|Trail Length: 3.6 miles||Type of trail: Loop|
|County: Walker County, GA||Our rating: Moderate|
|Features: scenic||Your rating:|
|Usage: Light||Added on: June 28, 1996|
|Last hiked: June 02, 2001||Updated on: February 01, 2009|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Walker County, GA
|John's Mountain Trail|
This trail starts with one of the best views of the "Ridge and Valley" section of north Georgia from the deck in the parking lot. It follows the high ridge top of Johns Mountain to the upper Keown Falls overlook, then returns to the Johns Mountain parking lot in a grueling mile, climbing some 800 feet.
From the trailhead walk straight ahead, towards a small building and tower antenna. On previous hikes the building has normally been a trash collection, but on our most recent hike it was clean. The well-worn ridgetop path is easily followed and occasionally marked with a blaze that I call white recta-squares (sometimes rectangles, sometimes squares). If you go a ways and haven't seen a blaze, don't worry.
The trail can be rocky in places. It is interesting to note the changes in the flora as the trail becomes rocky -- fewer, lower trees permit light that encourages lower-growing plants that at times choke the path. The ridgetop is wide with gently sloping sides except in three places where a steep, almost cliff-like slope drops sharply near the trail.
After 1.8 miles the gradual downward slope of the trail steepens, then the trail turns away from the ridge, heading down to a stepping stone crossing of two streams (one is frequently dry) and a wooden bridge over the creek that creates Keown Falls. The upper platform (2.55 miles) for Keown Falls offers a look down at the falls and another scenic view nearby Dick's Ridge. You may follow the Keown Falls path down to the lower platform for another view of these high mountain falls.
The return trip is a grueling mile climb along an old roadbed, rising about 80 feet every .1 mile, along what is probably a logging road, although it did seem fairly well developed. This portion of the trail is easily a "difficult" and could be a strenuous.
If you want to avoid the return trip, take two cars, park one a Keown Falls and one at Johns Mountain. Walk the ridge portion of the Johns Mountain Trail, then the Keown Falls Trail. Use the Keown Falls car to return to Johns Mountain trailhead.
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