Half Ridge, Bartram, Rabun Bald, and Holcomb Creek Loop

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(17)
Blue Valley Experimental Forest

Half Ridge, Bartram, Rabun Bald, and Holcomb Creek Loop is a 10.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Dillard, Georgia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length10.8 miElevation gain2824 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingrunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlife
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (17)
Photos (671)
Recordings (12)
Completed (65)
View user's profile page
Valarie Boris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 17, 2021
HikingIcy

It was incredible! Weather called for 34° and Sunny. However, it was 27° and snowing and snowing hard.I have to rate this as one of my favorites and I’ve done plenty in N.GA. With the road walk to the bartram trail (on left of hale rd) , the whole loop is approximately 13 miles. A couple things that you need to know about this trail if you do the whole loop without downloading the map. Once you get to the fire tower, the loop trail continues behind the tower and is not marked. Do not take war woman trail At the first road you come to, take a left. It is not marked and you will road walk until you come to a fs89. Just to your right you will begin trail hiking. The last confusing turn comes with a fork in the trail. Take the left trail that ascends next to the waterfall. You will come out on hale rd and the parking lot will be on your right about a 1/2 mile. Hope this helps because we would’ve been absolutely lost with the downloaded map on pro.

View user's profile page
Anne Stanford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
HikingGreat!

We tried to follow the directions of others listed below but tend to be directionally challenged, so we ended up doing this in reverse. The GPS took us to to the intersection of Hale Ridge Rd and FS696 where we parked. The trail for Holcomb Creek Trail isn't far away, so we started there. Trail was narrow, along a ridge, and descending at first. Arrived at the falls, and then to roads where we walked for at least a mile before we saw the Rabun Bald Trail. And here we climbed. And climbed. This ascent is very challenging, for Georgia, and I see why some people choose to tackle this in the opposite direction. In retrospect, our knees would rather climb than descend. Finally we reached the top of Rabun Bald. It was extremely windy and cold - bring something warm to put on! Beautiful views with color. To continue the loop do not take the Warwoman Dell Trail, take the other that says 4.x miles. At one point the trail will go toward parking, and everyone will leave the trail here. We continued straight to return to Hale Ridge Road. The return this way is a nice easy descent. Upon reaching the finish, we had yet another 2 miles to walk along the gravel road to the car so this hike ended up being 12 miles. The trial was in great shape, covered with fallen leaves and the views were clear due to it being November. We saw very few people until we reached the top where various trails meet. We started at 9am and finished at 4pm because we have a dog so we stop a lot for him to drink. A very challenging workout in this direction. When we return, we will take the same route as we prefer to climb steep than descend steep, but we will park where the Bartram Trail starts and walk the 2 miles to the Holcomb Falls Trail at the beginning instead of at at the end.

View user's profile page
Carissa Connelly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

A good bit of this loop is on a dirt road. The directions leave you in the middle of this dirt road rather than a trailhead. We ended up driving to a trailhead turned this into an out-and-back after walking a ways on the road. The trail also passes a few residential access points, which means we caught many fresh-faced families on the way. The view from the top is great, but only from the tower itself (at least in the Fall).

View user's profile page
Megan Torman Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Megan's Recording
View user's profile page
John Stauter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2020
HikingGreat!

This is an exceptional trail and route! Really fun, several water features, beautiful views from Rabun Bald, and a really solid workout. Need to start this early. I started at 9:30am and ended at 4pm. Need to be in decent shape for this one. The start of trail is on Hale Ridge Road at Intersection of FS 696. Gravel/forest service roads must be traversed to get to start. A 4WD will make the trip faster. I got here in a Mazda Miata, going very slow at some points, but made it fine. I came in through Dillon, GA and came from north via Hale Bridge Road. A few parking spots here. Begin the hike by going west up the gravel road (Hale Ridge Road), which then turns north. You will eventually come upon the Bartram trailhead. Enter the Bartram trail (you will see sign for Rabun Bald 4.x miles, etc.) The peak at Rabun Bald is one of the best in Georgia. 360 degree views at peak via observation deck. Route continues from Rabun Bald east (not the Warwoman trail..descent begins right in front of the observation tower). Lovely descent with some great views. Continue down and note a wonderful campsite on this section. Eventually will meet Hale Ridge Road. Walk along the gravel road for a bit. Eventually you will come upon another trail that leads down to Holcomb Creek Falls. This was a huge surprise on my hike and made the longer route TOTALLY worth it. Once you exit the Holcomb Creek Loop, you will be back at your car! This route was a blast.

View user's profile page
Nick Strait
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 24, 2019
Backpacking

This was a really fun trail. Started out where the Bartram Trl crosses Hale Ridge Rd ( the trail heads are about 50yrds apart, first one takes you toward Rabun Bald, second heads north into NC). Walked down the road and took a left on the trail that will lead you to Ammons Falls and Holcomb Creek Falls. This trail is marked by a green blaze, there is a parking area near by before you come to the trail. Going this way came across a small waterfall and then to Ammons Falls, trail forks take a left to go up and see the falls. The observation deck was damaged from a recent tree that fell. Then you go back down to Holcomb Creek Falls. Taking the trail out you come back up to Hale Ridge Rd, take a left down it and you will come to the Bartram trail on your right. This leads to Rabun Bald. Going up this way is the harder side but by far the most scenic. Camped out on top and saw an amazing sunset and sunrise. This I recommend more than anything. Hike down was very easy. Take the yellow blaze(Bartram Trail) all the way back to Hale Ridge Rd.

View Nick's Recording
View user's profile page
Sarah Phillips
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 2, 2019
Hiking
First to Review

Parts of trail were super technical and steep. Amazing views from the top- the best I’ve seen. Complete 360 degree views of the mountains. Part of this trail is on a gravel road. One large bridge was damaged and we were unable to get across or go around, so had to backtrack about a mile to find an alternate route.

View user's profile page
Yasir Bhuiyan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 26, 2020
Hiking
View user's profile page
Kim Vandercook
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2020
Hiking
View Kim's Recording
View user's profile page
Pamela Mande
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 23, 2020
Hiking
View Pamela's Recording
View user's profile page
Kenneth Chester
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 8, 2020
Hiking
View Kenneth's Recording
View user's profile page
Kenneth Chester
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 8, 2020
Hiking
View Kenneth's Recording
View user's profile page
Nancy Roberts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 12, 2020
Hiking
View Nancy's Recording
View user's profile page
Sang Klm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 2, 2019
Hiking
View Sang's Recording
View user's profile page
Kristin Sanders
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2019
Hiking
View Kristin's Recording
View user's profile page
Matt Terrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 16, 2019
Hiking
View Matt's Recording
View user's profile page
Tom Jenkins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 22, 2018
Hiking
View Tom's Recording