4 Best Hikes Near Clayton, GA
A wonderful addition to any whitewater rafting or zipline trip is a hike. Northern Georgia and South Carolina are home to the Blue Ridge Mountains, with stunning scenery that includes waterfalls, dense hardwood forests, and rhododendron thickets. Whether you’re planning a Wildwater trip on the Chattooga or are just driving through, we put together a list of our four favorite hikes so you can keep the stoke levels high and adventure lifestyle strong.
Best Hike for Less Crowds: Opossum Creek Falls Trail
Located deep in the heart of Sumter National Forest and near the end of the Chattooga River’s famous rapids lies Opossum Creek Falls. Opossum Creek Falls doesn’t get the renown — or the visitors — that the more popular Isaqueena or Yellow Branch falls get. But that doesn’t make it any less spectacular.
These falls feature a dramatic 50-foot drop that cascades through the woods over a series of rocky ledges. The 4-mile round-trip hike meanders through a pleasant trail shaded by a variety of hardwoods and bordered by wildflowers. Once you reach the Chattooga River, you will travel along a heavily vegetated path and scramble around rocks and trees until you reach the base of the waterfalls.
Alternatively, you can reach these falls by taking a rafting trip down Section 4 of the Chattooga River with Wildwater.
Best Hike for Middle-of-the-Road Hikers: Long Creek Falls
Looking for a moderate hike that’s well-rounded for all types of hikers? Then Long Creek Falls is for you. This 2-mile round-trip hike explores one of the most beautiful stretches of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. The trail takes you through the lush Three Forks creek valley dense in hemlock, tulip poplar, and rhododendron.
Best Hike for When Time is of the Essence: Brasstown Falls
If you’re short on time and want to pack four waterfalls into one hike, then head on out to Brasstown Falls. In just 1 mile, you will be greeted with three cascades that fall 120 feet.
The first of the falls — Brasstown Cascades — is a short, easy jaunt. The other two falls — Brasstown Veil and Brasstown Sluice — are not as easy to access due to exposure and scrambling. Regardless of whether you see just the cascades or brave the trek to see all three waterfalls, Brasstown Falls is a great spot to visit.
Best Hike for Trailblazers: Bartram Trail
The Bartram Trail is a 102-mile long trail that is an homage to William Bartram, a pioneer of wilderness preservation and exploration. Between the years of 1773 and 1777, Bartram traveled the Southeastern United States, documenting and illustrating species of plants and animals previously unknown to western civilization. The trail travels through North Carolina and Georgia. The Bartram Trail is perfect for the hiker who is looking for a taste of history and a longer trek.
During your Chattooga visit, you can hike a portion of the Bartram Trail or turn it into a 35-mile backpacking trip through Georgia. We provided helpful links to some of the hikes you can take on the Bartram Trail below:
5.5 Miles: Chattooga River Trail from Russel Bridge
20 Miles: Willis Knob via Chattooga River Trail and Bartram Trail
35 Miles: Bartram Trail Georgia Portion