Bear Creek Trail to the Gennett Poplar Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, GA
miles
LENGTH 1.7 MILES
DIFFICULTY 1.8 Easy
DURATION 1 hour
ELEVATION GAIN
200
feet
TRAIL TYPE
There And
Back Again
Bear Creek Trail to the Gennett Poplar

May 18, 2020 - Many parks and hiking trails are open but some are still closed or limiting capacity. Call ahead to verify status if possible. While hiking, continue to follow social distancing practices. Stay safe people.

Relax on this easy hike along Bear Creek as you make your way to the Gennett Poplar, the second largest tree in Georgia. The trail sticks closely to Bear Creek, enveloping you in the calming sounds of the cascading water. A great short hike for families and dogs just outside of Ellijay, GA.

The trail is at the end of the 2-mile gravel Bear Creek Camp Road. The trailhead for this hike is at the very end of the road at the Pinhoti sign, not the trail with the sign for Bear Creek Loop.

This short hike only climbs 200 feet over less than a mile. The only difficulty is a couple creek crossings, but you can rock hop your way across most of the time. Follow the sign at the Pinhoti Trail intersection, then turn right at an unmarked intersection to immediately cross a creek. Look for the green blazes. "Poplar" was written on one of the blazes when I was there.

At just over .8 miles you'll arrive at a railing with steps leading down to the massive Gennett Poplar, the second largest tree in Georgia. While you can make a couple longer loops, this hike ends here and heads back the way it came.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.5 mi
54 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.3 mi
99 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.1 mi
62 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0 ft
0 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
42 ft
9 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
Navigation
0.0 mi
0.0 mi - Trailhead The trailhead for this hike is at the very end of the road at the Pinhoti sign, not the trail with the sign for Bear Creek Loop.
0.17 mi
0.17 mi - Stay Right Stay right at the intersection with the Pinhoti Trail.
0.45 mi
0.45 mi - Turn Right, Cross Creek Turn right and cross the creek. Look for the green blazes indicating the turn.
0.82 mi
0.82 mi - Gennett Poplar On the left will be a railing and steps leading down to the tree.
Details
length1.7 miles
difficulty1.8 Easy
duration1 hour
trail typeThere And Back Again
blazeGreen
elevation gain200 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestChattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
ranger districtConasauga Ranger District
3941 Highway 76
Chatsworth, GA 30705
706-695-6736
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 34.819037, -84.564198 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°49.14, W 84°33.85 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°49'09'', N 34°49'09'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.819037, -84.564198 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°49.14, W 84°33.85 most GPS units use this one
N 34°49'09'', N 34°49'09'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
The trailhead is at the end of the 2-mile gravel Bear Creek Camp Road. If travelling in a low ground clearance car you'll have to take it slow and navigate around a few ruts, but otherwise you'll be fine. The trailhead is at the very end of the road at the Pinhoti sign for this hike, not the trail with the sign for Bear Creek Loop.
Parking Capacity
10-15 vehicles along road.
Notes
Watch out for mountain bikes.
Several creek crossings with two being longer and slightly more difficult. You can still rock hop you're way across but be careful of slick wet rocks.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4.3 (3)
Link52-2 weeks ago
Bear Creek Trail and Oldest Popular
Bear Creek is a beautiful hiking area with a nice picnic and camping area. Walking or biking along along creek and crossing a couple of times is outstanding! The popular tree was saved from timbering in late 1920’s because it was believed to be oldest tree in Ga. Maybe 500 plus years old. Great hike for tennis-adults of all ages. Thanks Hike the South for great description and information.
Easy | Hiked Spring 2020
Smokey12-11 months ago
Great way to spend a morning!
This was an easy, peaceful hike. Very pretty and the poplar was impressive. Thanks for the info on the unmarked split.
Easy | Hiked Summer 2019
hikethesouth-1 year ago
Easy Walk Along Peaceful Creek
This is a nice easy walk as long as you are ok with a couple creek crossings. Nothing too bad. The Gennett Poplar is pretty impressive. Be on the lookout for mountain bikes. And snakes, watch out for snakes. Nearly stepped on two copperheads on the way back.
Easy | Hiked Summer 2019
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