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 sole and it will help prevent slipping on the rocks in the riverbeds. 


Jacks River Falls is located around two and a half hours North of Atlanta (Via I-75N & 411N) in Epworth, Ga.

Google Map Jacks River Falls Trail Head


I’ve never been to Jacks River Falls and NOT seen at least two copperheads, so definitely watch your footing. I’ve also seen a rattle snake, and countless non-venomous snakes. Also be mindful of them when you are in water, almost every time I’ve seen them they were on a rock in the center of the river. The last time that I was at the falls about halfway through the hike I saw a copperhead chasing a fish towards the center of the river.

As always make sure you are prepared to hang a bear bag, as bears, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, and wild boar are active in this area (I’ve seen 4 wild bore at Jacks River). I’ve never had a close encounter with a bear on this trail, but the signs at the trail head heed this warning.


What time of year you hike Jacks River will depend a LOT on what gear you choose, as crossing the river in the winter months would be extremely difficult. I’ve only had experience with this trail during the hot summer months because it’s an excellent trail if you want to have a nice swimming hole to enjoy during the heat of the summer, and also the river crossings (even though usually knee to waiste deep) help cool you off through the hike.

Here’s our (basic starting) gear list for Jacks River!

Pack – Osprey Kestrel 48 PackOsprey Hydration Pack (3 Liter)

Cooking – Jetboil Zip Cooking System,

Shelter – Eno HammockAtlas StrapsEno Bug NetEno Profly Rain Fly

These are the basics that I take on almost every trip, unless a tent or a bigger pack are needed. If you need any more info on gear for this (or any other trip) please feel free to send us a message on facebook or email us at ExploreNorthGa@gmail.com!


Photos below were taken from several different trips. Some taken with a Cannon Rebel XS, most taken with my GoPro Hero 5 Black.

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