Jacks River Trail to Beech Bottom

MODERATE 77 reviews

Jacks River Trail to Beech Bottom is a 15.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Epworth, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
15.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,408 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

walking

forest

river

waterfall

wild flowers

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing!!!! My first backpacking trip! We were a group of 10 which included experienced hikers that have done this trail many times and newbies like me. We started in the afternoon on Saturday, camped, hiked to the falls Sunday, camped, then hiked out Sunday morning.
We started at the Jack's River Western Trailhead as marked on this map and made our way to Beech Bottom and the falls, but took the Beech Bottom Falls trail back out to a second car we had parked there so that it wasn't a true out and back trail as marked on here. A car was put there in case we had to bail out because of the storm forecasts. We just had a lot of rain (and quite a bit during the trip at night) so the river level was pretty high. Most crossings were very manageable but nearer to the falls, and if you were to continue east past Beech Bottom along the trail (which was our original plan) the river was past waist deep (I'm 5'5'') and moving quickly. We changed our plans and camped a bit past the falls then double backed the next day to take the Beech Bottom trail out once we experienced how deep the river crossings were becoming. I definitely recommend bringing hiking poles to stabilize yourself while crossing. We heard from other groups that came the opposite direction that some crossings were so deep they had to swim across with their packs.
The falls themselves were amazing and we did the cliff jump after watching a group demonstrate that they were safe!!
The trail wasn't as maintained as other State Parks and National Parks that I've been to -- lots of downed trees to climb over and some overgrown plants but I think that really added to the wilderness feel and it didn't slow us down. We saw one copperhead sunning itself at a campsite but that was the only wildlife encounter. Lots of beautiful scenery, mushrooms, and the river itself made for a wonderful trip.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is rated moderate but I guess that is when the water is low. But be warned, this hike has numerous river crossings. The water was waist high in most of the places and a bit deeper in some others. We made it to the fifth camping spot and had to turn around because we could not cross at this point. The water was simply too deep and fast for us to manage with backpacks.That was about 1/3 of the way in or 2.5 miles. I imagine this is a much different trail when the water is low and easily crossed. At this time of year there were plenty of snakes, but this is a gorgeous area and the river is a beautiful hiking companion. The trailhead is accessible after a long drive on a bumpy dirt road with lots of potholes. The area needs some attention in general. Campsites, signs etc. are in bad shape. To this point, we met a couple before the first river crossing looking for Jacks Falls(?) They got their information off the Internet somewhere, obviously not very well communicated. Plan for it and this is a great hike.

camping
3 months ago

This is by far one of my favorite spots.
Been going for about 10 years now. Unfortunately though it is overly crowded and the trial has changed over the years.
over night stay highly recommended!
Always check the water at the swimming hole before jumping in from the cliff!!!
#leavenotrace

3 months ago

great overnight hike

6 months ago

Beautiful hike, and not overly difficult....moderate rating is accurate. The falls are amazing especially when frozen over. The forest road getting there is rough and potentially muddy. Drive a vehicle that’s not low to the ground. Four wheel drive is helpful.

hiking
7 months ago

Much easier than I thought it was gonna be! The rain held off and we had a great time...it was perfect!!

9 months ago

Great day hike. We didn’t plan for the length of the trail up to the falls, so our limited time put us having to leave before we were ready. Beautiful sounds of the flowing river greeted us each step. Lots of camping areas along the path.

backpacking
10 months ago

Trail was great! We wore keens and didn’t have any issues, but couldn’t imagine this with Chacos(blisters) or hiking boots(removing and putting back on too often) in comparison. We made a 2 day trip out of it. Beginning and end are a bit faster moving b/c there aren’t a lot of crossings in the first 2 miles and the last mile or so. Had a few issues fining the trail but nothing worth panicking about. The trail is perfect for summer when you can stay cool as you hike.

