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Duluth Massage

Pocket Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 2.5 miles Type of trail: Loop
County: Walker County, GA, Floyd County, GA Our rating: E
Features: stream, picnicking, camping Your rating:
Usage: Light Added on: January 01, 1997
Last hiked: October 22, 2011 Updated on: October 23, 2011
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Walker County, GA
Hiking trails in Floyd County, GA

Directions to Pocket Trail

This loop trail begins at the Pocket Picnic Area parking and ends in the Pocket Camping area. Walking the path counterclockwise, the Pocket Nature trail shares the treadway with the Pocket Trail for the first half-mile or so. While interpretive signs are placed throughout the trail, they are mostly during this portion. A sign introduces the trail, with a map and brief description of the area. This is a relatively wide path, with few attractions other than it is a nice, easy walk.

Puryear Farm in the Pocket
The Pocket refers to a geologic formation, and the most visible portion of the formation is actually at the turn to the recreation area. Covered, like most of Northwest Georgia by a vast sea, The Pocket was formed when water-soluble limestone underneath the ground was eroded and the ground dropped. The surrounding ridges, which contain iron ore remained with "pockets". Out West this type of formation is known as a "hole" and two of the most famous are Jackson Hole and Hole in the WallWhen advancing through the area during The Civil War, men under the command of General James Birdseye McPherson "discovered" the road, which was not on their maps. Because of this discovery, a great deal of concern was expressed in the Official Records about the accuracy of the maps.

There are two roadways into The Pocket. The northern road goes to the camping area, the southern road goes to the day use area. To hike this trail you should use the southern road. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, The Pocket, Keown Falls Trail and Johns Mountain Trail were constructed by Camp 3435, F-16, (listed as LaFayette, Georgia) over a four year period (1938 until early 1942). From the far end of the parking lot walk down to the trailhead near a gated road. Both the Pocket Trail and the recently added Pocket Interpretive Trail begin as a single-file, narrow path to the left.

Initially, this green-blazed trail climbs gradually through a oak/beech/maple forest with occasional hickory trees. Watch near the start as the trail rises in a hilly area, and a sinkhole forms to the right and is quickly 30 feet below the pathway. The geological feature bears close scrutiny. The softer structure under the sinkhole has collapsed and water from a tributary of Johns Creek fills the hole. A unique ecosystem thrives in the area near the hole.

After crossing three small bridges the trail opens up at a crossroads at 1.0 miles. The interpretive loop turns left and follows a wide, overgrown gravel road downhill to the trailhead. To hike the full 2.5 mile loop continue straight ahead.

For the first mile and a half the path stays on the inside ridge of the surrounding hills. After crossing the third bridge the path rises quickly, but a unnatural wall has been constructed, obviously sometime in the past. From the placing of the wall it would appear as though construction of a mill sluice was begun. After the wall the path curves and takes on a brand new character.

Now on the north side of the ridges the path is noticeably damper than earlier. Moss grows from the rocks and along the path. The path descends and then becomes almost flat for the rest of the journey.

At the end of the marked path take the camping service road to the left and follow it around to the picnic area. Cross both bridges and return to the picnic parking area.

The campground at The Pocket is very nice, with the sites well spaced and heavily forested. The picnic area is exceptional, but can be crowded on summer weekends. The entire park is closed at night. A note for hikers: The access road to Lake Marvin comes out of Sugar Valley and runs to Pocket Road. This windy, sometimes narrow road cuts a significant number of miles off the trip from Calhoun, however, it is dangerous. Use caution when driving.


Pages related to Pocket Trail
Pocket Trail
Directions to Pocket Trail
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Georgia Hikes
Your guide to hiking and walking trails in the state of Georgia

Article Links
Civilian Conservation Corps
James Birdseye McPherson
Johns Mountain Trail
Keown Falls Trail
Official Records
The Civil War

Georgia Trails
Georgia Trails Index
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