Cohutta Wilderness Trailheads

Area Status: Open

The 37,000 acre Cohutta Wilderness contains 90 miles of hiking and backpacking trails, two of which follow the Jacks and Conasauga Rivers.  Trailhead parking lots located around the wilderness perimeter provide foot access to the trails.   Three Forks, Betty Gap, Chestnut Lead and Tearbritches Trailheads are open early March through December 31 each year due to winter road closures.  The trails associated with these parking areas remain open, but must accessed from alternate trailheads. Some trails are open to horses.  A map of the Cohutta/Big Frog Wilderness is available for $5, showing trails, topography, parking lots and access roads (purchase of map is strongly recommended).  Hikers and backpackers should leave a detailed trip plan with someone expecting their return since cell service is unpredictable in this mountainous area.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Beech Bottom Trailhead is currently inaccessible due to the closure of Forest Service Road 62.  Rice Camp and East Cowpen trails still have down trees from recent heavy storm systems.  Forest Service employees and volunteers will be working to clear this as soon as possible.  
Operational Hours: Trails are open year-round.  Some trailhead parking lots are inaccessible from January 1 through early March due to annual winter gate closures but the trails themselves remain open from other trailheads. The trailhead parking lots affected by winter road closures are Tearbritches, Chestnut Lead, Betty Gap and Three Forks.  This closure is in effect annually from January through early March.
Reservations: None required.
Fees: Free
Permit Info: No permits required to hike and backpack in the Cohutta Wilderness.  Please leave your trip plan with someone expecting your return.
Restrictions: Day Use only in the Beech Bottom/Jacks River Falls area from April 1 through October 31 each year.  Year-round campfire and alcohol ban in this closure area.  Call Conasauga Ranger District at 706-695-6736 for a map showing the restricted area.   NO CAMPING in trailhead parking lots!
Closest Towns: The closest towns are Chatsworth, Ellijay and Blue Ridge, GA.  Hikers and backpackers should shop for necessities before making the drive to wilderness trailheads.
Water: None
Restroom: None
Information Center: For more information, or to purchase a map of the Cohutta Wilderness, call the Conasauga Ranger District at 706-695-6736, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Day Hiking

Horse Riding

Some trails open to horses