Explore the most popular birding trails near Clayton with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was an awesome hike. There are a couple of waterfalls and even tho the las third of the hike is pretty much just trees, once you get to PK the view is breath taking. I would say pack a bottle of water and a lot of energy... it’s totally worth the sore legs on the next day.

backpacking
7 days ago

First things - we started from the end (Hwy 28) and hiked south, and we did not hike the entire trail. We only hiked to Earl's Ford (it was my daughters first backpacking trip and we wanted to keep it light.

I guess I was just hoping for more highlights. We though a lunch at Earls Ford would be nice - play in the water and then work our way back... Earls Ford is beautiful and would be a perfect picnic spot, except for the car campers and ORV folks. Lots of trash and trucks.

The trail isn't used much by hikers - we saw 1 hiker over the past 2 days. The campsites are large, but nothing too exceptional, and they seem to be spaced out ever 3 miles or so. There were a few sections with lots of horse traffic (although marked as hikers only), and the spiders are plentiful.

We'll try the south end of the trail in a few weeks.

backpacking
10 days ago

First I need to clear up a couple facts:

-This trail is 25 miles one-way and says so right on the sign at the trailhead.
-The trailhead is on the South Carolina side of the river. It's on the left immediately AFTER the bridge from Clayton.

As for my review we loved this trail! Its far less crowded than the AT, has tons of water, great camp sites, and it's easy hiking.

The negatives:

It was spider season! And I mean lots and lots of spiders. I'm an avid outdoorsman and have spent a lot of time backpacking and I've never seen close to this many webs and spiders. I had to walk with a trekking pole up in front of me to catch the webs before my face did, because they were every 20 feet across the trail!

There was also lots of ticks, so take precautions.

There was 2 side trails within the first mile that aren't marked. Take a right on the first one to stay on the trail, and a left on the second one.

There were also a number of down trees to climb over, and at one point (at a fork about 6 miles in) there is a total blockage that you can't get around. So take the left fork about 10 feet and there's a little trail to cut back down to the main trail... I made an arrow out of sticks but who knows how long that will last.

Overall we will go back here and hike it over and over just for the beautiful water camping and the solitude. Its one of the best hikes in Georgia!

Steep climb down and back with more than 250 stairs to a nice landing near a waterfall at the bottom. Short hike, nice leg workout. Well maintained as is all the Black Rock Mtn state park. Recommended for all ages and pets.

Sweet hike with wonderful waterfalls along the pine bog path with scattered rocks and roots - assent and descents paced along the way - and ditto on Dave’s response below

hiking
23 days ago

easy first mile nearly downhill until the sharp left. As of 6/23/2018, large tree fall across trail around 1/2 mile from trailhead. You must ford Holcomb creek 50 yards upstream from the slot waterfall to get to next section (not shown on this site's map) to see actual Three Forks. This section of the trail had several (we counted six) tree falls which made us turn around. Chainsaw anyone? Still, the first falls at Holcomb is worth the relatively easy hike. One campsite near this falls is tight, a few trees for hammocks, a small firepit but close to the edge near the falls (loud).

Not a soul - easy first half - criss crosses river and water falls then the climb up, moderate. Killer views over north and north west ga- some sweet camping spots along the river as well as at the top of the knob - mapped it on the way back though cause it was a little wonky at the knob spur - more like a 8.6 miler total in and out.

From our campsite and back was about 10 miles. It rained a bit after we left the Lookoff Mountain summit overlook and that brought the temp to a comfortable level. Was a very good hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

What an incredible trail! Featuring waterfalls, a beautiful peak, and plenty of wildlife opportunities. I'd have to agree with another reviewer who mentioned this trail as being one of the most beautiful in Ga. Plenty of water sources easily accessible from the trailside. I would recommend staying stocked with water, I went through about 3 liters going up and down. The hike was strenuous at times, but what's a trail without a good challenge?

Great trail. Incline was definitely a workout!

hiking
2 months ago

loved this trail! It was a good challenge!

hiking
2 months ago

Well maintained and not for the faint of heart. Overlook is a little disappointing but great view on clear day. The wind was gusting and made the trail come alive with sound.

Very hard trail but well maintained and marked.

Fantastic hike! Challenging. One of the better hikes in Georgia. The Vista is spectacular words nor photographs give it justice. The abundance of water was fantastic for the dogs. I especially enjoyed the pool of cold water which rejuvenated my joints. I expected to see more wildlife. Great hike for solitude. Recommend packing a lunch for this one although Clayton is close enough and has an abundance of restaurants.

