Don't let the unsuspecting drive to the trailhead fool you. This trail poses serious challenges. Shortly after passing through several residential areas, the paved road turns to rough gravel, and the climb begins. The 4.7-mile trail gains over 1000 feet of elevation!
Most of the trail meanders through the Chattahoochee National Forest and runs parallel to Darnell Creek. There are several pullouts to admire the beautiful waterfalls, including Darnell Falls, Big Falls on Thomas Creek, and Middle Falls on Thomas Creek.
Approximately 3 miles into the route is the Darnell Shooting Range. This is a great place to turn around as it offers a wide parking area. The U.S. Forest Service manages the range, but unfortunately, people have dumped trash and left debris from the shooting. Please pack out your trash when you come to this area! Feel free to pick up trash around the range and pack it out.
The road narrows and gets slightly off-camber past the range but resumes being a graded forest service road approximately a quarter of a mile past the range. The remainder of the trail is generally east, but mud puddles and washes may be along the road following rain.
There are several gullies along the trail. A high clearance 4WD vehicle is necessary to overcome the obstacles along the trail. Vehicles with longer wheelbases may drag their frame.
The trail has several primitive campsites. They are first come, first serve.
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