Hiking The Eyes On Wildlife Trail

With several improvements done on this trail for over the past decade, the Eyes On Wildlife Trail had become an inviting hike for most trekkers who are travelling within Georgia 60. It is located in the Easter Blue Ridge right at Cooper Creek Recreation Area. The loop takes 1.6 miles of hiking footpath which is rated easy to moderate. A short distance from the entrance of Eyes on Wildlife Trail is the Coopers Creek campground. The trail was built in 1993 by the Blue Ridge Mountain Hikers and the Forest Service. Funds came from the proceeds of a salvage logging activity after a fire burned down 30 acres of the forest in the lower eastern slope of Rocky Mountain in 1986.

Across road from Coopers Creek parking lot is where the trail starts. The dirt gravel parking area is also generally used by fishermen and hikers in the Cooper Creek Scenic Area. Once you enter the forest you will come across a bridge over Tom Jones Branch which proceeds to a marble stone marker telling a brief history about the trail being built in 1993. This also indicates the start of the trail. There are green trail blazes along the way but it is still poorly marked.

Start taking the footpath to the left of the stone marker. About 50 yards after the marker, the trail meets a loop junction. Continue to approach a small stream then cross over to the other side of the footpath which moderately ascends to an old logging road. There are old-growth forest in several sections of this forest where you will find hemlock and white pine trees. Ascend to about 200 feet then turn right as the trail T’s at a second path.

At this point the trail is easy and level that traces the curve of Rock Mountain where animal footprints and sightings are expected. Several wildlife species roam freely such as rabbits and birds. As you move further circling the mountain, you will find stunning views. Upon reaching double green blazes at approximately 0.9 miles make a turn at the right as just a short distance further…

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