Georgia is the 24th largest and 8th most populous state in the U.S. Popularly known for being the birthplace of wine and Martin Luther King, Georgia is also home to the famous Georgia Traverse Trail.

The Georgia Traverse Trail is a popular scenic trail that offers epic outdoor experiences for outdoor enthusiasts. Perfect for activities like camping, hiking, overlanding, or off-roading, Georgia Traverse Trail is a multi-use traverse trail that should be on any outdoor lover’s list of top trails to visit. Below, we have compiled everything you need to know about the Georgia Traverse Trail.

Getting Familiar

The first thing you should know about the Georgia Traverse Trail is it does not exist as a single trail. Instead, this trail is a collection of county, state and Forest Service roads that offer different scenery as you drive through.

The Georgia Trail is an extremely popular trail among experienced outdoor enthusiasts. This is not surprising, mostly because it offers everything from forest experiences to tours through Villages.

When you think about Georgia, it is easy to think about quaint little towns and forget what amazing opportunities the state has to offer. However, aside from picket fences and charming neighborhoods, Georgia is also a hot spot for tourists, many of whom are looking to enjoy the natural views that Florida has to offer. In fact, in 2018, Georgia welcomed a record 111.7 million visitors in 2018 and generated $36.9 billion revenue for the state. Although there are more than 57,000 square miles of land to explore in the state, the Georgia Traverse Trail is one of the most visited trails in the state.

But what exactly is the Georgia Traverse Trail, and why is it so popular?

The Georgia Traverse Trail paves the way for overlanders, off-roaders, and campers to explore the wonders of nature in Florida on the road. Encompassing various counties, while traveling the Georgia Traverse Trail, you enjoy the satisfaction of gravel crunching underneath your tires and the beautiful scenery of nature around you.

Designed to be traveled from east to west, Georgia Traverse Trail begins at Burrells Ford Road along the Georgia/South Carolina border. It meanders through the breath-taking Appalachian mountain, passes through the dense Chattahoochee forests, and stretches from one small town to another. Finally cutting off at the Georgia/Alabama border, the Georgia Traverse Trail measures a whopping 390 miles of both paved and unpaved roads with alternate off-pavement sections left for enthusiasts to explore.

A truck with a tent.

Why Was The Georgia Traverse Trail Created?

The Georgia Traverse Trail has not always been in existence.

As previously mentioned, Florida was blessed with vast lands, all which offered almost limitless adventures through natural leisure activities and scenery. While this was great, the northern portion of the state was riddled with thousands of miles of backroads that usually laid unused. These trails were mainly isolated routes wasting away as they were barely used and almost unnoticed unless they were seen from the highways that they interrupt.

As a result, David Giguere spent the last decade developing and connecting the backcountry byways to create one developed trail with alternate routes. He did this to give outdoor enthusiasts the chance to explore the backcountry and the mostly deserted routes.

 

What Is The Georgia Traverse Trail Like?

Although the Georgia Traverse Trail features almost 400 miles of road, the road is not uniform. There are about 226 miles of unpaved routes and road surfaces. These paths feature gravel, dirt, rocky, and muddy roads, while the other half of the trail is mostly paved. Regardless, the trail is developed and can be navigated without problem.

The trail also includes several marked off-pavement sections. These sections are perfect for off-roaders looking to explore the less-travelled sections of the great Georgia traverse trail.

About 164 miles of pavement connect the off-tarmac sections. Over 40 percent of the paved areas that stretch on for miles are located west of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wilderness Loop. Each section of the Georgia traverse trail can be found on any updated map of the area as the traverse trail is a published trail stretch of adventure.

Scattered in various parts of the trail are more than 500 waypoints with diverse details that are unique to the Georgia traverse trail. These waypoints include everything from possible dispersed camping areas to hiking opportunities and other details.


Is The Georgia Traverse Trail Difficult?

Although the Georgia Traverse Trail is wide and stretches on for miles, it offers one of the easiest drives in the state. However, this might change with weather conditions that deteriorate the road conditions. 

Since the trail is made up of several roads, if is essential to check the current condition of the foads before leaving as some parts of the trail can be dangerous after bad weather. The trail is especially dangerous when it is slick with mud. When the area get muddy, it is a great idea to wait before venturing out in your adventure.

