Coosa Backcountry Trail

HARD 104 reviews
#3 of 14 trails in

Coosa Backcountry Trail is a 11.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Blairsville, Georgia that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,795 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

Nice loop with significant elevation gain going through the Chattahoochee National Forest and Blood Mountain Wilderness.

1 month ago

Trail is tough. Not super crowded. No views, but beautiful area. Summer growth is over taking trail in places.

hiking
1 month ago

I’ll give it middle of the road, if you like hiking or what to see what it’s like on parts of the AT this is a good place. There’s not any overlooks past the Bear trail and no waterfalls but for pure hiking this is still fun. Our family enjoyed it.

hiking
1 month ago

We did the full loop, clockwise, in just under 5 hours. I’ll give it three stars because no matter what, it’s still in beautiful north Georgia. Downsides include lots of road noise, major overgrowth (at times I couldn’t see my feet and the growth was above my waist), pretty much zero scenic lookouts in the summer, and bears. There was one loose at the camp site when I started the hike and I’ve noticed a common theme in these reviews.

hiking
2 months ago

Did in November and was a challenge then counter clockwise and was even more challenging in the summer clockwise!

We did run into a few bear cubs, but nothing major and was safe hanging in a plastic bag unexpectedly spending the night on trail!

I love this track. It’s a great challenge and wonderful workout! I have been able to complete counter clockwise in one day, but clockwise always catches me a few miles short for a one day completion. I’ll get there!

My main reason for setting camp was the downpour and being out of water after the Duncan ridge split. Clockwise, it was straight up!

Heard the thunder threatening, and booked it to a camp site I’ve stayed beforehand re and knew water is close. Hunkered down for the rain in the hammock. Once it moved on, came out for a nice fire since we covered the firewood and a warm mountain house meal!

Tried to catch some rest, but after the storm and out location in hammocks, the breeze was a bit chill. May have slept 3 hours. Got up, warmed by a nice fire, mountain house meal for breakfast and come coffee. A few miles and we were off the trail.

We parked in an intersecting road and tapped the tail from there. Much recommend if you want the “free feeling.” Not as in not paying out park fees, but able to do what you like. We entered a great spot to start our trip.

Great track! Get out and hit it! It’s a great conditioning run!

backpacking
2 months ago

Just finished an overnight on this loop. Last nights highlights:

-torrential rain, has a rain forest jungly feel
-trails are clear but lots of growth hanging over and slapping my bare legs, i recommend long pants unless you like thousands of plants slapping your ankles. i was astounded i had no poison ivy rash or any issues though so the plants on this trail are not mean
-i rounded a corner and surprised a black bear on the trail..fortunately he panicked first and sprinted down hill so fast he started tumbling
-lots of climbing and elevation(for georgia) 4200 ft. that means cooler air and a nice sleep if you camp above 3500
-not stunningly scenic but a great workout loop. you should be in decent shape or the climbing might get old
-personal pet peeve with this trail is hearing highway noise while in my tent. i like hearing owls, crickets, and running water when im in my tent. maybe it was where i camped.

hiking
2 months ago

I love hiking in Georgia! I know that there are great places in NC and TN too, but that ain't Georgia. That being said, I did teh Coosa trail counter-clockwise startng from the Vogle visitors center at 7:30 this morning and was back at my car at 2:15. I felt like I was hiking at an average pace. I was alone, so I didn't have a reference...so I didn't have to make any unnecessary stops. But, I did take plenty of time to enjoy the limited views (jungle like in summer) and take plenty of selfies! BTW...I had cell service (att) for most of the hike. Anyway, to keep this short.....Awesome trail, good challange, no bears (for me!), It's in GA, and it can be done in a day despite what the sign says.

hiking
2 months ago

I was not quite ready for this trail. It took us almost 9 hours and we started a little too late. It started getting dark! The trail itself was great! I would love to do it again now that I’ve been hiking for a while. I would not recommend it for a beginner.

backpacking
3 months ago

I made this trip an overnighter, getting on trail at about 5:30pm on a Friday, hike a couple miles, and finishing the loop the next day. Challenging but enjoyable hike, dense undergrowth in the summer so there weren’t many “payoff” views at the end of climbs, but still a solid trail.

