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

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The John's Mt. road has been closed by the Forest Service due to vandalism. It's not clear what this means for those who wish to hike up there. https://m.facebook.com/ChattOconeeNF/posts/2709530299086745

My dog and I did the double loop yesterday, 11/01/19. We started from the Keown trailhead and went to the top of John's Mt. doing both loops. A ranger showed up about 10 minutes after we arrived to tend to the restroom and trash. Besides him we saw no one else all day. The above note about the fire closing part of the trails is no longer valid. The trails are open and in good condition. Also, as a result of the recent rains the falls we're flowing again. The views on the way up and from the top we're spectacular. The trails belonged to us as we saw no one else during the entire hike. A special word of thanks to the Forest Service for keeping the great job they have done keeping the place clean and for the fine trail maintenance.

Used the service road as part of the home, great vertical gain. Well run-able and well maintained.

This was a great day trail. The waterfall was barely trickling but still very cool. The start of John’s MT trail going south was pretty over grown for about 300 yards. We decided to go north to the observatory. Very nice view. The back side of the mountain (going south) from the observatory is very shady, which brought out the bugs and gnats. Still a very nice hike.

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 months ago

This trail had us sweating! I've only ever done the Keown Falls loop, but we decided to do this entire trail today. Trail is easy to follow, it's a lot of uphill for the first part of the Keown loop and up into John's, but the view from the top is spectacular. Thoroughly enjoyed our trek down and got to admire so many butterflies and foliage. Highly recommend if you've got a few hours to kill and can stand the slightly strenuous journey up!

Great trail! Not too easy or too hard. The waterfalls were beautiful even though it hadn’t rained. Barely saw anyone. There are some down trees so be prepared to jump or climb over them.

hiking
off trail
over grown
7 months ago

We like to try new hikes. We do not live very far from this particular falls so we thought we would go and check it out. There had been a massive burn on one side of the ridge. The trails were very very poorly marked. After seeing the falls, we decided to do the loop. The trail disappeared after seeing the overlook?? Were we supposed to turn around and go back the way we came? We assumed “loop” meant that the trail would pick back up and take us back to the beginning. Thanks for any input or advice. We eventually had to call for a ride back to our car as soon as we got a signal because the parking lot was way far from where we were at that point. We were disappointed but maybe just need to be educated about the possibility of the fire destroying part of the loop. If you have any information about when this fire occurred that would be helpful as well. Happy hiking! *** Update- There was a controlled burn that took place 3/21/19. Be aware when you give this one a try..

hiking
muddy
8 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail. I hiked up from Keown Falls and the total hike was about 5.5 miles. It was super windy with a nice cool breeze. There was no one else on the trail. When I got to the Johns Mountain overlook there was a "Spreading of the Ashes" ceremony happening. As soon as I realized what was happening, I immediately stopped walking and look away and waited. I did not intend to interrupt. This was a great hike and I look forward to coming back !

Great trail. You park at the Keown Falls trailhead and get to hike up to Keown Falls, then to the John's Mountain overlook. One thing, my Garmin watch said the hike was more of 5.5 miles if you do the John's Mountain/Pinhoti loop. There are 2 overlooks with great views. I'll return here to see the fall colors :)

nice easy/moderate hiking trail. good for bringing the dogs, but please keep on leash. gets a little narrow at some spots.

Enjoyed this hike even though the falls were dry at the time. When we hiked most folks hiked the falls loop. The Johns Mountain Loop was empty. We were the only people on the entire trail for over 3 miles. Amazing view from the lookout at the top and very flat and easy walking along the ridge until the descent back down. Parts of the trail were not entirely clear with many downed trees and trail covered in leaves and debris. Sometimes it was difficult to see the trail clearly.

Very scenic and beautiful. Even more beautiful after a good rain. Makes a perfect early morning hike.

running
Mon Oct 29 2018

There's almost always something to look at. It's a very scenic trail. If you plan on running It's very, very rocky. There are several down trees over the trail. I had no issue following the trail. It's not overgrown.

backpacking
Sun Sep 30 2018

Good track well marked and I thought it was in good condition. Make sure you bring walking stick if you have a heavy pack, the stairs around the waterfall are steep and any help steadying things is a good benefit. Almost to water on the trail and the site we camped at had no water, we did stash some water at the top of the mountain where the trail connects at a parking lot which has a observatory deck. We then carried water (about .2 miles) to the site. Was a great site for hammocks, tough one for tents since the amount of flat area was limited.

Good hike - obviously someone went to trouble to blaze and even make nice stone steps, but needs to be better maintained .... nice views, waterfall

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

hiking
Sat Mar 03 2018

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

hiking
Mon Mar 20 2017

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

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

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