U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Chattahoochee National Forest


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Forest Information

The Chattahoochee National Forest, located in northern Georgia, is comprised of about 750,000 acres. The Chattahoochee National Forest is administered as the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. There are 20 developed campgrounds, 18 of which meet the selection criteria

The gentle profile of the southern Appalachian Mountains and the highest mountain in Georgia, Brasstown Bald, dominate the horizon of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Waterfalls of all sorts and sizes cascade down lush green slopes and wildlife abound. Scattered throughout the health woods are variety of camping locations including developed campgrounds for car, tent, motorhome and recreation vehicle (RV) camping enthusiasts. Most of these camping areas are conveniently located to offer the camper a wide variety of recreational opportunities.

Visitors to Brasstown Bald enjoy a 360 degree panorama of valleys, lakes, and mountains. You can choose either to take a van or half-mile paved hike to the exhibit/observation platform for the breathtaking views of northern Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Bird and wildlife watchers enjoy the Lake Conasauga Songbird Management Area southwest of Brasstown Bald, located on the Appalachian Flyway. Chattahoochee National Forest is also crisscrossed with more than a dozen trails for hikers, horses, and off-highway vehicle enthusiasts.

Rabun Beach campground, designed for motorhome and recreation vehicle (RV) camping, combines the luxuries of full-hook-ups, hot showers, flush toilets and all the attractions of a 835-acre lake with some nicely secluded car and tent camping sites and a couple of pleasant family hiking trails to Angel and Panther Falls. These features, plus a few others, make Rabun Beach campground nice location for a family camping vacation.

Although Rabun Beach campground was initial built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1933 and 1942, it has not retained as much of it CCC appearance as some of the other Chattachoochee National Forest's CCC built camping locations. Perhaps no where else in the Forest is the CCC's handiwork as easy to see as in Pocket campground. Here, foundations from the CCC Camp's various building can be seen along with stonework and the unique "foot baths". A special treat to be discovered at Pocket campground is the Confederate Soldier's grave found in a nearby cemetery. And, a visit to the General Store in Villanow is a step back into history.

It is the variety of hiking trails within the Forest that offers visitors the greatest opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature. A leisurely hike to Horse Trough Falls, adjacent to the Upper Chattahoochee River campground, provides the visitor with the opportunity not only to see a spectacular waterfall but observe the ecosystem produced by the dynamic element of water. DeSoto Falls campground offers its campers two falls with two different views of those falls. The Appalachian Trail (AT) begins, or ends, within the Chattahoochee National Forest at Springer Mountain. Throughout the Forest are spurs, or linking trails, to the AT. These short trails provide the beginner or moderate hiker the opportunity to enjoy the challenges of the AT and return to their home base after a day or so.

The Alpine village of Helen is located near the Upper Chattahoochee River and Andrews Cove campgrounds. An interesting parallel can be found between Helen and the National Forest. By the turn of the 20th century, the land that is now the Chattahoochee National Forest was falling into a sad state through over-use and poor land management techniques. Likewise in the 1960s, the town of Helen was falling into dire economic conditions. Visionaries saw in both the land and town, opportunities and possibilities and initiated action. Now, both Helen and the Forest have recovered. Helen was changed from a sleep little textile manufacturing town to a quaint Bavarian community complete with architecture and pseudo-beer halls. The Chattachooche National Forest evolved into a healthy and robust environment for flora and fauna, attracting out-of-doors enthusiasts from near and far.

A visit to Chattahoochee National Forest, with its quaint communities and wonderful visitas, history, spectacular waterfalls, great fishing, magnificent trees, and diverse recreational opportunities, will provide an appreciation of the visionaries saw the possibilities in the tired and depleted woodland. Today, visitors to the Chattahoochee National Forest find it a wonderland of recreation opportunities and natural beauty. Come and this splendid area again and again.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS 1755 Cleveland Hwy. Gainesville, Georgia 30501 770-297-3000 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Blue Ridge 2042 Highway 515 West Blairsville, Georgia 30512 706-745-6928 Chattooga River 9975 Highway 441S Lakemont, GA 30552 706-754-6221 Conasauga 3941 Highway 76 Chatsworth, Georgia 30705 706-695-6736

Fred and Suzi Dow