Coosa Backcountry Trail

HARD 84 reviews
#3 of 14 trails in

Coosa Backcountry Trail is a 12.4 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.

12.4 miles
3753 feet

dogs on leash




trail running





wild flowers




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

27 days 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

1 month ago

Love the scenery and challenge!

1 month ago

Oh yeah!

2 months ago

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

2 months ago

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

2 months ago


2 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.

2 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!


2 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.

3 months ago

excellent practice hike for a t hikers

6 months ago

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

6 months ago

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!

7 months ago

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.

8 months ago

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!

8 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

11 months ago

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.

Friday, February 03, 2017

good trail in preparation for our Appalachian trail thru hike

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