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  1. #1
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
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    Info needed on the Cohutta wilderness area in GA

    Hey guys, Im planning a trip to the Cohutta wilderness with my son in a few weeks. I havnt been there for a few years, --does any one know if theres a forum or anything like that for current info, trail conditions, trail head problems etc? I was thinking of hiking up the rice camp trail, but Ive never been on that one---I was especially wondering if there is a way to get to jacks river falls, without crossing the river? I know there are all kinds of fishermans paths etc along the shore line etc. I was also wondering if the trails were torn up by all the tornados we had a few weeks ago. Thanks for the info! STEVE
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

  2. #2
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    Stevebo,

    I have not been up there for years myself so I can not give you any information personally. Check out the Cherokee-Oconee National Forest website and you can find a link to storm damage for the Conasauga District. Not much information but they do list a number that you can call. They would probably also be able to tell you about the trail and if you have to cross the river. One other source you may want to try. Go to NGTO.org. This is a trout fishing site and you may find some folks there that know the area well. If you decide to post a question just make sure that you explain that you are just wanting some trail information. You know how fisherman are about giving away private info on their favorite fishing areas.

  3. #3
    Senior Member KP's Avatar
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    I've done many sections of the Cohutta's. It's currently my favorite place to backpack because it is so remote. Running into day hikers and fellow backpackers is rare though it does happen. I've primarily done sections of the Benton MacKaye but I've begun to branch out to the other trails within the wilderness.

    I haven't walked Rice Camp Trail yet but 2 weeks ago I did a solo overnighter with my dog on the East Cowpen Trail to Panther Creek Trail and down to Panther Creek Falls. Stayed the night down at the fall and hiked out the next morning. The hike out with a 33-35# backpack was tough but doable and worth the effort. You might want to do that piece at some point. The view is amazing and even though there are no blazes you won't get lost.

    There were no real issues regarding blowdowns in the area where me and my dog were but FS64 had a few blow downs on the road itself. I had to drive over or around a few downed trees. They were cleared out of the way the next day when we drove out.

    I'm planning to do another solo overnighter (with my dog of course) on Hickery Creek Trail from FS51 to where it runs into Panther Creek Trail next week or maybe the week after. If I come across a spot that screams "camp here!" before I reach the Panther Creek Trail junction that is where I'll make camp. As with 99% of my trips, I've never done that trail either so I'll know it once I've walked it.

    Since I've never hiked Rice Camp Trail I looked it up in one of my books and wanted to share its information with you.

    According to the book Rice Camp Trail is 3.9 miles long and the distance from the Jacks River Trail to the falls is 1.2 miles from the point where you ford the JRT. So it looks like the total one-way distance is just over 5 miles.

    To summarize the description from the book the Rice Camp Trail is most often a wide and wet trail that parallels a tributary of Rice Camp Branch. Rice Camp Trail is a very well used trail because it is a easy to moderate trail that leads right to the JRT and JRT Falls. You will cross the Rice Camp Branch at least nine times before reaching the Jacks River Trail junction. You will ford (yes ford) the Jacks River Trail one time and the falls will be 1.2 miles ahead to the right, east and upstream on the Jacks River Trail.

    So, it appears that you will get your toes or feet wet most of the way and will be in at least knee deep water when you ford the JRT.

    Highlights:

    Mile 1.1 on Rice Camp Trail: A small 8 to 10 foot high waterfall
    Mile 3.9 on Rice Camp Trail: Meet up with Jacks River Trail

    Good luck and have fun!
    Sherpa

  4. #4
    Senior Member stevebo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys!
    FYI: If you want to know what type a certain bear is, sneak up behind it and kick it. Then,
    run like crazy and climb up a tree. If the bear climbs the tree and eats you, it's a black
    bear. If the bear just pushes the tree over and eats you, it's a grizzly bear : )


    Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either, just leave me alone.
    --unknown

  5. #5
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    The Beech Bottom Trail has access to the Jacks River Falls without fording the river but it is a long drive on dirt roads to get there. Tim Homan's 2000 book "Hiking Trails of the Cohutta & Big Frog Wilderness" is a great resource. It is a little dated but likely not much has changed except the Sugar Cove Trail is out of commission.

    There is a web site (Georgia Hikes) that doesn't get much use anymore that a fellow by the name of Trail Frogs use to frequent and was very knowledgeable about the Cohuttas. http://georgiahikes.bubbatanicals.com/joomla/ You can also try that and see if he catches your questions.
    Youngblood AT2000

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