Coosa Backcountry Trail

HARD 142 reviews
#5 of 15 trails in

Coosa Backcountry Trail is a 12.8 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, running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 12.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,628 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

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.

hiking
8 days ago

Posted everywhere as 12.7 mi, actual distance is 14.5+ miles if you start/end at trailhead in Vogel SP, and the elevation gain is 4,000. Beautiful in Feb with 4" snow, and some very nice views.

hiking
1 month ago

Challenging day hike, but nothing real scenic on this loop other than a couple small waterfalls. No overlook areas. Glad it was winter, or all views would have been blocked by the foliage.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail was easy to follow. I completed trail at 14.7 miles. I started tracking from the parking lot. There is plenty of water on the trail so I would be comfortable with 1L of water if your doing it as a day hike. Over night I would carry 2L. Seemed like plenty of places to camp at . It took me about 6 hours to complete. If you want to do it as day hike I would recommend starting in morning.

hiking
2 months ago

I didn’t see exactly what I finished at, but it was considerably more than 12 miles. I went round counterclockwise and was at 9.3 miles when I reached Wolf Pen Gap Road. The trail diverges from the initial recording at several locations, presumably due to trail rerouting, so be prepared for the “Off Route” alarm to sound on a semi regular basis. I started shortly after 9:30 am and finished at the last dregs of civil twilight. I had my headlamp, but didn’t need it, but it was a near thing. I had tried this trail a couple of weeks ago and elected to bail on it after a late start, it’s amazing what you can do when you actually get up when the alarm goes off. It is a beast of a trail. On the plus side, I have discovered the idiot motorcyclists with their exhausts tuned for maximum volume are apparently sleeping off their hangovers early on a Sunday morning. The trail is much more visible now than it was two weeks ago as there has evidently been enough traffic on it to wear the leaves down some.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

Hiked and camped one night on this trail in November. Without leaves the views from the ridges are spectacular except you have to watch every step. The loose rocks on the trail are hidden by the fallen leaves so you really have to stay focused on foot placement. If camping go clockwise so you’ll have more water available at camp.

recorded Coosa Backcountry Trail

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike with a decent elevation gain at the beginning (assuming you start on the trail and not the road). There was one camp site on the way. The big downfall of this trail was that there wasn’t an overlook.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
over grown
rocky
4 months ago

A good trail and a lot of fun. I only give 3 out 5 as there are much prettier trails in the area. Length: Great! I completed this trail in one day. It took me 7 hours and I was not in a big hurry. Great workout. I went clockwise based on the other reviews. Intensity: Great! Good ups and downs. However, going clockwise, I felt like I was going downhill forever. I welcomed the "ups". Condition: Mediocre. This trail is very thick at higher elevations. I wouldnt recommend this trail in midsummer. One may have challenges locating the trails as vegetation encroaches the trails. At lower elevations, very easy to follow. Water: There is not a lot of sources water on this trail especially clockwise. Make certain to bring your own. My trip had further challenges b/c of dry conditions any possible sources were completely dried up. Views: None. The leaves are still on the trees. No good views at all. I am sure there good views during the winter when foliage is down. This trail is a fun trip.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice loop. Easier to do counterclockwise (larger height changes early), and note that the elevation profile below the map is shown in the clockwise direction. Not many views. If you want views include Blood Mountain to and fro by the Duncan Ridge Trail- which also adds a couple of hours. Lots of camping spots on the trail .. a couple with streams nearby.

hiking
over grown
rocky
5 months ago

We started clockwise to get the big inclines out of the way first. All the warnings say you can't get this done in a day, but if you start early you can. There were quite a few steep inclines and descents. Some rocky areas. Wear pants even on hot days as there are quite a few overgrown areas. Would definitely recommend trekking poles. No vistas in the summer, but the boulders and fields are beautiful (full of flowers). We saw ~6 other people on the hike, so not too many, but enough to make you feel like you're on the right track. Blazes start off green and then are blue when you meet the Duncan trail. There were a few confusing areas. When going clockwise, you'll come across a big boulder blocking the path as you ascend from a stream--go right, not left. Then, still going clockwise, when you cross a new bridge with built-up gravel at a bigger camping spot, go left (you're about ~3.5 miles from Vogel at that point). Great fitness hike. Pack a lunch, yummy snacks, and plenty of water (my husband brought 2 liters and ran out with ~3 miles left--luckily the rest of us had more in other packs). There are a few streams along the way if you have purification equip/drops. You'll encounter forest roads and some moderately trafficked roads along the way that you'll need to cross. Overall, took us less than 7 hours (great summer day hike).

