Cloudland Canyon State Park, Waterfalls/Sitton Gulch Trail

Trenton, Georgia

Cloudland Canyon State Park, Waterfalls/Sitton Gulch Trail Professional Review and Guide

"While the West Rim Trail meanders along the brink of Sitton Gulf, the Waterfalls / Sitton Gulch Trail provides an adventure down in the chasm. The descent and hike through the gulf offers a close look at the structure of this Cumberland Plateau geophysica"

Cloudland Canyon State Park, Waterfalls/Sitton Gulch Trail Reviews

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I just read a review that said this area is neglected which is spot on. They also just did a controlled burn which really messed up the scenery. They also closed the road going to Johns Mt overlook so we weren't able to check it out. It's a shame because this is a pretty cool area that is not very far from Atlanta. Like a guy mentioned to me I saw - "You're probably better off driving another 30 miles to Cloudland Canyon."
The climb up to Keown Falls is a challenge that I suspect it is worth it when there is water coming over the falls. Unfortunately, we've had very little rain this September and the falls was bone dry. Do this hike in spring, not summer or fall. I would also like to point out that while the description of the trails is accurate, the map is not. The Keown Trail loop does not continue along the Johns Mt. trail at the overlook as depicted on the map. It actually turns under the falls and travels parallel to the Johns Mt. trail for a short distance before turning back down the hill.
First, although it is stated that the road to the parking area at Keown Falls is closed until April 1st, it was open. Also, there is a restroom at the trail head...yea! The trail was, for the most part well marked on the way up to the Falls. To get to the overlook at Keown's a natural Stair Master, lol. We have been having rain, so the falls were beautiful. At this point we took a left turn and went on the Johns Mountain Trail. There were a few times that we were questioning if we were still on the trail and then low and behold, we would see a blaze. The views along the trail were beautiful with no leaves on the trees. The view at the Johns Mountain Overlook was wonderful. I look forward to going back on a clear day-you could smell/see the rain in the valley along the hike. Thankfully we just got a few sprinkles.
I hiked the Keown Falls portion of this trail after finishing a section hike of the Pinhoti trail. It had been raining for 3 days, so the falls and creeks were outstanding. The hike up to the falls was very scenic and well marked. The trail then passes under/behind the falls and returns back down for around a 2 mile loop. Or you can continue on up to the Johns Mountain trail. The Pinhoti trails runs along with this trail over Johns Mountian. All in all, a very nice short hike. Would definately be best after a rain, as the falls do dry up.
The Keown Falls hiking trail on Johns Mountain provides a challenging 850 ascent, the trail is cluttered with ubstructions and I would suggest going during the wet season if you would like to see some waterfalls
I hiked the Keown Falls trail combined with the Johns Mountain as a loop in early November. Keown Falls had a fire last year in the spring and signs of the fire are still very much visible. There is no water anywhere to be found at or near the falls. The steps were quite hard going up to the Keown Falls look out. The trail up to Johns Mountain (I did it counter clockwise) was great. It has excellent elevation gain and was strenuous. The portion that follows the mountain ridge was beautiful. It is not well marked. Lots of rocks great views of the valley and nice this time of year. Does need some care. Worth it as a 4 mile day hike.
The Keown Falls Trail has been neglected by the forest service and is getting in poor condition. This is a rough trail and there is only one view, but the observation platform is about to fall.The Johns Mountain trail is not much better. It is not worth the long drive up the rough dirt road. I do not recommend either of these trails.
Long and sometimes rough gravel road to Johns Mountain. Hike this trail clockwise. This also crosses and shares a small section of the Pinhoti Trail, and connects with Keown Falls at the look out. Johns Mountain is a great hike, quiet and natural. Keown Falls has a great start, bathrooms, a small A frame covers the start of the trail, but don't be decieved parts of this are strenous, we hiked clockwise. Coming down from the lookout the steps are steep and high. I would rate John Mountain 4 stars and Keown Falls 2 stars.

Cloudland Canyon State Park, Waterfalls/Sitton Gulch Trail Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
About 2.25 hours
USGS Durham
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jun 2018