Smith Creek, Unicoi State Park

This past weekend we decided to hit up Smith Creek in Unicoi State Park, one of our favorite small streams to fish! About Smith Creek Smith Creek is a great stream to fish when you’re looking for somewhere with relatively easy access that’s not a terribly far drive from Atlanta. It’s located off Unicoi Bottoms Rd just a few miles outside of Helen, Ga. Smith Creek is a heavily stocked stream where you will find many spots filled with rainbow trout that range in size anywhere from 8 inches to 16 inches in length. It’s a very well known stream, so be sure to arrive early to get to the better spots. Gear Smith Creek is a bit of a small stream, so there’s not a whole lot of room for fly casting. Hannah and I took this trip and both used 9 foot 5 weight rods and had no issues, but it was a bit of a challenge in certain spots to not get hung up in trees and brush. If available I would highly recommend a 6-7 foot 3-5 weight rod. Amazon has several good deals for getting started such as this Wild Water 5wt 9’ Rod 7 Piece …

Jacks River Falls, Cohutta Wilderness

Our Experience on the Trail & Terrain Jacks River Falls is hands down one of my favorite trails to hike, as it can be one of the most fun trails in Georgia, as well as one of the most challenging. The first time that I hiked Jacks River Falls was around a year and a half ago and I honestly had no idea what I was getting into. River crossings, several steep inclines, rocky trails, lots of wildlife, and some of the most beautiful stargazing that I’ve ever seen. All in all, this trail gives you the best experience on Georgia trails that you can get, at least as far as trails that I’ve hiked. Jacks River Falls trail has a wide variety of terrain, but it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s about a 10 mile hike to the falls from the trail head, and you must cross the river 22 times in order to get to the falls. The rocks in the riverbed are a bit of a challenge to cross without falling to say the least. **If you have an old pair of hiking boots that are still usable, glue felt onto the bottom of the …

The Wild and Scenic River, Chattooga River Trail

 Our Experience on the Trail Per my experience, I’ve hiked in around 7 miles to a wide section of the river with an amazing campsite directly on the river bank. Just upstream of the campsite are nice wading waters that don’t get much more than waist deep but mostly stays around knee deep. Just downstream is a nice deep section with large rocks on the bank. The deep section is amazing for swimming, and the large rocks make an excellent spot for stargazing after sunset. I would highly recommend the Chattooga River Trail to anyone looking for a moderate hike for a weekend, as the hike is not too hard, and only takes 3 to 4 hours depending on pace and experience. It’s a great trail if you’re looking to spend the majority of your time relaxing at camp and hanging out by the river. Across the river directly from where I usually camp is the Chattooga River Raft put-in section, as well as a few more campsites if you ever feel adventurous enough to cross the river with your gear. I actually did this about a year ago, and keeping your balance in the river with all of your …

How to get amazing photos on the trail, without carrying a huge camera setup…

Over the years I’ve always struggled with getting good photos of my backpacking and camping trips. I’ve had a Canon DSLR (I have the Rebel XS) for years with several different lenses that takes phenomenal photos, but it got to the point that I just didn’t want to fool around with having to put it all in dry bags, or even worse deal with the weight of the camera itself.  Although the camera isn’t that heavy, it still took its toll on long trips, and I had to sacrifice a lot of room for it. I’ve always seen people using GoPros in surfing videos, travel videos, out on boats… you get the point. With seeing these videos over and over for who knows how long, I finally decided to take the step and give the GoPro a try. Conveniently I made this decision shortly after the Hero 5 Black was released. The first time I took it out on the trail with me I realized what an amazing decision I had made. It’s small, lightweight, easy to pack (or even put in your pocket), waterproof, and there are so many accessories that you can get for it. Out of all of …