Coosa Backcountry Trail

HARD 93 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.

11.8 miles
3795 feet

dogs on leash




trail running





wild flowers




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

6 days 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.

1 month 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.

3 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.

4 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.

5 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

5 months ago

Love the scenery and challenge!

5 months ago

Oh yeah!

6 months ago

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

6 months ago

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

6 months ago


6 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.

6 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!


7 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.

7 months ago

excellent practice hike for a t hikers

10 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.

10 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!

11 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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Friday, February 03, 2017

good trail in preparation for our Appalachian trail thru hike

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Great trail. I hiked counter clockwise. give yourself plenty of time. I did in one hike, about 7 hrs, but, is probably, more enjoyable as an overnight hike. not much water on the tops. more long range views in winter,

Monday, December 05, 2016

I did this loop counter-clockwise in 6.5 hours. It featured some tough ascents with false summits that broke my heart a few times. No real view at the top. What made this challenging was the steep grade on freshly fallen leaves. It was slow going at times just to keep my footing. No water except in the valleys. So if you're planning to stretch this into a backpacking trip, you'll need to haul your water up the mountains. You never go more than a mile without seeing a flat campsite.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hiked on 11/13/16. We originally planned to hike the Arkaquah, but it was closed due to fire. Decided to try Coosa Backcountry. Very tough hike with a few steep ascents. It took us about 9 hours to complete in one day. Lots of nice camp sights if you want to do an overnighter. A little hazy due to area fire, but still a great , challenging hike. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the area.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Completed the Coosa Back Country trail today as a day hike. The trail is very tough with intense ascents. There were still plenty of leaves on the trees, so the views were not as great as I had expected. This was a good workout - I'll be going back to do it again soon.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Just finished a two day backpacking trip starting at Vogel state park and doing the Coosa back country trail, dropping down via the Duncan Ridge Trail onto the AT. I went south on the AT to slaughter creek, and took that down to Jarrad Gap road, where I cut over (maybe 100 yards on dirt road) to the Jarrard gap trail, back up to the AT, and then headed north to blood mountain (with minimal backtracking in between slaughter creek and duncan ridge trail turn offs) Spent the night on blood mountain, went back south on the AT to Duncan Ridge Trail and back on to the Coosa Back country trail back to Vogel state park.
While on the Coosa BCT there were almost no hikers and plenty of camp sites, with beautiful fall foliage and, while there were occasional car sounds, I was generally treated to the glorious soundtrack of nature. There was a LOT of poison ivy right next to the trail so watch out for that if you're seriously allergic.
Once I cut over the AT there were a lot more people, but it was still beautiful. The detour down slaughter creek was nice if you're looking for a longer day. I'm a fast hiker and it took me about 6 hours to do my full route to blood mountain.
On the way back from blood mountain I decided to stay on the Coosa BCT and not take the Bear Hair gap trail, which was a mistake since the Coosa trail dumps you into about a half mile of RV campsites while the bear hair gap trail bypasses these.

All in all a great 2 night loop with minimal backtracking and a nice amount of alone time on the trail.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Took trail almost all the way to Appalachian trail before twisting ankle and went back. Trail up to Appalschian is a gentle gradual uphill climb all the way. Enjoyed it though very much.

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