backpacking
4 months ago

We hiked this trail counter clockwise camping overnight at Coosa Bald. The first .8 Miles is moderate and then turns relatively flat for about 2 Miles then you start to go up all the way to Coosa Bald. Steady and more challenging as you get closer to the Bald. From the Bald to Hwy 180 is predominately downhill. The trail heads up from hwy 180 sharply all the way to Slaughter Mt. It is downhill from Slaughter on a path of mostly rocks and roots. I think this path is a good parallel to the harder sections of the AT in Georgia.

backpacking
6 months ago

Really nice trail. Fun elements of creeks and views and Vogel is really pretty. The climbs are serious but not unbearable. I took my boys aged 9 and 11 backpacking in the counterclockwise direction. Good reviews containing good details elsewhere here. This all trails gps trail location is off and wonky near Bear Hair trail. Not terrible but a wee bit disconcerting.

backpacking
7 months ago

Beautiful trail with great views! Added part of the Bear Hair Gap Trail to get up to the overlook to see Brasstown Bald. We did the trail clockwise which I recommend. That way we had the two big peaks to accomplish first, not at the end of our trip.

backpacking
8 months ago

Tough Trail, but the views were beautiful. There was still a good bit of snow and ice on the trail when we started on Saturday morning; however by Sunday afternoon most of it melted making the down hills little sketchy

8 months ago

Love the scenery and challenge!

8 months ago

Oh yeah!

hiking
9 months ago

Very cool views when near the water. However, the trail is not well mark so pay attention.

backpacking
9 months ago

A solid 9 hour hike. If you go clockwise the final 1/3 is tough.

9 months ago

elevation!

10 months ago

Great trail! By far one of the best in the area. We got out from Vogel at 840am and hit the turn at the end of Dawson Ridge (turn for Blood Mountain) at 2pm about 10 miles in. Hiked it today with 3 stout hiking kids aged 8, 10 and 13. Would do this one again for sure. Not for the faint of heart. Climbing is intense, and hills are very steep grades.

backpacking
10 months ago

Up, up and away!

Exactly that! Up!

We started the trip parking at Vogel State Park for a fee of $5 for 3 day’s. You’ll have a little walk before reaching the approach trail. They prefer you to start the loop on the right side trail head.

The trail makes a nice gradual climb and then just plain goes up and up and up.

We tracked about 6 miles our first day finding a camp site near a forest service road. It was close to 1000 foot elevation above where we parked.

No fires were allowed below GA180 (Wolf Pen Gap Road) when we went. So that makes you have to plan a camp before reaching the road if you want a camp fire. Water was fairly accessible at this site. Just over the hill 40 - 50 yards. Great little stream for washing up and gathering water.

The second day of hiking was still up, up and up. Climbing roughly another 1000 feet.

The descent is about the best scenic part, and travels fairly quick. The hike up is just that, up! When you get to the peaks the views are nice but through the trees. When the foliage is on them, I’m sure the view is compromised, but surely just as beautiful.

Coming down the scenery change is welcomed. Since you are tracking down, it’s much easier to appreciate. Their are large boulders and rock faces to keep your interest. Traveling down with water falling to your left and a small crossing.

The trail seems most traveled closer to the park. As you start to see bits of trash and dog footprints, you know your getting close to the park. We ran into only a handful of people and a gentleman who takes care of the trail. While at our first camp we were approached by someone running the trail at night in late November. What a trail to run! Other than that, we didn’t notice any other campers along the trail.

This trail seems like a good trainer for tracking the AT. From what I have experienced of the AT, this trail pretty much throws it all at you.

Lots of leaves covering the trail, but fairly simple to navigate. Also quite a few fallen trees blocking the trail, but detours are easily visible, and still signs of the forest fires last year or the year before.

This trail could be tracked in one day with a day pack. As we are always “in training,” we almost always backpack. That extra 30lbs can force you to do it in 2. I’m sure some hardcore backpackers could do it in one, but I’m sure not many want to beat themselves that hard.

