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Duluth Massage

Emery Creek Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 5.0 miles Type of trail: Point to Point
County: Murray County, GA Our rating: D
Features: waterfalls, stream Your rating:
Usage: Added on: September 21, 1996
Last hiked: September 21, 1996 Updated on: February 01, 2009
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Directions to Emery Creek Trail

Emery Creek is somewhat of an enigma, apparently even to the Forest Service. Walking this trail in the late 80's it appeared as though the trail was no longer maintained. Discussions with a federal employee confirmed our beliefs. Today the trail has been resurrected, although the Forest Service describes it as "primitive."

The Cohutta Wilderness (Big Frog Wilderness in Tennessee), home to the trail, is the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi. A map and compass are recommended for this trail since it is still not blazed. The road that runs by the old Cherokee Grounds was once a major east-west route for the Cherokee and settlers who followed them. Follow the road into the camping area to the back end of the field to the parking area and trailhead.

The Cohuttas are a beautiful range, partly because of the dramatic drop from mountaintop to valley floor. The Emery Creek Trail offers experienced hikers a chance to walk these two geologically distinct area. Some of the oldest mountains on the planet, the Cohuttas give way to The Great Valley, start of a geological formation known as the Valley and Ridge. This at one time was a vast inland sea, and only the tops of the mountains to the west were visible.

Shortly after the trailhead the Emery Creek Trail begins a sharp descent. This portion of the path is narrow in places but easily followed. Over the first three miles of the trail it falls at least 1500 feet, probably more. The sharp descent eases as the trail joins Emery Creek and follows it for the rest of the journey. When the trail reaches an old dirt road turn right on the road then left a few feet down. When we last walked this trail in Oct., 1997, the second turn was not well marked.

From here the trail eases considerably. The creek must be crossed repeatedly and can be difficult at times. Two spur trails lead to waterfalls in this section. Emery Creek ends when it feeds into Holly Creek and follows this creek to the lower trailhead.

The last two miles of the trail can be difficult to follow because it is not marked. We had visited the lower trailhead and walked this portion twice before we tried to hike from the old Cherokee Campgrounds.

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Emery Creek Trail
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