10 Favorite Hiking Trails near the Ocoee River

by | Cherokee National Forest, Ducktown, Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Ocoee

Fall is the best time to hike. Temperatures are cooler, making it a pleasant trek through the forest, while a summer hike can be a refreshing reprieve from the heat. Tree canopies, flowing creeks, rivers, and waterfalls can keep you cool. And, of course, a white water rafting adventure with Carolina Ocoee can bring those temperatures down after a morning hike. We’ve put together a list of our 10 favorite hiking trails near the Ocoee River. Book a trip with us and have a fun filled day of hiking and rafting in Ducktown, Tennessee.

Benton Falls Trail

benton falls hiking trail near ocoee river signs

Benton Falls Trail is a 3 mile round trip to a beautiful 65 foot waterfall in the Cherokee National Forest at the Chilhowee Recreation Area . Bug spray seems to be in order for this trail. Lots of gnats swarming on the path. Most consider it an easy to moderate hike but the trail can get muddy with lots of rain. Also, the trail down to the falls is somewhat steep. Enjoy the trail but hike safely! Scenic beauty is always worth the hike.


Beech Bottom Trail

two signs for beech bottom trails near ocoee

Beech Bottom is named for the grove of beech trees found in the area. The trail is a moderate hike with uphill and downhill climbs. It’s about 9 miles in and out and will take a little more than 3 1/2 hours to complete. If you’re looking for a longer day hike this would be a perfect trail for that activity. 


Ocoee River Loop

ocoee river trail loop in summer

The Ocoee River Loop trail is in Copperhill, Tennessee near the Ocoee River. It’s nearly a 10 mile challenging hike and takes about 5 hours to complete. It’s a fairly quiet hike and you’re not likely to encounter a lot of other people. The hike starts uphill then winds through the Little Frog Wilderness. Plenty of nature will delight you as you trek through this wooded area. 


Emery Creek Falls Trail

emerey creek falls trail near ocoee river

Emery Creek Falls Trail is a 5 mile in and out hike located in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Ellijay, Georgia about 30 minutes from the Ocoee River. It’s considered moderately challenging and has a few river crossings so don’t attempt to cross when the water is high. The trail leads to a waterfall worth seeing. It’s a great hike, but be sure and wear water shoes with good tread on the bottom for the water crossings. Use caution while hiking this trail; it’s not always marked or blazed. Looking for a challenge? This is it!


Indian Creek Loop

green trees at forest creek trail near ocoee river

Indian Creek Loop is a 35 mile loop for those who want a longer hike. It can be completed in one day if you start early, like at 6 a.m. and hike until 8 p.m.. We would suggest camping out and roasting marshmallows and singing around the campfire or telling stories for one night, then hit the rest of the trail the next morning. Indian Creek Loop is not a traditional hiking trail, more of a dirt road in the forest, but should still be enjoyable. It’s also a great biking trail if you would rather ride than hike.


Stone Wall, Stone Tower, and West Overlook Trails Loop

sign for stonewall tower trail and overlook trail

Only 40 minutes from the Ocoee River, the Stone Wall Stone Tower West Overlook at Fort Mountain loop is a 1.5 mile out and back hike near Chatsworth, Georgia and takes about an hour to hike. It’s moderate to challenging so if you’re looking for a workout, this is it. Throw in pretty views and a decommissioned tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to spot fires 40 miles away, and it’s a recipe for a perfect hike. Hike further and you’ll come across some ancient ruins rumored to be constructed by what the Cherokee call the Moon-eyed People who could see better at night than the day. The wall dates back to 500-1500 AD but its true origin remains a mystery.


Conasauga Falls Trail

forest trail in fall near carolina ocoee river

The road up to the Conasauga Falls Trail is a bit rough, you might not want to try it without a four-wheel drive, but the waterfalls at the end of the hike are worth the trip. Drive only as far as you safely can. This out and back trail is a little more than a mile long and takes an average of 45 minutes to complete. It’s moderately challenging because of rough terrain and the uphill climb coming back.


Gahuti Trail

gahuti trail near ocoee river in summer

This nearly 8 mile trail near Chatsworth, Georgia is considered a peaceful but tough hike and takes about 4 hours to complete. It’s a popular place for backpacking and camping. Several scenic views and waterfalls make the trip worth it. It’s part of the Fort Mountain State Park trails. There are several trails in the area to choose from. Hike one, or stay a little longer in the area and hike them all.


Old Copper Road Trail

old copper road trail near ocoee river

The Old Copper Road Trail is a beautiful walk along the Ocoee River in Copperhill, Tennessee. It’s about a 5 ½ mile in and out trail considered to be a moderate to challenging hike, though some consider it a leisurely trip with chances to swim or play in the water if you would like.


Thunder Rock Trail

sign for thunder rock trail and benton mackaye trail near ocoee

Thunder Rock Trail is a short out-and-back trail that should only take you about an hour and a half to hike. It’s an uphill climb, but all downhill on the way back. If it’s solitude you crave this trail would be perfect for you because it’s seldom hiked by others. It’s a quiet nature hike–a chance to get out in the woods for some fresh air and peace.

Other Hiking Trails

At Carolina Ocoee we love to hike and we try to get out whenever we can. With the right attitude going in, the wilderness brings you a feeling of well-being. Let the outside world melt away as you listen to nature and smell the flowers and greenery along a mountain trail. Enjoy a hike and don’t forget to book your white water rafting adventure with us before you leave!

Margaret Marr, is a local author of paranormal, mystery, and suspense laced with romance. She has written over 15 books available on Amazon. 


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