Bartram Trail: Becky Branch & Martin Creek Falls – Georgia

Took all three of my dogs to do this quick waterfall hike on the Bartram Trail (a 115-mile trail spanning from Georgia to North Carolina named after famed explorer and naturalist William Bartram).  This portion of the trail is not as popular as some of the other hikes in the area, but the fine waterfalls and the seclusion make for a great day hike.  The total distance for this hike is 4 miles there-and-back (2 miles each way).  This hike is considered moderate due to some gradual elevation gain.

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Directions to trailhead:  From Clayton, GA drive east on Rickman Road.  Follow Rickman Road for approximately 0.5 mile to Warwoman Road.  Turn right on Warwoman and drive 3 miles to the Warwoman Dell Picnic Area on the right.  Turn into the picnic area and drive 0.1 mile to a covered shelter.  To reach the trailhead, head back down the road you drove up; the Bartram Trail begins at an information kiosk which describes a fish hatchery constructed in the 1930’s.  Before beginning the trail, explore the long-abandoned trout rearing tanks a short distance beyond the information kiosk.  The trout stations were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25 as part of the New Deal).  The tanks are now empty and overgrown with viney Virgina creeper.

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After inspecting the abandoned rearing stations, head back to the Bartram Trail and begin an ascent along Becky Branch.  You will pass over Warwoman Road and the Bartram Trail historical sign.  As you enter the Warwoman Wildlife Area, the climb becomes steeper and you will pass a water supply building on your left.

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Before long you will reach a bridge overlooking Becky Branch Falls.  The falls cascading before you are fed from runoff waters of Pinnacle Knob and Raven Knob.

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Beyond the falls, the trail will split, keep left to stay on the Bartram Trail (right will take you back to Warwoman Road.  At 1 mile you will cross a footbridge and turn north into the Finney Creek valley.  The trail will merge with an old road at 1.7 miles.  You will reach a camping area amidst a cluster of white pines at mile 1.9.  At 2.0 miles, the Bartram Trail goes right over a wooden bridge.  You will pass a rock house before crossing Martin Creek again on a small bridge.  Attached to the deck is an observation deck overlooking Martin Creek Falls.  Take some time at the observation deck to rehydrate, take in the falls and enjoy the seclusion.

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This is as far as this post will take you on the lengthy Bartram Trail.  Hopefully you found the hike enjoyable and you’ll enjoy the falls as much as this girl:

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Enjoy the hike, leave no trace, and be safe.

 

 

 

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