Johns Mountain/Pinhoti Trail Loop

MODERATE 41 reviews

Johns Mountain/Pinhoti Trail Loop is a 4.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near LaFayette, Georgia that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and road biking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
958 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

road biking

forest

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

over grown

The trail can be accessed from either the Keown Falls recreation area parking lot or the Johns Mountain overlook parking lot. It allows many hiking options. The simplest and most popular is a simple out-and-back hike from the Keown Falls parking lot to the overlook at the larger waterfall, about a 1.4 mile round trip. The falls are impressive during wet seasons, and the trail passes through a large space behind the falls. There is also an optional loop trail from the Keown Falls parking area that leads to the larger falls and a smaller waterfall on another branch of the creek. This loop is about 1.7 miles. A second loop hike starts from the Johns Mountain overlook and drops to the Falls overlook and continues around the mountaintop. This loop is just over 3 miles. The two loops connect at the overlook, so they can be hiked together as a figure-8 hike of 4.85 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

I had heard about Keown Falls and living close by, I decided I would go. The weather was picture perfect. Clear and sunny with a temp of 70 degrees. Loaded up daypack with water and snacks and packed up the dog with his harness and leash along with water, and away we went. When we got out of the car, the transformation was amazing. Gone was sounds of the city and rural area that I live in, replaced by the sounds of a small creek running and making its way over rocks. Of course, the dog had to go for a quick dip before we could hit the trail. The area out of the parking area is a little grown up, but it is summer, so it is to be expected. We crossed the small stream and we got on the main trail. I like this area because it is wide and fairly clear, so you can see if there are any snakes. We continued on the main trail and came to a resting bench, so we stopped for a moments to drink some water and have a small snack. As we got close to the falls, the trail narrowed quite a bit and was grown up, but it was still hikeable. The view, stunning and beautiful, were a welcome sight. We continue around and arrived at the falls. Nice, nice, nice. The dog wasn't too sure about the falls, but then we got in front of it and loved splashing in the pool of water. We decided to continue on around, but it was severely grownup and we backtracked and went to the overlook. At this point, we rested for about 30 minutes taking in the beauty while resting our feet and joints, then we began our return to the car. It's a nice trail and secluded enough that we did not encounter any crowds. I wish it was maintained more than it is, because it is a truly spectacular place. I will definitely go back again, probably in the fall.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a beautiful trail. Approach from Keown falls for the best up/in down/out route. Cap off your water if needed from the stream above the falls, and be sure to filter. The trail IS NOT well blazed once you pass the falls and get to the John's mountain loop. It's also very grow over right now in late June, so anyone who wants to bring some loppers or a machete can help everyone by cutting back the trail overgrowth. Go in the morning, as afternoon storms make the trail very slippery. There is NO water past the waterfall, so in June I carry about 2 liters.

hiking
3 months ago

I really liked this trail, It has waterfalls and plenty of overlooks. We had the entire trail to ourselves except for around the falls.

hiking
3 months ago

Truly my moderate trail. Some parts are narrow but I personally like it like that. Will definitely be back.

5 months ago

We hiked both loops. Heading left/south/clockwise for both is definitely the more strenuous direction - much steeper climbs over shorter distances.

I had waited for a decent rain before hitting the trail, and it was definitely worth the wait - the falls were beautiful.

5 months ago

Definitely a winter trail. Overgrowth would be tough in the summer. Not well-maintained

hiking
5 months ago

Once I passed the waterfall and started the loop I didn’t see anyone until the overlook. Quick and easy loop.

hiking
Monday, March 20, 2017

It was dry and footing was great. Had a great time on this hike. It's on my revisit list.

hiking
Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I'm not a fan of this one. The trail is overgrown and not well marked.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Fun half day hike. I found it not to be that difficult. I went counterclockwise. The last mile was uphill on an old logging road. Waterfall was nice.

hiking
Thursday, May 26, 2016

nice overall has some real narrow over grown spots but will definitely go back pretty easy trail but do be careful of the rocks

Sunday, April 17, 2016

trail over run with poison ivy a couple hundred yards from outlook.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

nice hike. not too strenuous.

hiking
Saturday, January 18, 2014

This trail isn't a 62 mile biking trail...It is a 3.5 mile loop that connects to the Keown Falls Trail and part of the Pinhoti Trail as well. I really enjoyed hiking John's MTN Loop and I would suggest going after it has rained so when you get to the Keown Falls overlook you'll be able to see the waterfall running. It's not a heavy waterfall but it's still really nice. The only part of this trail that was mildly unpleasant was the 1 mile hike back up to the overlook and that's just because the scenery wasn't as nice but it made for a good uphill workout :) lol. I would do this hike again in the spring just to see the different types of foliage. Also, if you go during the spring and summer months, I would recommend checking out The Pocket Recreation area too after hiking a couple of trails to relax and enjoy the cold mountain springs. I've been going there since i was little and it has yet to bore me :)

hiking
Friday, August 09, 2013

This is a very good trail to hike in the fall. The fall colors are all around you and the views are great. This trail is a bit overgrown in a few open places so expect a few ticks and chiggers. This trail is one big loop so you can choose your destiny in a matter of speaking. You can either start out from the overlook parking lot towards the ranger outpost and have a moderatly easy trail with a wicked uphill trek the last half mile or you can start by turning around from the overlook and going down hill and slowly working your way back to the top of the ridge. Taking the ranger outpost start gives the trail a moderate/hard rating. Taking the downhill start gives this trail a good easy/moderate rating. The Keown falls trail ties into this trail as well as the Pinhoti Trail. There are definantly some great views to be had. Enjoy!

hiking
Thursday, July 04, 2013

there is a short loop that continues on from the Keown Falls Trail to a John`s Mtn overlook, with a different trail coming back, The John`s Mtn Trails is a 3.5 mile loop and is rather easy. I posted a picture of the sign post from the John`s Mtn/Keown Falls trails.

hiking
Friday, September 21, 2012

First off, I had a hard time finding any info about this trail before heading out. But I did manage to find directions, and that's all you really need, right?? Actually, my brother looked up Keown Falls because we were both really wanting a waterfall. And Keown Falls, according to descriptions, dries up completely if it hasn't been raining. Since it had been raining, we figured it was a great time to go.

My brother and I went in February. Turns out that's the WRONG time to go. There is this handy little road that, as best we could tell, goes all the way up the mountain.... and it is closed during February. We walked. ALL. THE. WAY. UP. THE. MOUNTAIN. So, the photos I posted are from the overlook, which was spectacular. That overlook, at the top of the mountain we climbed, was also the trailhead for Keown Falls. But we were too tired to go anywhere except back to the car after that. :)

Official verdict: went back home, and my hyper lab puppy passed out on the sofa next to me... for the rest of the night.

Not worth the complete exhaustion. A waterfall would have been nice. And the trail was only scenic at the very end.

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