.

Monday, October 02, 2017

This trail was really beautiful and fun with all the water crossings. We will for sure do this one again. It was a bit hard to find the trail in a few places, so stay vigilant. Also, one of the campsites had a pretty wicked yellow jackets nest that stung my girlfriend, my dog and me. All in all it was a lot of fun and incredibly beautiful to hike in early Autumn.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Trail was hard to determine, many river crossings, long

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Just completed, started 6/16 hiked back out 6/17, to the northern trail head. The river on 6/16 was higher due to the rainfall during the week. On Saturday while hiking out river level had dropped about 18". I would hike this during the week, a lot less people! Did not see one person until Saturday. At every river crossing there is a campsite or close by. Trekking poles are very helpful when the river level is high, take your time crossing you can not take back a miss placed step.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Absolutely beautiful! Many river crossing and a wet journey but I happened to catch the trail on a 70 degree day in January. Unfortunately a large portion of the surrounding woods have been burned from the forest fires making the trail markers even harder to find. Apart from the damaged forest this was a 10/10 experience.

hiking
Monday, September 12, 2016

Hiked this trail with a couple a friends a while ago! One, if not the best, of the most beautiful trails in the Dawson Wildlife area. Keep in mind you will want waterproof hiking boots, as there about 32 river crossings along the trail, some of which you will probably want to remove your boots entirely when its too deep. Its pretty challenging, even for experianced hikers. Probably best to overnight this one. Id take the conasauga early in the morning and hike my way to Panther creek, where there a ton of nice camping spots. Then either hike the trail back or take the hickory creek trail to the service road. TONS OF ANIMALS. Its awesome honestly.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Clean, quiet, beautiful. River crossing difficulty is largely dependent on rain, just be aware of that aspect of the hike. The crossings can be much more difficult for some dogs, so a harness with a handhold may help.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Did a quick hike in to the conasauga to let the kids play. Solely went in to the first primitive campground and back out. Easily done in a day. Where convertible hiking pants as there is a bit of poison ivey along the trail in the summer.

hiking
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The drive up the mountain to the trail is unbelievable!! It is the best view I've seen in Georgia (so far.)
The trail itself is beautiful! The features and obstacles are something to not just surpass, but truly appreciate! I've done the jacks river trail too, and I appreciate the way the trail follows the river closely. We went after there had been a fair amount of rain, and the water was moving really good in some areas. Trekking poles are a must, especially over the slippery rocks.
The camp sites are sparse, but they are all nice locations.
The trail is not marked very well at all, which I think makes it a little more fun, but since there are a few divergent trails, it's a good idea take your time and river crossings. We had a map that was horrible.
Overall a great time. Expect to get wet, and be ready to climb around 2k ft to get out.

hiking
Friday, March 08, 2013

This is a great trail and is in a pretty remote area for north Georgia. The river is beautiful, especially further north where it really widens out with some large boulders and rock outcroppings in and around the river. This trail would be a cakewalk difficulty-wise if it weren't for the river crossings, but I personally think that those just add to the fun. The only difficult climbs are at the southern and northern trailheads where you ascend from the river valley up to the parking area.

There are only a handful of things I would say to look out for on this trail. I would be hesitant to attempt the northern portions of the trail after heavy rains. As the river widens, there can be a lot of water flowing after a day or two of big rain. Also, the trail blazes can be a little confusing around the river crossings. I don't think there is much risk of getting lost. You will just be delayed for a minute or two as you try to find where the trail picks up again on the other side.

hiking
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Actually my profile picture is from this trip

hiking
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I went on this trail with a group and loved it. The river crossings are fun. I personally didn't use hiking poles and I don't think they are necessarily needed... I hike with reebok zigs... (trail running/crossfit shoes).

camping
Thursday, August 09, 2012

I took my first backpacking trip here and had a great time! Sleeping next to the water is wonderful!

hiking
Monday, July 16, 2012

This trail is the best trail I have hiked to date. You don't even feel like you are in the US...everything is so untouched and beautiful. There is absolutely no trash on the trail as the hikers make sure to carry all trash. Huge rocks, the clearest water I've ever seen with a challenging trail that will not disappoint. ...an absolute must.

camping
Tuesday, June 12, 2012

awasome hiking trail. Took chestnut lead trail in 2.8 miles to conasauge river trail.

hiking
Friday, February 25, 2011

one of the best trails i have hiked on in Georgia. what i would call a wet trail. more than 40 crossings in which getting your feet wet is unavoidable. the many waterfalls and river scenes make for good eye candy. exspect to get wet and have a blast. watch out for snakes and slippery rocks. saw a 5' timber rattler in Bray feild. gorgeous! take your best friend who has a habit of slipping and you will have a great time.

hiking
Friday, February 25, 2011

this is a great hike it has 42 river fords need to have boots are shoes that can stay wet the entire hike.hiking poles are a must!

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Sunday, June 04, 2017

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