Contrary to popular opinion, Georgia traverse trail is an extremely easy route that is perfect of explorers of different experience levels. It is easy enough that beginners can enjoy a scenic drive without ending up in sticky situations, and complicated enough (at least the off-pavement portions are) that experienced adventurers will still have a blast with a drive that raises the heart rate a few times without boring them.

However, it is essential to note that although the Georgia traverse trail might offer an easy ride, it is in no way conquerable in a few hours. If you are going to go from one end of the trail to another without any problem while enjoying the scenes, it is best to dedicate two or more days to your journey. This will ensure that you safely explore the area while enjoying as much of the scenery as you can.


What Can You Do On The Georgia Traverse Trail?

As an outdoor lover, the Georgia Traverse Trail is a dream come true for many reasons. A blend of different terrains, wildlife, and flora, it offers a great deal of opportunities for outdoor lovers to experience Georgia at its finest while enjoying intimate moments with nature.

But what exactly is the Georgia traverse trail good for?

The Georgia Traverse Trail is a multi-use trail that is perfect for several activities like overlanding, glamping, camping, off-roading, and even hiking if you are up to a challenge. There is no limit to what you can enjoy on this state treasure.

Georgia Traverse Trail is perfect for all these activities because of the diversity of the complexity of its terrain. With some areas easier than others and some more challenging than the rest, outdoor enthusiasts can always find an area that is suitable for the activities they want to enjoy.

When it comes to exploring the world, there is no better way to see nature than going overland camping. With the ability to see the world on wheels, you can experience nature whenever and however you want.

For example, overlanding is an activity that involves seeing the world on wheels. It involves traveling long distances for a long time on a self-sufficient journey where the aim is to enjoy the experience gained during the journey. The Georgia Traverse Trail offers a great stretch of route with varying difficulty intensity and scenery for overlanders to enjoy. 

It also offers a chance at off-roading activities with its unpaved terrains that goes off-roaders the challenge that they are looking to experience. 

Even activities like camping (do you know the difference between overlanding and camping? Check out the differences here) can be enjoyed here as there are several dispersed campsites scattered around the trail in both directions.

Essentially, the Georgia Traverse Trail is a hot spot for nature enthusiasts looking to indulge in various activities.

The Georgia Traverse also offers various side attractions like the towns along the trail. These towns offer unique cultures, food, and experiences that any nature enthusiast will enjoy. One of those many towns is Helen (check out the official Helen page here). Helen is famous for its Bavarian-style aesthetics, delicious foods, unique festivals, fly-fishing activities, and many other attractions. In these towns that can be easily accessed from the Georgia Traverse, you can get rest stops to enjoy civilization before continuing your journey on the rural trail in the Peach State (Peach State is Georgia’s official nickname).

A trail in the woods

What Should You Know Before Visiting Georgia Traverse Trail?

Venturing out blindly to the Georgia Traverse Trail is an easy way to set yourself up for trouble. Before starting your ignition, it is essential to know all you need to know about visiting the trail.

One of the most essential things to do is to ensure you have the right type of vehicle. Although the Georgia Traverse Trail is easy to navigate, the tricky areas might make it difficult to enjoy your trip if you do not have a capable vehicle.

This doesn't necessarily mean you have to purchase a new vehicle for the trip (although you can purchase any vehicle off our list of cheap off-road vehicles if you really need to). However, you do need to ensure that your car is capable of traveling the majority of the trail. For this, we recommend any capable 4WD with high clearance.

Next, it is essential to prepare by traveling with the necessary gear and planning the duration of your trip, if you are going overlanding on the trail, it is best to pack up your essential overlanding gear and kit. If you are going camping or any other activities, it is equally important to have your survival kits.

It is also vital to ensure that you know the rules of the trail and abide by them. The rules are simple: practice the Leave No Trace principle. This principle is designed to protect you and the Georgia Traverse Trail, ensuring that you remain safe, protect other nature enthusiasts using the trail, do not damage your vehicle, and do not have wildlife


Has The Georgia Traverse Undergone Any Major Changes Recently?

The Georgia Traverse Trail was last updated years ago. Maps of the area are up-to-date as the area is fully published without any drastic changes in the last few years.

Seeing The World On The Georgia Traverse

The Georgia Traverse Trail is undoubtedly one of the biggest natural treasures in Georgia. It offers miles on miles of unique scenery created from the combination of unique flora and fauna. Are you planning to visit the great Georgia Traverse Trail? We hope this article tells you all you need to know about this beautiful route.

December 28, 2022 — Russ Hennings