Coleman River

Location: Northeast Georgia
Trip Starts: Tallulah River Road
Trip Ends: Tallulah River Road
Total Distance: 1.8 miles
Hike Type: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Coleman River Trail
Trail Traffic: Light to Moderate
Trip Type: Day Hike
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Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
1755 Cleveland Highway
Gainesville, GA 30501
770 297-3000


The Coleman River Scenic Area is located in Rabun County in the Tallulah Ranger District of the Chattahoochee National Forest and it includes the area where the Coleman River meets the Tallulah River. The wilderness consists of 330 acres and was dedicated in 1960 to “Ranger Nick” Nicholson following his 40 years of public service.

This hike along the Coleman River (which looks more like a large stream than creek) starts at a parking area at the confluence of the two rivers where the elevation is approximately 2,200 feet. A small bridge spans the Coleman River and there is parking for two small vehicles at a sign that is marked with a white triangle and the #16. (For a larger parking area, pass the trailhead to the left and continue about 100 yards.)

The Coleman River Trail begins with a gentle ascent along the river and continues for about a mile past some old-growth timber and a few pools and small waterfalls. It ends abruptly after 0.9 miles in the middle of a rhododendron thicket. Nearby is a small campsite and pool for swimming, or you can stay at a slightly larger campsite about 0.5 miles from the trailhead that is also situated right along the river. Fisherman should note that only artificial lures are permitted along the Coleman River.

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