Recommendations: 2 hiking sticks, keen water shoes, water filter to get fresh water

backpacking
10 months ago

Although not physically strenuous, this hike is challenging due to all the river crossings. If backpacking, be aware that you will be fording through depths that can reach your chest over slippery surfaces. Trekking poles are a necessity, or grab a hiking stick alongside the trail on your way up. Attempting to swap from shoes to water shoes is pointless as you will spend all your time swapping shoes. Take footwear that can get wet and take some abuse. If planning an over-nighter, there are plenty of campsites along the river to filter water. You could always camp closer to the beginning of the trail, then hike to the falls as a day hike, then back down to your camp for the night. As you get near the Falls, camping is prohibited. If you want an easier hike to Jack's River Falls, take the Beech Bottom Trail.

11 months ago

Great trail with beautiful river views and crossings. Perfect for dogs who love water.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

We had some much fun! Started early from Dally Gap but somehow missed the trail to the main waterfall. Wishing that it had been better marked. Saw other amazing falls though. It poured on us all day which only made it more of an adventure for us. The river crossings were my favorite. I will definitely return!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

This is my fave all time summer hike. Starting down river and hiking up to jack river falls and back in one day. 44 river crossings total, 7 miles there and back. Awesome hike and falls! Highly recommend this wet hike.

backpacking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

My favorite for a weekend backpacking trip. I love to take our dogs! If you start at the Jack's River terminus going up river in the Alaculsy Valley you will have 22 river crossings before you reach Jack's River Falls which is about 7 miles in, I believe. Then you have another 9 miles to Dally Gap. I want to say there are somewhere around 42 river crossings total and the water will be up to waist and chest deep in places. Also, the trail is not marked that well in some spots and you will have to cross the river and wade upstream to find it at times, especially at crossings 16 and 18. It makes for an even better adventure! There were several downed trees when we went last week, so be prepared to climb over and under and get wet. There are a lot of great camp sites and fishing/swimming holes as well. I LOVE this trail.

P.S. Take poles. They make the crossings much easier. Dry bags are a must. Also, after several hikes thru here my husband and I both opt for old tennis shoes. We wore Keens the first thru hike we did and mine fell apart, his ruined his feet for the trip. Boots are no good either. Just a friendly opinion:)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Beautiful river, gorgeous knolls, my kids 6 to 21 had a fantastic time. We swam in the river and hiked the trail. Its one if the most beautiful trails that i have seen in a long time.

hiking
Monday, June 12, 2017

Folks, I have a question. I see two different maps for Jacks River Falls trail. One is mentioned here at alltrails.com, the other one is mentioned at https://www.atlantatrails.com/hiking-trails/hiking-jacks-river-falls-trail-splashing-through-the-cohutta-wilderness/
They both mention crossing river 21 times but completely different trails. Can someone please help?

backpacking
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ok so WOW! We did not expect to have this much fun on this hike. As we prepared for this trip we assumed the river crossings would be nothing more than puddle jumping but we were wrong. We started at the Dally Gap. Our trip was in the last weekend of March and the river was ROARING. Apparently the river is a lot rougher in the spring. Every river crossing brought us to at minimum waste deep water. Many times we were chest deep and even having to swim. The rocks were very slippery and the current was very strong. We were 4 grown, strong men who love to hike and we were struggling at times. A few of the crossings were fairly dangerous, but it was a blast! We crossed the river 21 times before settling into camp just before the 22nd (and final) river crossing before the waterfall. A total of 6.5-7 miles the first day. The next day we originally planned to go back the same way but none of us wanted to venture back into the cold water 21 more times! Haha. Instead we headed to the falls and spent sometime there. We hiked the few miles up beech bottom trail to the parking area where we set off down the road, eventually hitch hiking back to our truck. We had a long journey back home and decided it be better to get a head start.

Overall we would have loved to hike the entire river but we just didn't have the time. I would highly recommend venturing this trail in the spring. It's not for the faint of heart and def not for children. Pack your stuff in drybags or it will certainly get wet!

