Details about Jack's River Falls - by Bob Lantz www.smallbus.com
The largest wilderness area in the eastern US (at that time) was established in an eastern wilderness act passed by Congress in 1975. This wilderness area, south of the better known Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, is the 34,000 acre Cohutta mountain lands in both Georgia and Tennessee. This pristine Cohutta Wilderness of the southern Appalachians contains lands from both the Chattahoochee (GA) and Cherokee (TN) National Forests and centers on Big Frog Mountain. And off the slopes of Big Frog Mountain, two steep and rocky waterways (Jacks and Conasauga Rivers) join together to define the beautiful cove-like Alaculsy Valley. The clear, clean, cold mountain waters running off the forested mountainsides into Jacks River and Conasauga River support a unique (for the East) native trout fishery. This is a land where man is now only a visitor.
Eastern wilderness does not necessarily mean acres of virgin timber. All the east has been logged, and even the remote Jacks River watershed in this Cohutta Wilderness had a narrow-gauge logging railroad along that natural accessway over 80 years ago. That overgrown railroad bed today is a waterside trail grade allowing access up that river for about 10 miles (but following it requires fording the stream 22 times!) And about 8 miles upstream from where Jacks River joins with the Conasauga River lies a natural river obstruction of exceptional beauty: Jacks River Falls. These Falls are described in the guidebook by Tim Homan (The Hiking Trails of North Georgia) as being "... the most scenic single feature in the Cohutta Wilderness. Descending in stages, the surging water piles up against boulders and rock walls, frothing back on itself like upwelling caldrons."
An alternative 3.5 mile access to these Georgia located Falls can be found from the Tennessee side of the mountain off Forest Service Road 62 at the Beech Bottoms Trail.
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