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  1. #1
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    Backpacking Cohutta Wilderness- Trip Planning Question

    I've been wanting to backpack the Jacks River Trail in the Cohutta Wilderness area for some time now. I'd like to turn it into a loop if at all possible and would prefer not to have to shuttle cars or do an out and back trip. Does anyone have any experience hiking up there and know of any good loops you can make with other trails in the area? I've been looking through older posts but most seem to be point to point hikes. Thanks!

    -Jason

  2. #2
    Senior Member Str1der's Avatar
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    I've never been myself, but I've been planning a trip for a while now and have dug up some infor on the trails. There are a bunch that criss cross through the area, so it is indeed possible to make differeing loops of differeing lengths depending on where you start and what path you want to take. I did read a boyscout review on a loop involving JR Trail from the eastern trailhead, up to the falls, then retrace back on the same trail to the Penitentiary Branch Trail up to the Hemp Top and back to the trailhead. I think the total loop was somehting like 16.5 miles?
    "The Road goes ever on and on,
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow, if I can.
    Pursuing it with eager feet
    Until it joins some larger way
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say."
    ~Bilbo Baggins - LotR

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! I'll have to look into that.

  4. #4
    Senior Member otter's Avatar
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    I’ve done a lot of hiking up in the cohutta wilderness. There are several different trails you can take to make a loop. I got a map from national geographic for the cohutta wilderness that would help you plan your trip. So that may be something you could look into getting.
    God gave me two good legs and two good eyes I better use them.

  5. #5

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    The Cohuttas is a beautiful place
    Just got through doing a 20 mile loop on the Conasauga and panther creek falls area
    Be aware that the jacks river trail has 42 fords.
    You might also want to check out Tim holman's book on the Cohuttas if you don't have it
    Koh

  6. #6
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    be sure to check the forest service website---as of 2 years ago, there was a no camping zone around the falls--------probably still is. The website has a map showing where you cant camp This is from wilderness . net ##### Jacks River Falls Area #####

    This area is defined as the area within 300 feet of the Jacks River Falls, the area within 300 feet of Beech Creek, from the intersection of Beech Creek with Beech Bottom Trail downstream to the intersection of Beech Creek with Jacks River, or the area within 300 feet of the Jacks River Trail's first river crossing above the Jacks River Falls to the Jacks River Trail's first river crossing below the Jacks River Falls, and the area of land bounded by Beech Creek, Beech Bottom Trail, and Jacks River.

    This area is closed between sundown and sunrise, except from November 1 through March 31.

    Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

    Campfires are prohibited.

    Visitors must camp at designated campsites only in the Beech Bottom area from November 1 through March 31.

    Also, look up jacks river falls or cohutta wilderness on youtube---lots of videos of people jumping off the cliffs over the falls!
    Last edited by stevebo; 04-11-2013 at 09:12.
    “The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”
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  7. #7
    Senior Member otter's Avatar
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    They still don't want you to camp at Jack river falls but so far that's the only place I've seen they say no camping.
    God gave me two good legs and two good eyes I better use them.

  8. #8
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    Recently picked up the National Geographic map and that has a ton of info. I had heard about restricted camping near the falls but I don't see that being too big of an issue. I'm currently at school in Alabama so I only get up that way during breaks. Looking forward to some good hikes this summer.

  9. #9
    Senior Member otter's Avatar
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    I think the map will help you a lot it seems to be pretty dead on. It's helped on my hikes. Also the trails up there are marked with signs so you shouldn't get lost.
    God gave me two good legs and two good eyes I better use them.

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