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A North Georgia Local's Secret: Forest Service Roads, Let's Take a Road Less Traveled on 376 - Easy to Moderate (1.5miles)

Updated: Jun 14


Georiga is home to two National Forests. The Chattahoochee National Forest in North Georgia and the Oconee National Forest in Central Georgia. The Chattahoochee National Forest covers 18 north Georgia counties and includes 750,000 acres of forested land. It is one of the largest National Forests east of the Mississippi River and has over 2,200 miles of rivers and streams. There are over 450 miles of hiking trails and 1,600 miles of forest service roads.



Today we set out on Forest Service Road 376 along Raper Creek. It is only 10 minutes from Bleu Canoe! It was a solo (human) trip, just me and the pups. Like most of the service roads, these roads are not well kept and many are unaccessible without an Off Road Vehicle (ORV), such as a seriously equipped Jeep or dirt bike. You only drive a short way on 376 before parking, so as long as you have an AWD truck or SUV you should be fine.


Once you turn onto 376, you will drive about .2miles before parking. Keep your windows down and when you hear the falls loudly, you've arrived. There are only about 2-3 spots to the right where cars can parallel park. The thing about service roads is they are not trails, there will be no markers or signs to help you, but half the fun is exploring and figuring it out!



At the parking area you can immediatly access Raper Creek Falls. There is a very short, very steep, CLIMB down to the falls. If you want to explore the falls and creek at all (which is highly recommended) you will need footwear that can get wet.



While this is somewhat of a local secret, if you come on a weekend, or any hot day in summer, there will likely be a few people hanging out and enjoying the creek. We came at 6pm on a weekday so had the place to ourselves. Gotta love summer when the sun is up till 9pm!


Sound on to hear commentary


Northeastern Georgia is probably the most prolific region of the state for rockhounding. Numerous mineral varieties can be found, including beryl, quartz, ruby, kyanite, agate, amethyst, and corundum. So keep your eyes peeled while exploring the creek bed.



When your done with the falls head back up to the road and turn right. Walk along the road about .15miles and you'll see a small trail to the right. You can take this detour down to a great fishing/swimming hole if you like (again there are no signs or markers).



Back to the road we saw...Turkeys!! Bleu was gone shortly after. Thankfully she is good at coming back.


Continue along the road for another 3/4 of a mile, you will come to a concrete bridge. At this point you have several options. You can cross the bridge and continue on for miles and miles....if you want. This wilderness area eventually joins with Oakey Mountian OHV trails (watch for speeding dirt bikes). There are trails (no markers) up to Raper Mountain (2267ft), Oakey Mountain (3150ft) and Flat Creek Mountain (2684ft) for the experienced hiker.



Instead, we took one last detour to another swimming hole. If you take the path to the left of the bridge you can find it, about .2miles down the trail. It was becoming dusk now and the light was beautiful! Afterwards, we walked back along the road to our car before heading back to Bleu Canoe for a cold one at the outdoor bar.


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BLEU'S RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Bleu Canoe

  • TB&J BBQ (Seasonal)

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