The Way: From Atlanta, take I-75 45 miles north to US 411 north. Continue on US 411 53.4 miles to Cisco, GA. Turn right onto FR 16 (before the Baptist church). Stay on FR 16 for 30 miles to the northern trailhead (staying right at two intersections on the way).
Shuttle car Take FR 16 back to FR 17 (the junction before the trailhead); turn left. Drive to FR 68 (which becomes FR 64). Continue to Watson Gap and turn onto FR 22 for 3.6 miles to Dally Gap.
Gear up North Georgia Mountain Outfitters, 1215 Industrial Blvd., East Ellijay, GA; (706) 698-4453
Water Crossing Shoes
With an average of nearly three stream crossings per mile, the Jacks River Trail will turn a full-leather boot into a blister bucket; you’d be better off with stilts than shoes with a waterproof/breathable membrane. Pack a sturdy sandal with toe protection that’s comfortable enough for hiking or a light hiker with drainage ports. We like KEEN’s Newport H2 for it’s wrap-around toe bumper and solid traction ($95, keenfootwear.com) and New Balance’s 920–with its 12 drainage ports and trail-runner fit and cushion ($95, newbalance.com). Plan B: Use an old pair of sneakers.