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Coosa Backcountry Trail

 4.0 (1)
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12.3 Miles 19.8 Kilometers

3,371' 1,027 m


-3,287' -1,002 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (34°)

4,144' 1,263 m


2,022' 616 m


Shared By Jason Doedderlein


Minor Issues 12 days ago
Some Mud, Fallen Trees - A lot of trees down, mostly around slaughter mountain. History

Getting forecast...

A gorgeous singletrack stretch of southern Appalachia with plenty of elevation gain.

Jason Doedderlein

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife


The Coosa Backcountry Trail runs through rugged northern Georgia, northwest of Atlanta. It starts in Vogel State Park and then passes through Chattahoochee National Forest and Blood Mountain Wilderness Area. Many trail races and ultras include portions of this trail, including the GA Death March.

The singletrack trail passes through prototypical southern Appalachian forest and gives the hiker some serious, and steep, inclines.

You begin your adventure by heading to Vogel State Park. Head to the visitor center, where a map can be obtained (which can be helpful due to other intersecting trails), and begin to follow the green blazes. Near cabin number 7, there will be a sign guiding you to the right and to the trailhead.

The trailhead is the beginning of both the Coosa Backcountry Trail as well as Bear Hair Gap Trail. The trail follows the creek until it hits a dirt road. From here you can head right or left. This description will cover traveling right, or counter-clockwise.

Shortly after heading right on the dirt road, the green-blazed Coosa Backcountry Trail bears right while the Bear Hair Gap Trail splits to the left. The Coosa climbs to GA 180 (Wolf Pen Gap Rd). Cross 180 and begin to descend to W Wolf Creek where there is a small camp area.

Past the creek, another climb follows, before leveling out and heading to Calf Stomp Rd. Cross the road and climb toward the namesake of the trail, Coosa Bald, which will be on your right. For a time, Duncan Ridge Trail joins in the merriment.

There are some additional steep descents and ascents and a short stint on another dirt road, and you are only now getting to the midway point of this hike. The steepest climb comes after crossing GA 180 for a second time, as you head up the warmly named "Slaughter Mountain".

After the climb, continue to follow the green blazes and the Coosa Backcountry Trail until you rejoin with Bear Hair Gap Trail again, which will take you back to the trailhead with exhausted thighs and soaring spirits.


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Jan 1, 2018
Hilda Mills

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Richard Ezzard
St. Marys, GA
Richard Ezzard   St. Marys, GA
While hiking the Coosa Trail My wife, 8 month old German Shepherd and I were 10.8 miles into the Coosa trail. We just descended, from what I believe was Slaughter Mountain. Came onto a dirt road, Saw a Green and Blue rectangle. Took that trail for about 2-2.5 miles. Then was told that we still had the Coosa Bald. Across the street . Which we didn't take. We have already hiked about 13 plus miles. Stayed on the paved road. And walked towards The Vogel State Park. Where we saw a Park Ranger, whom offered us a ride, back to the Vogel State Park. All total we hiked 14.4 miles, on a trail that I thought was only 12.5 miles long? If we would have taken Coosa Bald. I'm guessing that we would have hiked over 18 miles? So my question is: The trail is advertised as 12.5 miles which I was up for. But the additional Coosa Bald. Would have really kicked our butts. So why is this trail advertised for 12.5 miles. When it's a lot longer? We followed the Green Rectangles. Where we became puzzled, was on the dirt road that had a Blue and Green Rectangle. Aug 17, 2018
Jason Doedderlein
Colorado Springs
Jason Doedderlein   Colorado Springs
Richard, Sorry it turned into more distance than you expected. If you do it again, use the app to track where you are at to make sure you are following the trail as outlined. This is not "advertised" as 12.5. The distance is from the GPS I used when running the trail. And from what I remember, the distance seemed right. I was following the AllTrails map, which has this loop at 11.8 miles (alltrails.com/explore/trail…). I am guessing you took a wrong turn somewhere and added some bonus miles. I do remember it being a bit tricky in spots and being glad I was following the path on my GPS. Anyway, I hope you are able to check it out again and have a better experience. I have great memories of this trail. Aug 17, 2018

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