Rabun Bald, Three Forks, Holcomb Creek Falls, Ammons Falls, and a few other falls - 3 distinct trails, 1 event - Wed, May 16 2012

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Rabun Bald, Three Forks, Holcomb Creek Falls, Ammons Falls, and a few other falls - 3 distinct trails, 1 event

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: About 9 miles east of Clayton, Ga   Hike: Rabun Bald, Three Forks, Holcomb Creek Falls, Ammons Falls, and a few other falls - 3 distinct trails, 1 event  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Wed, May 16 2012  10:30 am >> Wed, May 16 2012 6:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, May 14 2012 1:59 pm
Registration Cut Off: Tue, May 15 2012 8:30 pm
Event Duration:7 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Distance:12.5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 5 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Yes... you read that title correctly. This hike is will be packed with adventure and sightseeing opportunities! Three separate trails - all within a few miles.  We'll hike to the second highest peak in Georgia with spectacular 360 degree views, go through some of the prettiest and diverse forest to see several waterfalls (two over 100 feet tall), and then visit one of the most lush and pretty areas in the state.

Sorry about the mid-week posting, but I have very limited hiking opportunities in the next week.

Please read ALL sections of this event posting prior to signing up for this hike. There is important information throughout concerning the difficulty, what to expect, what not to expect, and how to be prepared.

On this hike we will visit Rabun Bald, Georgia's second highest peak, with spectacular, unobstructed views in ALL directions. Next we will hike a loop trail to Holcomb Creek Falls, which cascades over 120 feet, and Ammons Creek Falls, which cascades over 100 feet. And for the final portion of the hike we will hike to Three Forks, which is the confluence of Holcomb Creek, Big Creek, and Overflow Creek to form the West Fork of the famous Wild and Scenic Chattooga River.

The first portion of our hike will begin on the Rabun Bald Trail and take us to the top of Rabun Bald. Rabun Bald is the second highest mountain in Georgia with an elevation of 4,696 feet. The trail that leads to the top is strenuous, as it gains 2,200 feet of elevation in about 2.9 miles. To put this in perspective, it's roughly like climbing Stone Mountain 3.5 times in a single 2.9 mile stretch. However, once at the top we will be rewarded with 360 degree panoramic views that can extend nearly 100 miles on a clear day. After time to absorb all of the breathtaking views, take photos, rehydrate, and eat a snack, we will make our way back down the same trail that we hiked up, covering about 6 miles round trip.

After reaching the vehicles, we will replenish our supplies, if necessary, and take a short 1 - 1.5 mile drive to the next trailhead. This second hike will be an approximately 3.5 mile loop that will take us through a mixed forest of mountain laurel, rhododendron forest, giant hemlocks, and to two cascading waterfalls (Holcomb and Ammons Creek Falls) over 100 feet tall. After spending some time to admire the falls and eat lunch at the base of the falls, we will complete the loop back at the vehicles.

We will then take another short drive of about 3 miles to the next trailhead. This final portion of the hike will be down the Three Forks Trail. This trail will take us through a mixed forest, past a number of small waterfalls and cascades, until we reach Three Forks. Three Forks is the name of the convergence of Holcomb, Big, and Overflow Creeks, to form the West Fork of the Chattooga River. The Three Forks Trail is approximately 3 miles round trip, easy to moderate hiking for most of the distance, however, the final quarter-mile is very steep and can have one "butt sliding" section. It should be noted that this is NOT the same trail to Three Forks, which has the trailhead located on Hwy 28, and typically posted for AOC events. That trail comes from the east, and this trail from the west.

Portions of this hike are very strenuous and the distance will be about 12 miles. This hike is for experienced hikers - if you do not have recent D4 and D5 hiking experience, I will be contacting you to determine if this hike is appropriate for you.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Good hiking shoes/boots
  • Plenty of Water and/or Sports Drink (at least 3 liters) (see additional notes)
  • Snacks AND Lunch (see additional notes)
  • Hand/Foot towel - there could be one creek crossing that requires removing shoes/boots.
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Bug repellant
  • Sun Screen 
  • Water shoes/sandals and/or bathing suit in case you want to take a short dip at Three Forks.
  • Change of clothes for the ride back

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

There is limited to no cell phone coverage in the area of this event, the drive time is approximate, and the order we do these hikes is subject to modification.  Therefore, this will be a carpool only event. If you will not be traveling from the Atlanta area and feel that you have a legitimate need to meet at the event, you will need to contact the trip leader for specific directions/instructions.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):220Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $88.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


There is no reason not to bring enough water, snacks, and food on this hike.  This hike will be broken up into three sections, with us returning to the cars after each. So, bring plenty of water (even extra), snacks, and lunch, because half of it can be left in the car for the second and third portions of the hike - there will not be the burden to carry it ALL at any given time.  We will be covering a lot of ground, and the expected duration in the wilderness will be about 7 - 8 hours.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.