Updated: Nov 3, 2020
The Georgia Traverse is the preeminent overland route of the American South. As you explore the hidden beauty of Northern Georgia, you'll soon find out there's a whole lot more to Georgia than just peaches and southern hospitality.
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Route Created by: David Giguere / Georgia Overland Adventure Rating: Epic
Trip Length: 390 miles miles, 4-10 days
Season: Year round, but road closures are common during winter months. Check road closures and alerts for Chattahoochee-Oconee NF.
Technical Rating: Green for nearly all of the route, with a few sections that that may require 4-low.
Typical Terrain: A mixture of dirt, gravel, and paved roads (60/40 dirt to pavement ratio)
Recommended Vehicle: Subaru with all terrain tires.
Adventure Vans: Yes! However, there are many low hanging branches and overgrown sections that may make passage more challenging for high roof and/or wider vehicles
Alternative Routes: n/a
The Georgia Traverse is a collection of county, state and Forest Service roads that comprise a (mostly) off-pavement route across North Georgia. It is designed to be traveled east to west, beginning at Burrells Ford Road along the Georgia / South Carolina border. The Georgia Traverse visits North Carolina and Tennessee before ending at the Georgia / Alabama border. The total mileage of all paved and unpaved sections is 390 miles. Included area few alternate, off-pavement sections to explore along the Traverse. The total mileage includes these alternate sections, as shown in the map and represented in the download. However, roads not explicitly shown as part of the Traverse are not included in the mileage. Of the 390 total miles presented here, 226 miles are unpaved road surfaces consisting of gravel, dirt or both. Connecting the off-tarmac sections are 164 miles of pavement, with just over 40% of the paved miles found west of the Cohutta and Big Frog Wilderness Loop. Though there are limited opportunities for off-pavement connectivity in the western portion of the Traverse, the route creator decided to include what they found in an effort to offer a border to border travel experience across Georgia.
In addition to the 390 miles of tracks displayed on the map and offered in the download, there are over 500 waypoints that offer unique details (road names, possible campsites, hiking opportunities, water crossings, etc.) of what you will find along the Traverse. While much of the road data is available through a variety of sources, it is this collection of waypoints that sets The Georgia Traverse apart from other overland routes in the South. As mentioned earlier, the Traverse is published with the intention of east-west travel. There's no reason why you cannot simply follow the tracks west-east and ignore the directions. In fact, we highly encourage people to view the Traverse as an opportunity to explore the beautiful state of Georgia at their own pace, choosing portions to leisurely visit over many weekends rather than a single, long journey.
All off-pavement tracks and associated waypoints were captured by GPS in the field and, at the time of capture, were reasonably spatially accurate. The tracks and waypoints that comprise The Georgia Traverse were documented over the course of a number of years and may no longer be valid or accurate for a variety of reasons including road maintenance, seasonal closures, budgetary closures, improper usage, etc.
Enjoy the trails, roads and waterways and be careful out there. Plan on much slower travel speeds (10-20mph) when driving on dirt and gravel roads. Like any trip into the outdoors, please use common sense and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. Trail conditions can change from day to day and some sections may be very remote with no traffic and no services (no fuel, food or cell phone service). With limited or nonexistent services, you must plan accordingly when it comes to food, fuel and the possibility of an unplanned overnight. Pack and know how to properly use a First Aid kit. Please practice responsible use and pack out what you pack in. Stay on the trail. Visit Tread Lightly! for tips on reducing the impact on the land by you and your vehicle.
Camping Recommendations Where 'possible campsite' waypoints are displayed these are simply areas that, in the visual determination by Georgia Overland, appeared to be used as an informal campsite. No legal determination is provided as to the true legality of camping in these sites. It is up to the user to contact the appropriate jurisdiction to determine if camping is legally permitted in these areas. There are many formal, state and National Forest campgrounds that may be accessed along the Traverse, and when in doubt we encourage those wishing to camp to make arrangements at a designated campground.
Maps + Navigation
>> Always check with local land managers for road closures and conditions.
Gaia GPS (USFS 2016 Layer, Gaia base layer)
USFS Chattahoochee-Oconee NF paper map
Download GPX files
TIP: To expose alternative routes and points of interest in Google Maps, open the sidebar and select the desired layer.