This moderately difficult to strenuous trail is a good, high-elevation trail, which follows the former route of Old Highway 2, on which erosion control was done before it was closed. Though not necessarily a good destination trail, it can provide relatively quick access to other trails.
Approximate hike length: 7 miles.
Southern trail head from Ellijay From the Ellijay Square, travel west on GA 52 for 9.5 miles to FS 18. There is a sign for Lake Conasauga Recreation Area; turn right. After 1.3 miles the pavement ends. At the fork, bear left over a one-lane bridge. At 3.5 miles turn sharply to the right onto FS 68. At 4.5 miles is a good picnic area, and at 5.7 miles is Holly Creek Checking Station. At 6 miles is a three-way junction with FS 64. At the FS 68/FS 64 three-way intersection, At the three-way junction, take FS 64 right for 4.4 miles to the East Cowpen parking lot.
From Chatsworth take US 411 north 13.2 miles to Cisco community and intersection with Old Highway 2 (also known as FS 16). At .7 mile pass County Road 169 on the right. The pavement ends at 1 mile. Take the right fork at the Y intersection at 1.6 miles. (County Road 210 bears left.) At 3.2 miles, FS 17 comes in from the right, FS 16 goes left. Follow FS 16 just across the Tennessee state line to the northwestern trail head of the Jacks River Trail. (Note that FS 51 branches to the right just after crossing the river.) After crossing the Conasauga River, turn right on FS 51. Travel 4.8 miles to the trail heads of Rice Camp and East Cowpen. Hickory Creek Trail
For more information:
Some roads are closed depending on weather conditions, so it is recommended that one call the Cohutta Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service at (706) 695-6737 in advance of a trip to check road conditions.