Atlanta: Penitentiary Branch Trail

Nestled in a quiet corner of the Cohutta Wilderness, this 10.2-mile out-and-back features giant hardwood stands, waterfalls, and a remote mountain campsite.
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Nestled in a quiet corner of the Cohutta Wilderness, this 10.2-mile out-and-back features giant hardwood stands, waterfalls, and a remote mountain campsite.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.3

Waypoints

PBT001

Location: 34.9332160949707, -84.5189437866211

From Dally Gap, take the Hemp Top Trail and Penitentiary Branch Trail, traveling SW

PBT010

Location: 34.9570465087891, -84.5513687133789

Nice campsite next to Jacks River; retrace steps to trailhead

PBT002

Location: 34.9373054504394, -84.524528503418

To R of trail, opening in trees offers valley views to the E

PBT003

Location: 34.9402351379394, -84.5256881713867

Benton MacKaye Trail enters on the L; stay straight, continuing on the Hemp Top Trail

PBT004

Location: 34.9543952941894, -84.5227813720703

At Y, bear L onto Penitentiary Branch Trail

PBT005

Location: 34.9506874084473, -84.5325164794922

To L of trail are occasional views of weathered ridge to the SE

PBT006

Location: 34.9485893249512, -84.5398254394531

Steep descent to Jacks River

PBT007

Location: 34.9524765014648, -84.5436096191406

Ferns cover the forest floor; mountain laurel lines the trail

PBT008

Location: 34.9549446105957, -84.5480117797852

Large grove of old trees

PBT009

Location: 34.9557762145996, -84.544921875

Trail crosses creek; head SW on Penitentiary Branch Trail