Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area Trails

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(89)
Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area

Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area Trails is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Dawsonville, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.1 miles Elevation Gain: 905 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

As of 2/23/2019 - several gates and trails in this area are closed due to flooding and extreme weather conditions. Please consult the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area before visiting.

hiking
fee
5 days ago

trails were poorly marked and good luck trying to find the falls.

Trying to find the falls starting at the parking lot and failed. While the trails are color marked with some signage. Nothing pointed me the direction towards the falls. Somewhat difficult navigating through the hoof tracks. They took the place of tree roots. Going to drive on down and attempt to find the falls as suggested in other posts.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! Love the camping site near the falls and river for resting and relaxing. Do not follow the GPS. It will take you to the back side and it is closed. We found that continuing on 9 North and then turning left on Dawson Forrest Rd was the way to go. Follow this instructions if you want to start closer to the falls orange/green trail. Once you enter the park, ignore the parking lot on the right and continue 2.1 miles then turn on the second left and continue .8 miles down the road to where there is a gate. That one is the closest to the fall and the most rigorous side if you do the whole trail because after the falls it goes up hill. If you want to go mostly downhill, go further down to the other gate and start there instead

1 month ago

Beware You will need a Lands Pass to access this WMA. In addition, the directions in this app takes you to the back access location that is completely blocked with barricades.

1 month ago

the gate is locked, perhaps because of the virus.

hiking
2 months ago

To reach Barefoot Falls, take Hwy 400 from Atlanta to North GA Premium Outlets. Turn left on Dawson Forest Road and travel 5.4 miles to the Wildlife Management Area. Go through the gate, ignoring the parking area on the right, and travel 2.1 miles to Clark Road (it is not marked). Turn left and travel 0.7 miles to the green trail gate on the right. Park in front of the gate and hike the green trail for 15 minutes to reach the falls.

hiking
2 months ago

To get to Barefoot Falls (upper and lower), take Hwy 400 from Atlanta to North GA Premium Outlets. Turn left on Dawson Forest Road and go 5.4 miles to the Wildlife Management Area. Once you go through the gate travel 2.1 miles to Clark Road (it is not marked). Turn left and travel 0.7 miles to the green trail gate on the right. Park in front of the gate and hike the green trail for 15 minutes to reach the falls.

hiking
4 months ago

Orange-Blue Trail to Orange Trail to Green Trail crossing and back via roads and Orange-Blue Trail. Relatively easy to Moderate hike. A lot longer mileage than expected on the trails. Park map states orange trail is 4.6 miles...however, I don't believe that is a full there and back number considering it took us 6 miles to do most of the orange trail and come back via roads/trail. It would have been longer taking the trail back directly. Lots and lots of horse poop on the trail. If you are ok with avoiding it, it is a good decent trail. Not much to see however there were some interesting moss/fern forests. There is not a lot of water on the portion of the trail I did - you would need to go off-trail to get down to moving stream about halfway down orange trail. Overall a good hike during non-hunt season - WEAR YOUR HUNTER ORANGE AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. Will come back to map more trails and see the waterfalls. Plan all day hiking. Access to parking is from 400, take Dawson Forest Rd, straight thru the roundabout, then straight across Hwy 9. Follow until you see sign for parking area. GPS takes you the back way which is gated off. Easiest way to access Barefoot Falls is to follow the driving directions, but go straight past the parking until you get to Clark Road and turn left. About a mile-ish on the right, is the entrance to the green trail which takes you to the falls - its just past the really big old oak tree on the right. From a fellow hiker: You may hike there at NO cost. The trail fee is for the horse and bicycle users only as well as campers ($7.00 per day per person). Beyond that, you may hike any place on the management area, you are not restricted to the trails. READ the INSTRUCTIONS at the trailhead to save yourself some grief as well as $7.00 If you have any questions or concerns call the Georgia Forestry Commission in Dawsonville or the Georgia DNR in Gainesville at 770-535-5700 and request one of the Wildlife Technicians on Dawson Forest contact you.

