Chattahoochee-Oconee

Georgia's Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests are said to be a hiker's paradise. Winding trails lead visitors through scenic mountains and rolling hills, by wild rushing rivers and cascading waterfalls

The forests are also said to lead visitors through the history books: Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto's futile search for gold, the United States' first frenzied gold rush. The Cherokee Indians' struggle to hold on to heir lands, and major battles of the Civil War.

Ten wildernesses, 1,367 miles of trout streams, and 430 miles of trails enrich the Chattahoochee National Forest. The famous 2,135-mile Appalachian Trail begins here and hardy hikers don't see the end until they reach Maine!

Drive along the Ridge and Valley Scenic Byway, which tours the Armuchee Ridges of the Appalachian Mountains. Several major Civil War battles were fought in this area, most of them centered around the railroad, which stretched from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia.

Across from the Armuchee Ridges lie the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lake Conasauga sits here, the States highest lake at more than 3,000 feet above sea level. This clear cool mountain lake is surrounded by white pines and eastern hemlocks.

Don't forget to stop at Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak at 4,784 feet. Trails traverse the mountain and the observation deck offers breathtaking panoramic views of mountains and valleys.

Unlike the tall peaks of the Chattahoochee, the Oconee National Forest is relatively flat with small hills. Visit Lake Sinclair, 15,300 acres, popular for swimming, fishing, boating, and camping. Near Lake Oconee, an easy 1-mile trail leads to one of Georgia's ghost towns, Scull Shoals.

If a wealth of trails is the hallmark of the Chattahoochee, bountiful game is the signature of the Oconee. There are also plenty of excellent fishing opportunities.

The unique features of Georgia's national forests make these land a place of exploration and wonder. They are unique lands rich with camping opportunities, history and spectacular scenery.

Map:


Chattahoochee-Oconee statistics

State(s):
Georgia

Nearest large Urban Area:
Atlanta

Notes & Conditions:
Check out trail and weather conditions before you head out. This page also contains information on off-highway vehicle use on the forest, so be sure to know the regulations before you fire up the engines.

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Permits, passes, fees:
Maps:
Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.

First-timer's adventure:
Go rafting!
The rivers of the Chattahoochee-Oconee offer excellent whitewater rafting opportunities. There are several outfitters in the area who can make the trip safe, fun and easy for the whole family. Rafting is exciting, and might not be for everyone. But if you're up for it -- it's the adventure of a lifetime!

Contact Info:
1755 Cleveland Highway

Gainesville, GA 30501

Phone: 770 297-3000

Forest Service website >>

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Share a specific hike, paddle, bike, or other activity in this forest.

August 22 2007 3:03 PM | Wayne Cash said…

Nice place to hike


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