All in all, I would give this trail a true a hardcore moderate rating. It’s not the toughest trail I’ve been on, but with all of the up with very little break it’s definitely tiring.

I will be doing this loop again in the near future!

-Stilts

hiking
10 months ago

Love this trail because it's not used too much. Hiked it the first time in the summer and it was difficult with the heat. Just hiked again in November and it was awesome. It's got a few butt kicker hills.

10 months ago

excellent practice hike for a t hikers

Sunday, August 13, 2017

18.36 miles. Coosa backcountry + parts of blood mountain. I rate this as extreme. Long and hard but in the end well worth it.

backpacking
Friday, July 28, 2017

Sadistic BUTTKICKER!!!
Solo'd this counterclockwise on a toasty, summer, GA. day.
Started about noon with overnight intentions.
Stopped at around 3.5 miles for lunch. Filtered 5L of water. Glad I did.
Stubbornly passed up numerous CS seeking the "perfect" CS. No water sources on Coosa or Slaughter.
Wound up hiking after dark. losing the trail, camping at the friggin' end of the Pioneer CG at one of the pavilions....hahahaha.....
My step counter said 16.45 miles that point.
Never found the end of the trail but saw campers, took the road back.
Ended up with a little over 17 miles.
And an ice cream sammich at Walasi-yi.
Thanks to those guys!

hiking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fantastic day hike! Completed in 6.5 hours with a stop for lunch and break at waterfall. Coosa is a great workout and perfect for training to do long distance backpacking trips.

backpacking
Monday, June 12, 2017

First backcountry backpacking trip with friends and teenage kids. We took our time and did it over a weekend. Strenuous in spots but excellent trail!

hiking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

This is a strenuous hike but easily doable in a day for an experienced hiker that starts early in the day. We added the Duncan Trail to the Blood Mountain shelter and it took just over 8 hours with a stop for lunch. The trail is well marked with good signage.

hiking
Sunday, April 30, 2017

Great trail. Counter clockwise, its pretty easy, it gets much harder once you begin to the second section. I recommend to do it in two days unless you are in good physical condition. I did it in one day but would suggest doing in 2.
Enjoy the hike.
Bill.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

nice, long and strenuous trail. perfect for a good long day hike or overnight backpacking. unfortunately you can hear the nearby highway along the trail a lot. not as remote as I hoped it to be.

backpacking
Saturday, February 25, 2017

This trail has some rather difficult aspects to it, it really is a formation of ups and downs for the entire duration before reaching an intersecting trail heading up to the Blood Mt Shelter. A definite all day hike starting in the Vogel State Park winding to slaughter and eventually Blood Mt peak.

backpacking
Monday, February 20, 2017

The trail was incredibly difficult. It took two days in total with around 12 hours hiking in total taking the counter-clockwise route. My daughter and I can typically grind out 12 miles or so in a single day, but not on this trail. It reminded me of the AT. There were lots of ups, and then a few more ups after that. We had to stop several times on the last stretch of trail up to Coosa to rest our legs. The second day was pretty intense, too, especially the hike up to Slaughter Mountain. The last few miles of the loop after Slaughter Gap were much, much easier.

We parked at Vogel State Park, picked up a backcountry pass from the visitor center and set off from the state park around 10 a.m. Saturday morning. We made it to Coosa Bald from the Coosa Backcountry Trail around 4. There were a few places where forest roads crossed the trail, and there seemed to be a few people taking advantage of closer parking. I imagine that you still need to get a backcountry pass, even if you don't park at Vogel itself.

The trail is located in the Blood Mountain Wilderness of the Chattahoochee National Forest, but I'm not sure who is ultimately responsible for maintenance. It was well maintained. Only one or two times during the 13 miles did we see a fallen tree or trees blocking the trail.

I recommend it, for sure, but I'd suggest making it an overnight trek and stopping close to where we did 7 or so miles in. There were campsites every mile or so. It's officially 12.9 miles, but with the approach trail and the half mile or so up to Coosa Bald along Duncan Ridge added up to around 15-16 or so.

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