Hickory Creek Trail is a 17.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Crandall, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 17.4 miles Elevation Gain: 2,821 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

The current response to the COVID-19 emergency has closed several trails and recreation sites in Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. Please see website for up to date info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/conf/recreation This trail can be started from either the northern trail head or the southern trail head.

hiking
blowdown
over grown
4 days ago

Lots of blowdown, some crossings thigh to waist deep. Gorgeous scenery. Challenging terrain. Only saw one blaze the whole time, mainly unmarked trail. Lost the trail where 4 downed trees were stacked on top of each other, barricading the trail, somewhere right before the Conasauga River gets fatter on the map. Maybe a mile or so from that point. Made it around the downed tree barricade, but found no discernible trail. Bushwhacked along steep graded embankment next to large dark caves that looked like a great apartment complex for bears. Lots of claw marks on surrounding trees. Didn’t see any bears, though. Hiked/skidded down the embankment to the river’s edge to try to hike along the rocks, scrambled boulders for another ⅛ mile, boulders kept getting bigger, water getting deeper. Turned back after careful risk assessment. Maybe we were supposed to cross the river there? Not sure. Back-tracked to known campsite and called it a night. Know when to hold em and know when to fold em. Incredible wilderness journey that I will do again and try to find the right way. Not for people who like a nice, maintained, mulched trail. Climbing, scrambling, crouching, ducking, even crawling required. Swimming possible if you’re not careful. Downed trees and widowmakers everywhere. Bring a saw, you might need it. Water shoes are a must-have, unless you want to commit to hiking in wet boots the whole time. My Salomon Amphibian Swift 2’s performed well. Feet didn’t like being wet for hours, but not significantly damaged. Just sore.

hiking
blowdown
4 months ago

We got a late start so we just did a short lunch trip to the second fire ring so we could spend a little time along the Conasauga River. The trail is in good shape overall but there are a lot of blowdowns (most are easy to get around but there are a couple that required more negotiating). We'll be coming back when we get a better start.

hiking
blowdown
off trail
over grown
scramble
washed out
6 months ago

Did this trail with two of my backpacking buddies last weekend. We planned a 4 day hike from Hickory Creek trail, over to East Cow Pen and then on the Panther creek falls trail. This trail was pretty great for the first 1-3 miles. The trailhead descends to the river. Plenty of places to tent or hammock camp. Beautiful and well maintained, and easy access to super crisp and clear water. However, once you fjord the river, things tank. About 2 miles after crossing the river, the trail completely disappears. We spent about an hour or so bustling trying to find the trail once it connects to the creek, but no dice. We turned Around and camped at a great area next to the river. We went on panther creek falls trail the next day, but this was full of dead falls and creek crossings too. We lost the trail 2 or 3 times. You’ll need to be really adept at navigation. No cell reception either, so download Maps or bring a real map!

backpacking
blowdown
over grown
scramble
9 months ago

This is a Jekyll and Hyde trail. The portion starting from the Hickory Creek trail head is a well maintained trail which descends to the Conasauga river and runs along the river for about a mile or so. This stretch is beautiful and has several great campsites right along the river. A really great place to hike into and spend the night. However, once you cross over Conasauga river and head north the trail condition takes a nose dive. North of the river the trail is completely overgrown and virtually non existent at some points due to blow-downs and wash outs. It is particularly bad around Thomas Creek where the trail just disappears. Navigation aids are a MUST if you plan to go north beyond the Conasauga river. If the trail was better maintained it would be a great 1 night backpack as there is plenty of water and a fairly easy elevation profile.

hiking
11 months ago

I’m not sure why this description of hickory creek trail says it is 17.1 miles. This trail is only 8.6 miles. We did the entire trail in 2018. We parked two cars on either end of the trail. We started from the back end of the trail at Rice camp trail head, that’s where hickory creek ends. We hiked in 5.6 miles to bray field and that’s where we set up camp for then night. We stayed two nights. Came in on Friday, set up camp and relaxed. Hiked up to panther creek falls on Saturday and ate lunch and came back to relax again. Sunday we crossed the conasauga and hiked the remaining 3 miles up to the beginning of the trail head. I wouldn’t say that this hike was moderate. I would rate it more about moderate to hard. The 5.6 miles between bray field and the end of the trail is up and down ridges the entire way and pretty strenuous for anyone inexperienced. It was also not well maintained starting from rice camp trail head. It’s been a year though so may be by now!

