A Word to the Wise…
These roads may be closed, so before you depart call the USFS at 706-695-6736 for latest road conditions. See the USFS web site at www.fs.usda.gov. The law of the forest is “leave no trace.” Please pack in all you will need and pack out all your trash. If you build a fire, never leave it unattended. Use good judgment when hiking, particularly around waterfalls where rocks are often wet, moss covered and slippery.
In Fannin County the Cohuttas rise in the west and the Blue Ridge to the south and east. The Cherokee Indians considered the Cohuttas to be the "poles of the shed," holding up the sky in this, their "Enchanted Land." Although there were no Cherokee villages within the Cohutta wilderness, Cherokees hunted the area extensively and played their own version of field hockey on the ballfields at Little Bald Mountain, today’s group camping area. The Cohutta Wildlife Management Area (WMA) encompasses 95,000 acres, 40,000 of which are within Fannin County. The Cohutta Wilderness is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River, a rare and beautiful place seen by few people. The area is inhabited by black bears and wild boars, along with smaller animals like bobcats, coons and squirrels. The changing seasons bring blooms to rhododendron, mountain laurel and a profusion of wildflowers. This is a 3 hour trip through the forest without stops, but you will want to stop and enjoy the view, take a hike and picnic at beautiful Lake Conasauga.
Your vehicle needs to be in good mechanical condition with adequate fuel. Low clearance cars are generally a bad idea on these rough roads. Get a USFS Chattahoochee Forest and Cohutta Wilderness map. You may want to carry some food and drink. You will average only about 15 to 20 miles per hour on the steeper or more winding gravel Forest Service Roads. You will start from the intersection of GA Hwy 5 and the Appalachian Hwy (515) at McDonald’s and will return to the same spot. Set your odometer to zero.
You can download a copy pf this guide in its original PDF format here.