Hike the Beech Bottom Trail to Jacks River Falls

Hike the Beech Bottom Trail to Jacks River Falls

Beech Bottom Trailhead

Distance

9 Miles

Elevation Gain

315 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Dog Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole

Discover Jacks River Falls, a gem deep in the Cohutta Wilderness and then reward yourself with a cool dip in its pools.

Jacks River Falls is one of Georgia's most impressive waterfalls.  Containing several cascades that combine to an 80 foot waterfall, this destination provides spectacular views and refreshing pools to take a dip in.  You can approach the falls from either Jacks River Falls trail or the Beech Bottom trail, but in this article I will outline only the Beech Bottom trail.

The Beech Bottom trail starts at the Beech Bottom trailhead, and continues with mild to medium elevation change for the entire 4.5 miles to the falls. The trailhead parking lot can get crowded so get there early! Not only is the Beech Bottom trail half the distance of the Jacks River Falls trail, but it is also much drier, with only a couple small creek crossings. The majority of this trail is wedged into the mountainside, so you should be able follow this curvy route without any complications with navigation.  You may find a fallen tree or two hindering the path, but you should have no trouble working your way around them.  

The one part of the trail that could be easy to mis-navigated is almost 4 miles into the hike. You will be hiking on a gentle downhill slope and a trail goes straight, continuing SE, and a sharp turn will take you back in the WNW direction. Take that sharp turn and you should see a sign indicating "No Horses Beyond This Point". When you see that sign, you are just minutes away from the waterfalls, so follow along the Jacks River the rest of the way.  

The view from every level of the falls is incredible and unique both upstream and down the valley. Explore up and down the cascades with caution, as the wet rocks can be especially slippery. The upper-most cascade has a great refreshing pool you can take a dip in and even a 7 foot mini-cliff that you can take a leap off of. This is the perfect way to cool down on a warm summer day.  

If you continue on the trail past the falls for about 30 yards, you will find a steep and narrow side trail straight down to the river, where you can see the magnitude of the waterfall from ground level. Take extra care here, as these steep passages can be wet and very slippery.

After you have taken it all in and seen the falls from every angle possible, it is time to head back the exact same way you came. Lastly, poison ivy is abundant on either side of the trail on both sides, so if you are sensitive to it just be sure to wear pants.  Enjoy this incredible spectacle deep in the Cohutta Wilderness!

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $194/night

Under Canvas Great Smoky Mountains

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Best Waterfall In The Area

By far the best waterfall I am aware of in the area. Only let down is you aren't allowed to camp near the falls. The fall look beautiful when water levels are high and the hike in and out on beech bottom trail does not disappoint! Highly recommend this hike for anyone in the area that has the time.

Distance

9 Miles

Elevation Gain

315 Feet

Activities

Photography, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

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