Hiking Trails at Cloudland Canyon
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TWO-MILE BACKCOUNTRY LOOP TRAIL
Approximately 2 linear miles.
The Backcountry loop features Cloudland Canyon’s most inexpensive and secluded camping sites, situated within pristine hemlock groves. The trail passes through open woods, progressing down a moderate grade into a hollow, filled with spring and summer flowers. On the far end of the loop, a moderate climb brings hikers out of the hemlocks, back to level trail among oaks and hickories, and eventually back to the parking area.
Approximately 2 miles roundtrip.
The Waterfalls Trail begins on a paved section, at the main overlook, and progresses into the canyon on a 40-degree slope. Most of the trail consists of gravel and stairsteps, numbering over 1,200 in all. Both waterfalls cascade off sheer faces at 60 and 90 feet, and are among the most beautiful in the state. A strenuous and time-consuming, two-mile hike, swimming and climbing on rocks are strictly forbidden, and regulations are enforced.
WEST RIM LOOP TRAIL
Rated moderate to strenuous.
The West Rim Loop Trail is one of the most scenic hiking trails in the nation. Beginning at the Daniel Creek Bridge, and climbing out of the canyon onto the plateau, the trail provides magnificent views of Trenton, Georgia, neighboring Sand Mountain, and of Cloudland Canyon itself. Cottages, West Rim and Walk-In Camping areas are accessible via the West Rim Loop. Passing over varied terrain, most of the hike is moderately difficult, becoming strenuous on several short sections.
SITTON'S GULCH LOOP TRAIL
Approximately 2.5 linear miles.
Sitton’s Gulch Trail begins in the main overlook area as a part of the second waterfall trail, winding down stairsteps and officially beginning at the new Daniel’s Creek bridge. The trail follows Daniel Creek through open, green hemlock groves and overlooks numerous small waterfalls cascading through limestone crevaces. There are excellent spring wildflowers displayed in the loop section of the trail and the autumn color is magnificent. Sitton’s Gulch Trail is 2.5 linear miles long and considered strenuous due to several steep grades including 1,200 stairsteps.
LONG BRANCH TRAIL
5.6 miles one-way.
The Long Branch Trail is the first completed section of the Cloudland Connector Trail. Located approximately 11 miles from the park entrance, the Nickajack Rd. trailhead is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Although it currently ends at Hwy. 157 (no parking), the trail will eventually continue into the park. This multi-use trail is cooperatively managed by the Lula Lake Land Trust and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
5 POINTS RECREATION AREA CLOUDLAND CONNECTOR TRAILS
The 5 Points Recreation Area is comprised of 21 miles of combined single-track and multi-use trails. Passing through this area is the second section of the Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail.
• Section 1 (Long Branch) begins at the Nickajack Road Trailhead and extends 5.5 miles to Highway 157 crossing.
• Section 2 (5 Points) begins on the west side of Highway 157 and extends 3 miles to the Ascalon Road Trailhead.
• Section 3 (Price Branch) extends from Ascalon Road to Cloudland Canyon State Park and is slated for opening by the end of 2013.
Once completed, the Cloudland Connector Trail system will host close to 30 miles of trails that will be open to the public seven days a week year round. It is owned and managed by Cloudland Canyon State Park. The Lula Lake Land Trust and Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) built and will maintain the trails. Funded by a grant from The Lyndhurst Foundation.
5 Points Recreation Area Rules:
• No motorized vehicles.
• Trails are open from 7 AM to sunset, 7 days a week.
• Trail difficulties are marked at the beginning of each trail.
• Trails may be closed due to weather or construction. Obey any and all closures.
• Stay on marked trails only.
• Respect private property boundaries.
• Horses are limited to the Cloudland Connector (green dashed) and the Multi-Use trails (green & white dashed.)
Click on the map below to download a pdf file of the trail map brochure for Cloudland Canyon State Park.
Printed trail map brochures are also available at the park office.
© 2014 - Georgia Department of Natural Resources