Explore the most popular river 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.

Slow uphill. Steep slope to rock overlook. Robe on trees to hold

2 months ago

Great hikes to lovely waterfalls with pools to lie in. Clayton, Ga

Beautiful hike along the river that’s nice and secluded. I would recommend you have some agility skills because there are a number of trees down across the trail. After this hike we walked north for several miles on the road along the Tallulah River.... a beautiful hike as well and no trees to climb over.

backpacking
3 months 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
3 months 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!

hiking
3 months 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).

hiking
6 months ago

A nice short hike in the woods along the river. Very easy trail to follow. The forest has recovered nicely from the fire.

backpacking
8 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.

hiking
8 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.

backpacking
Wednesday, October 04, 2017

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
Wednesday, October 04, 2017

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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Great trail for everyone. Great place to introduce your children to the beauty of nature. It is safe and beautiful.

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Great trail in the beginning but definitely gets difficult if you are going to the actual 3 forks but well worth the effort.

Monday, May 22, 2017

This trail is a delight! We got in at Hwy 28 and hiked down into Georgia. There are plenty of campsites along either tributaries or on the Chatooga. Some good ups and downs, but nothing too bad and the views of the river coming down from the mountains are fantastic.

Friday, May 19, 2017

I have hiked this trail twice. Heavy weekend use around Earls Ford but was not a problem. Stayed at campsite on Warwoman Creek. Small single tent site but really nice. I hiked from the bridge.

hiking
Saturday, April 29, 2017

The CRT is a lot longer than 20 miles. The best section is from hwy 28 to ellicott rock and seems to have been omitted from here. Been hiking it in sections. Can be strenuous if you're not prepared but otherwise well kept.
My favorite place to hike.

camping
Monday, April 24, 2017

Trail was fairly nice. Needs some maintenance though. A good number of trees fallen across it but we never lost the trail.
Dog hurt her leg (she was fine after walking it off) going over one of the fallen trees and the humans had a couple of slips doing the same.
There is a camp site at the apex that looked a bit well worn. We picked up some MRE remnants there. (Grrr) Fine for a tent, multiple hammocks was a bit of a challenge, but mainly because we needed them to be near each other (young ones with us).
Finding an appropriate spot to hang our food was tough, the trees are all quite tall with few horizontal branches, plan to hunt for a while for an appropriate branch.
As far as we could tell the one well used camp site is about the only option for tent camping, I would have preferred a less commonly used spot but the grade is too steep everywhere else.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Beautiful trail! Definitely hard in some parts but well worth it to get closer to the river!

backpacking
Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Bartram Trail is a nearly 40 mile point-to-point trail located in Rabun County, Georgia that features several waterfalls, Rabun Bald (Georgia's second highest mountain), and several miles of pleasant ridgeline and river views.

My dog and I backpacked this trail over three days and two nights one weekend in mid-March.

First, if anyone says that this trail is easy, they obviously only hiked a short section and did not complete the entire route. Outside of Rabun Bald, the mountains here are not incredibly tall, but there are more than enough ascents and descents over the 40 miles to make this a daunting challenge nonetheless. Do not believe anyone who calls this hike "leisurely."

Water is incredibly scare on this trail, particularly between Warwoman Dell and the Chattooga River. I went a stretch of more than seven miles without finding any springs or streams where I could successfully filter water. These sources may be better during wetter months, but for my trip, it was quite dry.

Highlights on this trail include the fire tower on top of Rabun Bald, Becky Branch Falls and Martin Creek Falls. There's also a spur trail nearby that leads to Dick's Creek Falls, which are particularly impressive and worth the extra mileage.

This is not a trail that you can do in a single day. I'm an avid backpacker and was only able to muster 15 mile days or so, including a few short side trips down spur trails to see extra sights. Plan on carrying more water than you may feel necessary, especially in drier months.

I highly recommend this trail, but it is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to climb and descent more than a dozen mountains, many of which are close to 3,000 feet or more. As this is not one of Georgia's most well-traveled trails, be prepared to climb over quite a bit of fallen debris. There were plenty of fallen trees blocking the trail that I had to traverse.

backpacking
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Did a solo trip starting at the 76 bridge heading Northbound....first portion of the trip was beautiful hike through big hemlocks staying off the river most of the time. You first hit the Chattooga at 4.5 miles and follow it for a mile or so before heading back up away from it. I camped on Dicks Creek which was around the halfway mark. The second portion of the trip up to the 28 bridge the following day was quite a bit more difficult thru higher elevations. Overall a great trip and a beautiful river....looks like it should be out West....I took some off shoots to the river along the way and believe I logged around 25 miles

hiking
Monday, February 20, 2017

This trail is very easy going into the fall, but it is not a trail for someone who isn't nibble. Many trees are down over the trail so it involves some climbing and maneuvering around the trail from time to time. The falls and pools are breathtaking and so worth the visit. Rest up because the return hike is largely uphill.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Good hike for families. Should be awesome this spring when the burned areas turn green.

mountain biking
Saturday, December 31, 2016

Challenging bike, I loved it. Lots of up and down. River not far away if you want to check it out. Wasn't aware you could not bike until I completed the trail, oops! Please change this rule.

backpacking
Monday, November 21, 2016

It was a nice leisure hike - not difficult at all. We did an over-nighter and camped in a clearing near the old farm remnants. Clean water/creek by the old farm.

backpacking
Monday, November 07, 2016

We hiked from the trail head all the way to the first part of the trail that dips into the chattooga river and back. There are 2 small camp sites within the 1st 15 minutes of hiking from the trail head. Each are located right after you cross a small wooden bridge, the 1st one is after the first bridge, and the second site is about 400 steps after the 1st bridge, you'll cross a pair of wooden bridges and its on your left. The next camp sites are several miles further in. Great views and quite pretty. Surprisingly I didnt see much animal life, I only saw one bird during a night hike and some small fish once I reached the river, it may have been due to it being November. I estimate from the trailhead to the first point you reach the river is about 6-7 miles. Great hike if you're looking to be alone in the woods, I barely saw many folks. Also a good hike to bring a dog. .

hiking
Saturday, November 05, 2016

Gradual beauty all the way to the sour trail down two minutes to Holcomb creek waterfall! Wow what a treat!! We enjoyed the gift of Autumns beauty the entire way

Monday, September 19, 2016

Absolutely beautiful! Go down to the campgrounds for tranquil and peaceful views!

hiking
Friday, July 29, 2016

This was a great short hike to a beautiful campground by the river.

There are actually two different 3 forks trails. One is shown on All Trails and most maps but another trailhead is on Hwy 28 about 1.3 miles south of the NC state line. This trail is about 7 miles out and back and features a swimming hole.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Backpacking was a thrill!

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