I would not recommend the trail it was overgrown and hard to find

hiking
7 months ago

Really for atv and horses. LOTS OF HORSE POOP on the very dusty trail. Never saw the waterfall- I’ll go back to try again and follow one of my followers directions. Just FS roads

hiking
8 months ago

Not a favorite- walk in the woods- scenery not much to speak of.

hiking
9 months ago

My friends and I did the red trail. Grass was way too tall in spots. Don’t go on this trail if you’re allergic to ragweed. Ticks were terrible at this trail. Found 10+ on all 4 of us combined and that was before we even got back to the car. Trails were marked really bad in the grassy spots, it was too overgrown.

hiking
10 months ago

Walked around for a mile and couldn’t even find where the trail started.... gunshot noises were very loud and a bit unnerving. The trail information only talked about horses and bikes so we had no idea what to do/ where to be as hikers. We gave up and are finding a nearby trail to spend the day at

mountain biking
10 months ago

Not sure about the negative reviews, cause it's all the reasons why I enjoy this area. I haven't come close to exploring all the trails yet in 3 visits. And im getting 12 miles or so each time. I've enjoyed it.

hiking
11 months ago

went to Bearden Falls today. The hardest part of this trail is finding it! To get there, drive to Nimblewill Church and turn left onto Nimblewill Gap Road. Stay on Nimblewill Gap Road for 3.9 miles (it will turn to gravel and become FS-28-2). At 3.9 miles turn right into the last primitive campsite. Park at the furthest campsite on the left (you will cross a brook). The trail starts off as an ATV road to the right.

Wed Feb 27 2019

always well kept

hiking
bridge out
closed
off trail
over grown
washed out
Sun Feb 24 2019

This red path was not an easy one. The blazes were few and far between and a lot of the trail was washed out. It was a bit more than I bargained for and a bit sketchy for a few hours with zero sign of other human activity. No wildlife, but if you want to find Sasquatch, I would start here. LoL. I will explore the easier trails that originate from this trail head in the future.

Meh. Kind of a more rugged greenway. Best when no bikes or horses.

hiking
Sat Jan 12 2019

Poorly marked trailhead. Went about .3 mile to dead end / gravel road after following trail under power lines. Gave up and went to Amicalola Falls. Do not recommend this “trail”.

Sun Jul 15 2018

half of the trail is on graveled road which is not fun to walk on. a portion had had a recent burn and was grown up with weeds. and there was no waterfall on the red trail which is the one marked on the map. do not recommend.

mountain biking
Tue Jul 03 2018

Poorly marked. Roads are rock:gravel. Miserable experience.

Wed Feb 07 2018

Great for horses. Love the waterfall.

hiking
Sat Jan 27 2018

Moderate ok hike

hiking
Sat Aug 26 2017

I would not recommend these trail. The markings on the trails are lacking clarity. There is a waterfall on these trails, but I was unable to find any markings as to where the falls were located. Fortunately there were people there riding horses that were able to guide us to it.

hiking
Fri Jun 30 2017

This is NOT a hiking trail, it is maintained for horses and bicycles. You may hike there at NO cost. The trail fee is for the horse and bicycle users only. Beyond that, you may hike any place on the management area, you are not restricted to the trails. READ the INSTRUCTIONS at the trail head to save yourself some grief as well as $7.00 If you have any questions or concerns call the Georgia Forestry Commission in Dawsonville or the Georgia DNR in Gainesville at 770-535-5700 and request one of the Wildlife Technicians on Dawson Forest contact you.

hiking
Sat Mar 11 2017

This should be considered "HORSES ONLY" unless you plan to throw your shoes away at the end. The horse crap on the trails is ridiculous. Not well cared for, and definitely not worth $7.

Showing results 1 - 26 of 89