Monday, March 13, 2017

I worked with the Southeast Conservation Corps here, it is one of many trails that I have worked on and it is by far one of the best.

camping
Monday, February 13, 2017

Lots of river crossings which I really loved about the trail, definitely worth the hike to the waterfall

Monday, December 26, 2016

such a fun hike. not for scrubs that don't know how to cross rivers following a trail.

hiking
Sunday, August 28, 2016

It is a very hard trail if you don't know what you are doing. Plan on staying overnight because it will take you a day in and a day out. Overall it is a very unique trail to hike.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

beautiful hike - tremendous waterfalls!

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Amazing hike! loved the water

backpacking
Saturday, July 09, 2016

Awesome!

backpacking
Saturday, July 02, 2016

I have been hiking the Jack's River since 1979.... it is one of the best hikes anyone can do in Georgia. The crossing and water levels must be taken into consideration or it can turn into the hike from hell if you are going late fall or early spring. Keys- poles, dry bag, and figure which direction you are going with foot ware.... keens or boots...
Some areas are impacted hard will so much traffic... so be kind. There are very few hikes like this anywhere so enjoy.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Good

Friday, January 08, 2016

Wasnt that hard to me

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Awesome hike! Beautiful waterfalls. #polarplunge

hiking
Saturday, November 07, 2015

One of the few true 5 star trails that I have hiked in Georgia. The actual trail is about 16 miles end to end from the Jacks river trail head to Dally Gap and contains 42 crossing of the Jacls River along with a few crossings of smaller creeks. It is the real deal and I was amazed at the stunning river scenery as well as one of the best falls in Georgia. Great camping near the falls and a few ways to day hike in make it an accessible area, but I really do recommend finding a way to do the full point to point, which took us a good day and a half day with one overnight

The crossings are harder near the Jacks River trailhead as it is downriver, so going from Dally Gap would be the easier way to go as you would get progressively more difficult crossings. I started at the other end and got the worst out of the way then enjoyed it getting easier. Went on October during a perfect week so water was waist high at its deepest, but in the areas where the current is fastest, waist deep is plenty high considering how slick the rocks are beneath the water.

Advice:
1. Take 2 poles if you have them and take the baskets off as they will catch the rocks underneath the water
2. Choose your footwear wisely. I wore Keens and although it made it easy to go in and out of the water they are not the greatest hiking apparel so I ended up with 1 blister (not bad) and a cut around the lower ankle from rubbing. Another person wore Lowa's and just went. Her feet were perfect but I don't know the status of those $230 boots after the hike
3. Choose pants wisely. Very lightweight full legs are fine. You will be wet all the time but warm. Shorts are fine too but you will be cold. Don't try rolling pants up. It's not worth it
4. Be prepared for the cold water. Some crossing take a bit and the water can be painfully cold, especially after a break. You do get used to it but be prepared to tough it out from time to time, and resist the urge to get in a hurry in the water because you are cold. You will go in, get wetter, and colder.
5. Assume you will go in. Maybe you won't but assume you will. So, dry backs are a must with dry clothes if you are spending the night. I dry bagged everything and although I didn't go in, I did get deep enough the the bottom of my pack was wet, so was glad I prepared
6. Pack anything you don't want wet in the top of your pack, especially if you don't dry bag it. Sleeping bags, stoves, phones, etc.
7. When you come to a crossing (42 times) find the trail on the other side BEFORE going into the water. There were only a few times where the trail was hard to find so make the effort. Some are marked with blue on trees but not all. If you miss it and find a false trail, just work yourself in the right direction and you will find it.
8. Watch some you tube videos first of the crossings. It's a blast and will prepare you for the trip
9. DO NOT SKIP THIS TRAIL. If you have the chance to hike it, especially in the fall, please do. I have a lot of miles under my boots and this is one of my favorite trails of all time

https://www.facebook.com/groups/JasonHikingPage/

hiking
Sunday, August 30, 2015

1,000 ft. Elevation to reach beautiful waterfalls and beautiful pool of water. Crossed a few small creeks by rocks. Ate lunch on rocks overlooking the falls and watched a few brave soles jump from 15-20 ft cliffs into a pool of water. Scenic walk along paths that were flanked by beautiful trees and wild flowers.

hiking
Friday, August 07, 2015

Gorgeous waterfalls. Worth the average/easy hike!!

Load More