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Topic: Beech Bottom to Jacks River Falls, Backcountry Camping< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Drift Woody Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 25 2013, 11:04 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looking to take a liesurely overnighter to the Jacks River Falls next month. Info says backcountry camping allowed Nov 1 - March 31 in designated campsites in the Beech bottom area. Willing to hike a bit farther for a good campsite but my hiking partner on this one is a little creaky in the joints, so nothing too strenuous.

Anyone familiar with the designated campsites in Beech Bottom, or something else nearby that doesn't stretch the rules too far?


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cgaphiker Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 12:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The last time that I was there camping wasn't allowed between the river crossings above and below the falls. That may have changed by now as it's been a couple of years. It's an easy hike. About 3 miles or so.
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gunslinger Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 6:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are about 8 designated sites close to the falls if I remember correctly.

If you go a half a mile west of the falls there are a couple of really nice sites on the river.

That's a good moderate to easy hike and in the past I passed a couple of 80 year old men taking there time and working there way down to the falls.

It's a very popular trail, with lots of day hikers.

The forest is naked right now, about as bare as it gets... but we've had plenty of rain and the falls should be roaring.


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Drift Woody Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 7:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks gunslinger, those sites on the river sound nice -- do you have to ford the Jacks to reach them?

Also, how's the road to the trailhead? My little car doesn't have much ground clearance.

Glad to hear the falls are roaring! My buddy has been out of the country a few years, and we'll be working our way up from Atlanta to Chattanooga, Knoxville, then Nashville, doing some hikes and checking out historical sites (war of northern aggression  :;): ) along the way. Plan to hit Laurel-Snow for the first time and Virgin Falls for the 2nd, among others.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 8:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Beech Bottom, really an old road blocked to vehicular traffic, is the most easily walked trail in the Cohutta Wilderness. it is also the only trail that leads 
to the most scenic single feature in the wilderness- 
the wildly churning Jacks River Falls-without forc- 
ing hikers to ford the Jacks at least once. These two 
facts predictably account for another: Beech Bottom 
is the most heavily used trail in the Cohuttas."
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Drift Woody Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 9:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, I read that exact paragraph during my research, and though I'd really like to explore the wilder areas of Cohutta on a multi-day trip it's not going to be in mid-March with a hiking partner who is even older & creakier than I am  :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 9:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Drift Woody @ Feb. 26 2013, 9:29 am)
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Yes, I read that exact paragraph during my research, and though I'd really like to explore the wilder areas of Cohutta on a multi-day trip it's not going to be in mid-March with a hiking partner who is even older & creakier than I am  :)

I just posted that to answer your question about no river crossings on the Jacks for this trail.

You'll have a good fun trip & the falls will be worth seeing in person. I'd just get to the trailhead early to avoid the crowds especially if its a nice weather day on a weekend, because there will def be many dayhikers around midday down there.

Have a fun time!
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 2:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks, I knew the trail to the falls doesn't require fording the Jacks, but was asking whether fording was necessary to reach the campsites gunslinger mentioned that are a half mile west on the river.

We will most likely be doing this on a week day, though we're going to play this trip by ear (and weather). The objective is to have a good time and relax (which includes some backcountry camping without having to pound big trail miles).


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 26 2013, 9:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

No, you won't have to ford the river, but there is a small creek down in the bottoms that's usually ankle deep.

My last trip was in December and the roads were passable but they were starting to get some pot holes.

Big Frog loop road is just that, a loop, off of pevine/sheed's creek road.  The turn on to the southern part of the loop is the way you want to go....I couldn't make the turn pulling my horse trailer and took the route from the north and sections of the road from that direction were somewhat rough.  I see some fairly low smaller cars in the area and don't think you'll have any problem provided you go slow and take your time.

I checked some old gps logs and the campsite I'm thinking about is at 16 S 721064 3872192.  It has gentle slopeing sandy access to the river and a deep hole in case the polar bear urge hits you.  This one is open to camping year round, as it's just out side the 1/2 mile rule.

That said, you'll walk past most of the Nov to March campsites before you get to the falls and all of them are really pretty nice.

PM me with an email address and I'll send you the gps logs from the Jacks as well as from the Beech Bottom trail.


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Drift Woody Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 27 2013, 10:51 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks gunslinger, I'm sure I'll have no problem finding my way with the info at hand. My GPS unit crapped out and repair/replacement is doubtful for this trip.

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Tipi Walter Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 8:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I just pulled an 18 day trip in the Cohutta and tied the Big Frog to the Cohutta two ways---down Hemp Top on the BMT to Watson Gap/Pinhoti to Buddy Cove Gap and a roadwalk to 3 Forks Mt to Hickory Ridge back to Jacks  ---

And using Beech Bottoms trail up to FS 62 for a short roadwalk to Chestnut Mt and Wolf Ridge back into the Frog.  Here's my last trip report---

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/141187.html


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 01 2013, 7:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

18 days -- that's quite an expedition, thanks for the pics & narrative!

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 02 2013, 8:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I never did answer your question---about camping during the off season close to the Falls.  There are 6 total "allowed" camping sites from Nov 1 to March 31 and so you're good to go if you leave this month.  There are 4 campsites on the Jacks at the Beech Bottom jct and they are clustered on the north bank near the two "ridge" crossings---the one over to Hickory Ridge and the one up to Rough Ridge.  

My one and only crossing of the trip happened at the Hickory Ridge jct and what is normally mid calf deep became crotch deep but easy.  I camped on the other side next to a big fire ring I called Jacks Beach Camp.

There's also a great camping spot up on Beech Bottoms at the trail crossing over Beech Creek---it's got a fire ring too.

Sadly, there's a giant campsite next to the Falls where Beech Creek joins the river but it is apparently off limits although I'm sure many people use it and get cited by the rangers.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 11 2013, 8:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I made it over that way yesterday....rode the Iron Mountain Trail up to Doogans firetower, (which isn't there anymore) then down to the Conasauga River and back along the Conasauga River Trail.

Ladd Springs road is in pretty good shape, several large potholes near the Jack's River Trail head.

The water is high, probably 6 inches or so above normal....got my feet wet crossing the river on horse back.

Also, from Doogans firetower, I could see a large fire burning due south, possibly around Sumac Creek.  It didn't appear to be in the wilderness area.   There was another small fire burning south of the Jacks River Bridge, along the county line trail.  

The forest is naked....about as bare as it can be with little sign of spring.  The wind has been high.  Be careful with fire....not sure if there's a fire ban, but from what I've seen this weekend, there probably should be.


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13 replies since Feb. 25 2013, 11:04 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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