Are you considering a trip to Emery Creek Falls?
This trail is a good workout with several BEAUTIFUL MUST SEE locations along the trail. This report will give you all the details of our trip and the route we took.
Important Trip Facts and Advice
Our Essential Equipment Taken
Trekking Poles – We took 1 trekking pole each which is typical for our day hikes. – The poles me and Rachel both use are Black Diamond Trekking Poles
Lunch / Snacks
First Aid Kit / Snake Bite Kit
1 ) Most people start in at the Old CCC Camp Rd area which is only 2-3 miles to the lower waterfalls. This report does not cover this section.
If you start from here the trip should be rated as easy.
2) We did an in and out hike from the Emery Creek Trailhead located by the group campsite off of Conasuaga Lake Rd aka Forest Rd 3280. The total mileage on our trip was around 9.5 total based on our tracking.
If you start here the trip is intermediate to strenuous depending on your level of fitness.
3) Alternatively, You could also bring 2 cars. In this case, I recommend you start at the Conasuaga Lake Rd trail head and your entire hike should be mostly a lower descent to Old CCC Camp Rd.
If you take 2 cars this trip is all down hill but due to distance I would rate it as light intermediate.
This trip was found in a book that we have called the Explorer’s Guide 50 Hikes in the North Georgia Mountains. We decided to go on a Saturday morning. So me, Rachel, and Bella woke up around 8 am and started out preparations for the trip.
This was only a day hike and the book stated that it was approximately 7.5 miles. As is usual with our trips this number was just a wheeee bit under the actual amount of mileage that alltrails calculated on the maps by the end of the trip. However, we planned plenty of time for the trip and was on the road by 9:15 am. The longest part of the driving starts when you reach the gravel roads. We came in on Mill Creek Rd. We turned right onto Cow Pen Rd and then left onto Lake Conasauga Rd. This took up to the trail head of tear britches and the group camping site.
There is a sign that lets you know that the Emery Creek trail is ahead.
This camping site regularly has folks camped out in it. Fun fact from a local hiker: this site used to be a Cherokee Indian pow wow site.
So we got our gear out and headed up the official trail head. This first leg of the trip is all down hill which makes it fairly easy. There are a number of scenic spots along this section that you would not see if you only came in through the bottom. The trail itself is easy to see, marked, and you should have no issues knowing which way to proceed.
This first little miniature waterfall. This was one of my favorite spots on the trip. This little pool of water was flowing strong. We stopped for a few minutes both on the way in and back out.
Another view of this peaceful spot above. After a few minutes we were on our way again. There were several plants which were out. This is a photo of a flower that caught my eye along the trail.
And this little mushroom also caught my attention along the way as well.
This next photo I had a lot of hope that it would come out very unique looking. These red branches were hanging down with a little insect on them.
It was really much better looking and more fascinating in person then the picture shows. Its these little moments which are why I really enjoy the outdoors. The views, wildlife, and plant life are so vibrate in the wild.
As we went along the trail the water crossings started to become a little deeper each time.
I would suggest if you are starting at the bottom of the trail to bring water shoes if you have them. Where we started at it wasn’t a requirement but it might of been helpful to have them for some of the crossings that were closer to the waterfall. Rachel took her shoes off for 2 of the crossings.
As you are taking the trail you will eventually come to an intersection with a forest service road. You will turn left here and then you will take a right turn very quickly after that. Be sure to look for this turn as the sign post is on the ground. We missed it initially and I noticed on the All Trails Map that we were soon going off course so we had to double back. This was the only section that was even slightly confusing. The trail is well cleared and easy to follow for the most part.
As we traveled further down we soon started to hear the roar of the upper emery creek falls. There is a side path that branches down to the top of this lower fall. We took this path following a small group of fisherman. There is a smaller set of falls above the main upper falls that I managed to grab a few photos of.
Bella was enjoying our small break here.
We looked for a way to view the upper falls but there was no clear path. The only possible way we saw was to scurry down the embankment. It looked a semi-trail where people have went this way before was visible. Still we determined the foliage would be blocking the view even if we climbed down the embankment. I would imagine though that in the fall or wintertime when the leaves have fallen you can gain a nice view of this waterfall. Here is a view from above it.
So we moved onward towards the lower falls. This is where you will run into the most people during the trip. As we approached the falls there were at least 4 people already there along the bottom. There is also a side trail that goes to the top of the falls. Someone had actually put their tent right up against the water at the top. Plenty of people also appeared to be at the top as well.
We settled into a spot with a nice view of the falls. We took our lunch, enjoyed the moment, and watched the falls. The emery creek falls definitely ranks as a really great waterfall.
And if the trip we took seems to strenuous its take the lower entrance. Even beginners should be able to hike in to view.
After lunch, we packed up and grabbed a few more photos. After that it was time to start the hike back up. And UP it was. You don’t have to take this route but part of the reason we do these trips is to test ourselves and do the strenuous sections. It turns out while the trip back is up the entire way its not overwhelming. Your ascent is for the most part gradual. You’ll definitely be getting a workout but we have been on tougher stretches.
The trip did turn out longer in distance then what the sign or book said. We clocked in around 9.9. This includes the side trails, and the small section we missed the right hand turn.
We finished up the day. Entered the group camp site and made our way back to my truck. The emery creek trail was well worth spending our Saturday. I hope and encourage you to take a trek along this trail in the Cohutta wilderness. Maybe next time I will catch you out there.
Have you been on this trail before? Do you have comments or questions?
Let me know in the comments below!