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Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
4,127.00 ft (1,257.91 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
19.50 mi (31.38 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.

Looking for a solid hike with elevation gain and a rewarding panoramic vista at the top? Grassy Mountian provides all of that and more when climbing from the Emery Creek Trail. This loop meanders along Holly and Emery Creeks, then spirals around and up to the fire-tower summit of Grassy for a 4,000-foot adventure.

The trailhead begins off Old CCC Road. Look for an established dirt parking lot and a sign board marking the area. Within the first mile the trail crosses the creek six times! Green blazes mark the other side of water crossings where the trail goes. In winter and dry periods, all of these crossings can be carefully rock-hopped. However, be prepared for wet feet in the spring, summer, and after any rain. This rocky creek area has dozens of beautiful cascades and miniature waterfalls to watch.

Stay in-tune with the trail map because there are several side trails along the way that lead to the middle of nowhere and can be mistaken for the loop route. Along the way there will be many forest service gates that may be locked on the winter and spring. Parts of this trail are shared with off-highway vehicle routes, and while they close seasonally to vehicles, hikers are welcome any time of the year.

The trail weaves around the middle of the mountain, dipping into and back out of gulleys with small streams. It eventually turns up and climbs a rocky ridgeline up to the top. The official trail dumps out on Forest Service Road 49 to get to the summit, although just after the boulder field is the trail crest, and a bit of bushwhacking can cut off some unnecessary distance to the top. Just keep an uphill direction to run into the road to the fire tower.

Upon reaching the firetower on top, enjoy a spectacular vista at the trail's highest elevation. Although the top deck is locked, a climb up the steps reveals views of the Cohutta Mountains to the east and the town of Chatsworth to the west. It's literally all downhill from here.

To return, follow the tower road back down the mountain. Several established campgrounds are along the way, and a short distance away is Lake Conosagua with many more recreation opportunities. The return trail for this loop is an abandoned and overgrown forest road. Look for it on the right hand side; it is NOT the gated road, but rather it has several large trenches dug across the entrance. Small trails follow the sides of the old road bed to avoid rock and fallen tree obstacles, but stay within it's sight so as not to get lost. An unmarked intersection is just before reaching the loop return point, and you can follow it to the right over another series of man-made trenches (there to keep vehicles out). Upon making it back to the loop point, return the same way to Emery Creek and the parking area.

While this trail is short enough to hike in a single day, it also makes for a good overnight trip. Plenty of camping is available at both backcountry and established campgrounds.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

360-degree view at the top. Solitary. Plenty of water.

Cons

Creek crossings. Shared OHV trail.

Trailhead Elevation

965.00 ft (294.13 m)

Highest point

3,694.00 ft (1,125.93 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Waterfalls
Near lake or river

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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