Hiking in the Cohutta Wilderness Area

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Post by Guests » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:32 pm

Hiking in the Cohutta Wilderness Area

Planning a vacation near the Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee borders? Well, located within the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia is where you will find the Cohutta Wilderness Area. Comprised of over 40,000 acres of mountains, forest, and hiking trails this wilderness area is just waiting to be explored.

The Cohutta Mountains, some of the oldest mountains anywhere in the world, range from the county of Fannin in Georgia all the way to the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, where you have probably heard them referred to as the Smoky Mountains.

Due to extreme logging in the area from about 1900 until World War II, the federal government proceeded to take control of the land in the 1940's and, thanks to the Wilderness Act of 1964, activities such as logging are no longer permitted there.

This popular area contains a total of 13 trails resulting in almost 90 miles of unique hiking opportunities. There are two rivers, the Jacks and the Conasauga, that flow all through these mountains, thereby forming the major valleys of this area on the west and east sides. Now, the flora is abundant in the river valleys where a big range of plant life thickly covers any of the land that gets a lot of sun. However, as the trails go up the mountains, there is less vegetation because the trees keep out the sun.

The Jacks River Trail is definitely the most popular one in the Cohutta Wilderness Area as it goes across the entire area and intersects just about all of the other trails. It is said that this trail was named after a Cherokee Indian who lived in the mountains. Jacks River Falls is the highpoint of this trail and is 60 feet high! Be prepared to get soaked when you hike this trail. It fords the river over 40 times and, at some of the crossings, the water comes up to your waist. All of the crossings can be complicated when there is really high water.

Two other trails are the Beech Bottom Trail, which is associated with the lower third of the river, and the Penitentiary Branch Trail, which does hit the river about halfway. The Beech Bottom Trail is a gradual long climb that is considered to be easy and the Penitentiary Branch Trail is extremely difficult and quite steep.

The only two places where you are not allowed to camp in the Cohutta Wilderness Area are at a trailhead or on a trail. If you are thinking about horses, yes, they are allowed on a lot of the trails, but not all of them. Keep in mind that there are regulations that prohibit the removal of plants or wildlife from this area. The ecosystem of this area is specially balanced and can only stay that way if man does not interfere with it.

If you are able to abide by these regulations, then hiking in the Cohutta Wilderness Area is going to be both an exciting and memorable experience. Make your plans to spend your next vacation in this extraordinarily beautiful area located within the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia. You will be so glad that you did!

Gina is the owner of Bear Den Cabin Rentals LLC. She manages cabins for private owners in North Georgia. Be sure to visit her Georgia vacation rental website

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gina_Bennett

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