Every weekend I do a hike in North Georgia, and this one immediately shot to number one. The early spring wildflowers were in such rare form that I initially thought that the trail had been planted. As stated by others, this trail has something for everyone. The day I hiked this trail, the valleys were filled with fog, and the cascades and waterfalls were gushing. Sun rays were piercing through the early Spring canopy casting cool shadows and ephemeral rainbows. Save one quiet photographer and two small groups of overnighters, amazingly I had the entire area to myself. The trail is narrow, as in no more than necessary for single file walking, which means that disturbance along the path is at a minimum. The route is extremely well marked, and all water crossing of any size are either bridged or well stabilized with stone. The Pinnacle Knob side trail is blazed with green, and immediately cuts a swath through a rhododendron thicket (which is unusual and a little sad but at the same time very unusual in its almost tropical-ness), then skirts back and forth as it works its way gradually to the top. The reward for this effort is a broad vista of large, mountainous expanses of [thankfully] untouched forest land. The USGS benchmark on the top lends a real old school legitimacy to the summit. Timing it right, this would be the perfect private hammock camping site. Glad I suggested it to everyone...

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorite walks. Has something for everyone. This trail passes two very picturesque waterfalls on the way to an easy to reach summit with fantastic views to the North and over Clayton. Parking is easy and next to a picnic area which is great for the "apres-walk" treat.

Anyone in reasonable shape can and should do this trail. Absolutely beautiful, varied woodlands, waterfalls, and gradual ascents and descents.

This trail was so pretty! There are several waterfalls to see. The trail is well maintained and marked. We did end up going to the top of the Pinnacle Knob trail, probably an extra mile there and another mile down, which was COMPLETELY worth the struggle to the top.

backpacking
5 months ago

Only saw 3 other backpackers. They were a few blow downs on the trail that we had to cut trails around. There’s a creek crossing about 7 miles in from the hwy 76 trailhead that was a little challenging to cross.

Perfect hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Uhhh The Chattooga Trail is alot more than 20 miles. It goes all the way up to Ellicott Rock at the Ga and NC line.

We started the trail from Warwoman Dell. There were a few downed trees across the trail but well marked with yellow blazes. The hike up to the knob was not easy but doable. On the way back though - hello! That’s when this 45 year old chubbster started going downhill. Literally and figuratively. :) The hike was gorgeous. Lots of water crossings but bridges are in place so no wet feet to speak of. The 2 mile point is gorgeous and flat and perfect for a picnic and a day in the river. I went thru 2.5 liters of water as I was just shy of finishing the trail. We started at about 11:30 am and got back to the car around 5:15 pm. We didn’t take a break other than just a minute standing on the trail here and there. We spent about 30 minutes at the top. I clocked this trail at 9.9 miles round trip. I’ve never had such a mileage difference in the trail distance and my pedometer app. It felt like 9.9 miles. It was over 60 degrees on 1/21/18 and we were huffing and puffing and sweaty most of the time. Fantastic workout.

Definitely an amazing trail!
It can be strenuous at times, but I completed it after not having hiked in a while (took about 4 hours round trip with a slow pace) Definitely something that could be done by almost anyone (depending on how many breaks you take). Probably wouldn't take kids on this trail due to the fact that the trail was very narrow near steep drop-offs for a good ways. The view at the top was worth the hike and the many waterfalls/river we crossed on the way there were gorgeous.

This trail has it all - waterfalls, forest floors and a great vista!

Did a portion of the trail from the lake to the lookout. It was hard a lot of fallen trees to climb over and we lost the trail for a couple of times. Lookout was disappointing but we made it.

hiking
8 months ago

Go left at the fork for a more challenging hike, right at the fork for a, still challenging, but slightly less steep inclines. Wonderful trail, light traffic, beautiful scenery.

The "overlook" was overlooking a shipping facility. Kind of lame after walking for so long, but the trail was clean and very beautiful.

backpacking
9 months ago

This trip was completed not quite three weeks after Hurricane Irma blew through. Irma blew down a LOT of trees, many of which totally blocked the trail. Lots of bushwhacking and scrambling were necessary. As others have noted, the Chattooga River is not featured as prominently as you might think. If the blowdowns were not so prevalent, this would have been a great trip. I hiked 20.53 miles North to South from Russell Bridge on Hwy 28 down to Hwy 76.

backpacking
9 months ago

A good trail to find a campsite with the sound of water from the mountains or near the river. River campsites seem to be taken on the weekends. Love this trail will come back often

Beautiful trail. No trash and really well maintained. A lot of cool mushrooms to spot along the trail. It's not as difficult as it says. I'm not very trained and did the trail in 4 hours stopping for a snack. The last bit out is uphill and a workout. I felt great after the hike.

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