Keown Falls & Johns Mountain Double Loop Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, GA
miles
LENGTH 5 MILES
DIFFICULTY 7.8 Easy
Medium
DURATION 2-3 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
1130
feet
TRAIL TYPE
Double
Loop
Keown Falls & Johns Mountain Double Loop

March 24, 2020 - Due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, many parks and hiking trails are closed. It is advised that you do not travel to hike. Many trails have been swarmed with visitors which only helps spread the virus. Stay safe people.

A double loop with two trailheads giving you plenty of options, hike the Keown Falls and Johns Mountain loops to explore trickling waterfalls, quiet creeks, and long-distance views. At less than an hour from Chattanooga, this is a great hike for the family and the dog.

The Keown Falls Loop begins at the Keown Fall Recreation Area trailhead and the Johns Mountain Loop begins at the Johns Mountain overlook trailhead. The two loops are joined in the middle by a short connector trail with the Keown Falls Overlook platform. The elevation graph and slope calculations are based on beginning at the Keown Falls Rec Area trailhead and heading counter-clockwise around both loops.

Since there are many options for the route you can take I won't be giving specific directions. All intersections are signed making navigation easy. If you want to tackle the uphill first, begin at the Keown Falls Rec Area. Here you'll find restrooms and numerous picnic tables and grills. Begin along the rock-lined trail next to the info sign. Look for a green blaze. The trail will quickly split to form the loop.

Taking a right is slightly easier and has some great views just before reaching the falls. Half way up a set of steps is the short connector trail with the Keown Falls observation deck where you'll get an above view of this thin waterfall. If it hasn't rained much, there may not be any waterfall at all. Behind the observation deck looking back and to the right, a narrow side trail leads up the small hill to an expansive view to the southeast.

Past here, the trail passes behind the falls within an alcove in the rock face. Watch for wet rocks here. Continuing on past another unnamed waterfall, the trail eventually reconnects with itself near the trailhead.

For downhill first, begin at the Johns Mountain Overlook trailhead. Take either the trail leading directly away from the parking entrance or the trail opposite the overlook platform. This trail quickly turns right whereas left just leads down the road about 100 feet. This is the lone unmarked intersection and a wrong turn is just a minor inconvenience. This trailhead does not have a restroom.

If you go straight along the ridge away from the parking entrance, you'll immediately pass a communication tower that currently has quite a bit of graffiti. Sections of the Johns Mountain Loop pass through small boulder fields with much larger boulders lining the path in several places. The other half of the loop has a short side trail to another good view.

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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 %
0.9 mi
95 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.7 mi
247 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.6 mi
356 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.4 mi
292 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.1 mi
168 ft
Elevation Loss
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Loss
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.7 mi
105 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.6 mi
233 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.4 mi
247 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.3 mi
249 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.2 mi
321 ft
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length5 miles
difficulty7.8 Easy-Medium
duration2 - 3 hours
trail typeDouble Loop
blazeWhite and Green
elevation gain1130 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 34.613489, -85.088317 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°36.81, W 85°5.3 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°36'49'', N 34°36'49'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.613489, -85.088317 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°36.81, W 85°5.3 most GPS units use this one
N 34°36'49'', N 34°36'49'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
You can begin this hike at the Keown Fall Recreation Area (direction above) or at the trailhead at the summit of Johns Mountain (34.623142, -85.098282). Both have gravel roads leading to them and are fine for low ground clearance vehicles, although the road to Johns Mountain is significantly more bumpy.
Parking Capacity
15-20 vehicles at Keown Falls trailhead, 10-15 vehicles at Johns Mountain trailhead.
Notes
Take caution along the wet rocks at the base of the falls.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4.5 (2)
hikethesouth-3 months ago
Updated Review: Still A Great Hike
Just hiked this again. The trail has been rerouted slightly and there are now several open views, even with summer foliage. I now would recommend going any time of the year, but it may be crowded in the warmer months on weekends. Starting at the Johns Mtn trailhead should be less crowded. The falls are still but a trickle even after a good rain, but now accompanied by great views make this a must hike in Georgia! Easy to navigate with signs at all intersections.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Fall 2019
hikethesouth-2 years ago
Worthy Double Loop
The hike is definitely worth a trip. Better views and almost complete solitude in winter makes this a go to hike when the temps drop. Not too challenging for most but it does have a few steep sections. Great view at the Johns Mtn trailhead.
Easy-Medium | Hiked Winter 2013
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