hiking
over grown
7 months ago

hiking
blowdown
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

Counterclockwise: The first and last quarters of the trail were in good shape - open and maintained. The backcountry section was overgrown making it hard to see the trail. It also had thorny weeds which would scratch your arms and legs making for an unpleasant experience. We saw bear poop (2-3) in the back section but no bears, possibly because we used a bear bell. Certainly made me feel more confident that we would not surprise them. Looking forward to running this in the fall/winter.

hiking
7 months ago

I arrived from ATL after work on the last day of Spring 2019 and trekked counter clockwise until I ran out of daylight. I found a sweet campsite near the trail and enjoyed my solitude with the sunset. On the first day of summer I climbed and climbed. After sitting on my butt at work all week I needed two things: solitude and a good butt-kicker of a hike. The Coosa Backcountry Trail provided both as I never saw another human for my 18 hours in the woods. #valuesolitude. #lovethewoods #thewildernesscoach #pushyourselftothemax #lovenorthgeorgia

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail! Make sure when you check in to ask about the trail marker colors. They might be confusing otherwise. Also... MUCH more difficult than I expected. Be ready for some tough spots.

backpacking
11 months ago

Did this as a overnight backpacking trip with The pup starting counter clockwise from Vogel State Park and camping about 5 1/2 miles in near calf stomp pass. Definitely a strenuous hike with a lot of persistent uphill climbs, especially after crossing wolf pen gap Road and entering the blood Mountain wilderness area. I’m glad I did this hike in the winter since the bare trees revealed mountains surrounding you the majority of the hike, though there’s no grand vistas for a nice photo. I went during the week and only ran into one other party each day on the trail. All told, we probably walked for about 8 hours. If you’re doing the overnight trip, stop into the Vogel Park visitor Center and they will provide you a little map that indicates where you can find backcountry campsites and water on the trail. Good if you’re looking for a challenging, quiet trail, and very manageable for the average fitness hiker when broken into two parts.

hiking
11 months ago

Did this one clockwise, nice moderate climbs up Slaughter and Coosa. Decent seasonal views with no leaves on the trees. FYI this trail is 12.9 miles (not 11.8 per AllTrails map), count in the .1 mile from the parking lot to the trailhead and back and you’re over 13 miles. I day hiked it but the park recommends doing it as an overnight.

hiking
Sun Feb 17 2019

With the leaves down, there are views throughout. Did it counter clockwise. Long sustained climb uo Coosa. Took the short trip to Coosa Bald as well. Next time Counter clockwise. Imagine there would be few views once the leaves breakout.

hiking
Wed Feb 13 2019

Did this yesterday solo. I hiked clockwise and swapped the bottom part of the CBT with the Bear Hair Trail for the views and the additional mileage. Great hike, only saw two other hikers (hiking together). Hiking clockwise gets the ascents out of the way first while you're still fresh. The views from the summit of the Bear Hair trail are awesome. Also there are winter views from the trail on the east side of Slaughter Mountain. My total mileage was 14.34 and time was 5:59:25. Be advised there are lots of blow-down on the way up Slaughter from the south.

hiking
Sun Feb 10 2019

Very strenuous trail, it was 27 deg and raining the entire time. However my brother and I are novices and we were able to complete it in a single day (8hrs). Only saw one other person on the trail, so if you're looking for solitude go on a rainy day.

Sun Jan 27 2019

would have given it 6 stars if I could. 5 for the workout and 1 for the views :P

hiking
Sat Nov 24 2018

Loved it. Overcast day, but still some beautiful patches of color even after most of the leaf fall. The bare trees revealed some pretty awesome views, and the recent rain had water flowing along most of trail. Hiked it counterclockwise to get that biggie out of the way first. But don't worry, ascent is gradual enough to warm you up before it gets vertical. And even if we hadn't been able to see distances, the sights along the way, including some substantial boulder formations, are worth the trip out there. Nice steep, lengthy uphills if that's your thing ;) Will look familiar if you're AT-friendly. Go on and do it in one day if you already know how you handle long steep ups and long steep downs. If you're just starting out, wouldn't recommend the whole thing in one clip. But good-looking back country campsites, so maybe break it in half for your first demanding overnight. Overall, a gorgeous, challenging trail. 8 hour hike, including about an hour of total breaks.

Sat Nov 03 2018

Not fun, no views. Better hikes in the area.

Mon Aug 13 2018

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

hiking
Wed Aug 01 2018

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
Tue Jul 31 2018

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.

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