backpacking
Fri Aug 25 2017

hiking
Mon Jul 10 2017

Cory mentioned the section of Hickory Creek Trail from Rice Camp Trail parking lot to the Conasauga River crossing. I hiked it today and cut and cleaned up until the North Fork of Thomas Creek. 4.3 miles in is well maintained as of today. Got tired and turned around. Ran into a couple of backpackers on their way back and they told me after Thomas Creek to the Conasauga River is not too bad. So this trail is good to go.

backpacking
Wed Jul 05 2017

Hiked this trail during a loop backpacking trip in the Cohuttas. The recent storm and drought impact is evidenced with innumerable blow downs making this a tough trek from Rice Camp Trail parking lot to the Conasauga river crossing. The trail can be difficult to follow and spot in some sections. Take a map and compass on this trail. Plenty of water and a few uphill ascents. Most of the earlier posts do not talk about this section. Good luck!

camping
Mon Dec 15 2014

This trail is an easy hike along an old forest road down to the creek. It is a long time favorite backpacking trail for myself and two small children when they were younger. It is also a trail I take first time backpackers. Once you reach the creek there are lots of campsites near the water. I would say the sites have been heavily used but are still quiet nice. This trail will also take you to some other nice trails. If you hike further you will reach panther creek falls and tear britches trails. The hike out is a gentle uphill walk.

Tue Sep 30 2014

We did this one this past weekend as our first trip and had a blast. Not a terribly hard walk till you ford the conasauga river then a short section gets rough, then a fairly easy walk back to the trail head.Great time

hiking
Sun May 04 2014

This trail can be started from either the northern trail head or the southern trail head. my friends and I took the southern trail head and hiked to Bray field. We set up base camp there and enjoyed the weekend. The great thing about this trail is that it intersects with several other different trails or is just a short distance from other trails. from Bray field we did a day hike to the base of Panther creek falls. This is a great trail

hiking
Mon Jan 13 2014

A nice trail, easy to moderate backpacking.

hiking
Sat Mar 23 2013

Trail condition is well used/worn but not marked (blazes). Fairly steep sections for short distances. Several steep 1/8+- mile hills without switchbacks. 10+ water crossings depending on recent rain. Will not have dry boots by the end. Sections of trail (100yrds) are inline with stream. Recommend camp shoes or over ankle water tight boots to keep feet dry. Lots of good camp sites but due to storms LOTS of widow makers too. Set camp with enough light to check above. The Conasauga River sites are well used and can be crowded from south side. Abundant water sources. No nuisance animal activity noted. (Rodent, Racoon, Bear)

hiking
Wed Feb 22 2012

I did not complete this trail... Unfortunately someone with us wanted to turn around just when we got to 'the good stuff'. You'll head down a forest service road (but no vehicles allowed) for about 45mins, gradual descent and very gradual switchbacks. You'll start to hear the water. Walk along the creek and you'll see various opportunities to cross. Pick one. Then you'll continue a few hundred feet more and you'll come to the intersection of the smaller stream with Hickory Creek. Nice camping area. You'll see the sign with arrows. If you head along the Hickory Creek Trail to Bray Field, there are lots of amazing campsites (you'll pass some pretty cool ones along the way). Locals warned me that there is a lot of bear activity - so be safe and hang your food and don't do anything stupid. I'll upload more info on my blog with waypoints. The views were spectacular and lush and remote. We're coming back soon to camp and explore for a few days, so I'll update. I do not know the entire distance of the Hickory Creek Trail - don't rely on my guesstimation - I only hiked 1/2 mile beyond sign I referenced.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

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