Hickey Gap - Hiking

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About

Summary

An easy-to-reach swim spot hidden in the Cohutta Wilderness, Hickey Gap offers an incredible place to take a summertime dip.

Written by

Julia Bonney

Distance

0.8 miles

The physical trail is short, but those looking for a longer option can continue downstream using the river as a guide.

Destination Distance From Downtown

34.8 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

Mostly flat trail with a steep embankment at the end.

Time To Complete

0 hours

Less than a mile long, the trail is relatively flat until the very end where ropes and roots are utilized to climb down a cliff beside the waterfall.

Seasonality

All Seasons

The trail is open year-round but is best in the spring or summer when the water is flower and temperature warm enough to warrant jumping in.

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Land Website

Hickey Gap - Hiking

Review

Intro

Waterfalls and swimming holes are Southern staples, and this Georgia gem is home to both. Hidden away in the Cohutta Wilderness, Hickey Gap offers an easy-to-reach oasis that feels off the beaten path.

What Makes It Great

A variety of swimming holes dot the river, beckoning hikers to jump in. But resist the urge to jump in immediately and start walking; the prime swimming spots are further downstream.

The trail is easy to navigate, following the river as it winds through the woods. At one point the trail drops down to the riverbed. Don’t stop there. Instead, skirt across the rocks and soon you will reconnect with the riverbank. The trail and river soon drop off. A series of ropes have been set to assist in the climb down to the pool. 

The best swimming hole is at the base of the waterfall. Surprisingly deep, the pool is a perfect place too cool off on a hot day. A rope hanging from a nearby tree gives thrill-seekers the chance to let loose while easier access points allow entry for those who don’t want to make as big a splash. For a calmer spot, head downriver 100 feet where another pool awaits. The trail ends here, but if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can continue downstream using the river as a guide.

Who is Going to Love It

Hickey Gap is perfect for the days you don't feel like knocking off miles, but still want to get out and explore. Very little skill is required to reach the hot spots, so anyone looking for a river swim can access the pools.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

From Chattanooga, take I 75 south to GA-2. From here, take a slight right onto Halls Chapel Road. Take a right onto US 411 then a left onto Grassy St. This will turn into Mill Creek Road, a predominately gravel road. Follow until you see signs for Hickey Gap Campground.

Camping is free of charge and sites are available on a first-come basis. Day hikers can park near the campground but should not leave their car overnight. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash. 

Location

Hickey Gap

34.894169, -84.673058

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