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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Birmingham, Alabama, United States

    Default Cohutta Wilderness Question....

    We just bought a place very near the CW and I am more than looking forward to exploring it and other North Georgia trails in the coming months and years.

    I am looking for some advice on a couple of initial day hikes just to get a feel for the place and to discover the trail heads closest to our cabin. Later on, I am sure to do some overnights. Estimating from Google Earth, our place is about 4.5 miles south of the TN line as the crow flies, equidistant between McCaysville and Jacks River Falls - about 6.5 miles.

    What would be the best trailhead or parking area we could drive to - so we can hike to the falls and then down or up river to a place to camp on the water? Looking for low miles for this first time in as my brother will be with me and he cannot hike too far. I have also heard there is an abundance of blowdowns in the area. Still the case? (I plan to eventually hook up with the local volunteer group.) We will probably hang unless there is a good reason to use the tents.

    Any insights are appreciated!
    The future does not belong to the faint-hearted.
    It belongs to the brave.
    - Ronald Reagan, January 28, 1986.

  2. #2


    A guide book and map of the area would be very helpful to have. Someone in the area must sell them. Even if someone says "the xyz trail is great" you still need to figure out where the heck it is!
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  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Atlanta, Georgia


    Wow, first off let me say congratulations and I am envious. The Cohutta/Big Frog Wilderness just might be my favorite place in the world.

    If I’m understanding correctly where you are, your closest trailhead is going to be Dally Gap which gives you direct access to the Jacks River Trail and the Hemp Top Trail. The Hemp Top Trail heading north quickly becomes the Benton MacKaye Trail and intersects the Penitentiary Branch Trail. You can use this along with the Jacks River Trail to make a nice 12/13 mile loop. If you go directly to the main falls, you are looking at 7 to 9 miles one way. It is a remote wilderness area so yes expect some blow downs but the Jacks River Trail is in better shape than most in the Cohutta.

    Depending on where you are, it might not be a bad drive to head up to the Licklog Trail trailhead in the Big Frog. There are two maps I own of the area, I would recommend picking up at least one. One is Nat Geo 781, which shows much more than just this wilderness, and one is called “Cohutta And Big Frog Wilderness” made by the Forest Service. All of the trails are on Gaia as well.

    I have about 1 random mile left to complete and I will have hiked every mile of trail in the combined wilderness and I’ve driven to most of the trailheads so I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have. I’m sure Tipi Walter will respond with some wisdom once he sees this. There are over 125 miles to explore in the designated wilderness alone so have fun and maybe I’ll see you out there.

  4. #4
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Upper East Side of Texas


    Cohutta Wilderness Guide


    Have fun.

  5. #5
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Woodstock, GA


    Emery Creek is really nice, one water crossing, not well marked but some cool hiking and camping up there.

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