By Alli Hill
There’s no shortage of amazing camping spots in Georgia, but the best ones are tucked far away where no RV could ever go. Simply put, you don’t need electricity and hot showers to have an amazing camping experience. Just head to these five beautiful backpack camping spots in Georgia and embrace the great outdoors in all its untouched splendor.
Not to be mistaken with the Bartram Trail traversing Northeast Georgia/Western North Carolina, this trail features 27 miles of mostly flat, wide paths for a quiet, secluded three-day hiking experience. Bartram Trail is ideal for hikers who want a multi-day hiking trip, but without rugged climbs and elevation changes. Along the trail, you’ll find two traditional campgrounds, each requiring a reservation ahead of time. Much of the hike here borders J. Strom Thurmond Lake, giving you plenty of beautiful views to accompany you.
North Georgia is well known for its outdoor scenery and abundant waterfalls, and Jacks River Falls is certainly one to put on your must-visit list. To get to these amazing falls, you’ve got two trail options: the nine-mile Jack’s River Trail or the 4.5-mile Beech Bottom Trail. Backpackers should opt for the namesake trail, which takes you over multiple river crossings and through lush forest scenery before reaching the falls at the ninth mile. Here you can set up camp, provided you’re situated at least 300 feet from the falls. The camping guidelines are strict, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’ll leave the same way you came, making for an impressive 18 miles round trip.
Situated in the Cohutta Wilderness at Fort Mountain State Park, there’s no better place to feel in the middle of nowhere. The trail itself is short—a mere six miles round-trip. However, you’ll want to stop at one of several primitive campsites along the way to soak up as much of the gorgeous mountain views as possible. There are a few historical structures along the way, along with shimmering creeks, rocky ridgelines, and Goldmine Branch Falls. An impressive elevation gain and loss of 4,000 feet comes with this hike, so be prepared to put in some work.
Also touted as the “Waterfall Trail,” this hike gives you up to 37.5 miles of stunning waterfront views, including five waterfalls if you hike the entire trail. Starting at the Georgia/South Carolina border, you’ll eventually meet up with the Bartram Trail (North) before merging with the Foothills Trail. There are several additional trail criss-crossings, so be prepared with a good map. Along the way, you’ll find several spots to make camp, helping you break up your adventure into as many days you’d like.
This 8.3-mile section of the Appalachian Trail is nothing short of breathtaking. Starting at Cooper Gap, hikers can make their way over Justus Mountain to Gooch Gap, an ideal spot to make the first night’s camp. The next stretch takes you to the pinnacle of Ramrock Mountain before moving into a steep, rocky descent—use caution! Aside from the shelter at Gooch Gap, there are additional campsites along the trail to let you catch your zzz’s whenever you see fit.