Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,380.00 ft (1,030.22 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
25.20 mi (40.56 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

On this challenging overnight backpack trip you will ford crisp, clear rivers and streams as you follow the Conasauga River deep into the Cohutta Wilderness. Rejuvenate your soul in the raw beauty and wildness of this remote, pristine river valley. This terrific wet and wild adventure will have you coming back to explore more of the wonders of the Cohutta Wilderness. Plenty of scenic backcoutry campsites can be found along the river, where the rush and gurgles of the river will lull you to sleep at night. Consider spending two or more days backpacking the trail as a gorgeous 25-mile out-and-back route, or park a shuttle car ahead of time and try to knock out the whole trail in a day.

Expect to get wet! You will ford the Conasauga River 38 times end-to-end. That makes 76 total fords on an out-and-back, and there are no bridges! Bring hiking poles or find a good walking stick to help when crossing. In the winter or dry seasons you may be able to rock hop across many of the crossings and stay dry, but don't count on it. It is also recommended to take a map and compass--trails in the Cohutta Wilderness, while well maintained, are not marked. It is easy to miss a turn and find yourself headed in the wrong direction. Once you find the Conasauga River, this trail is pretty easy to follow--the trick sometimes is finding where the trail exits the river after fording. Beware: River crossings can become dangerous after heavy rains, especially as you make your way further down river--be prepared in case heavy overnight rainfall leaves you stranded.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Days

2

Pros

River crossings. Remote wildness. Solitude.

Cons

River crossings. Unmarked trails. No cell service.

Trailhead Elevation

3,096.00 ft (943.66 m)

Highest point

3,096.00 ft (943.66 m)

Features

Fishing
Backcountry camping
Near lake or river
Wildlife

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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