Length: 3.6 Miles (Loop)
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult if began by following the mountain ridge. Moderate if began by crossing the parking lot and entering the trail on the downhill portion (the true trail head).
Johns Mountain Loop Trail is a loop trail providing an excellent view of the Armuchee Ridges and Valleys, as well as of Keown Falls. The trail is located in the Armuchee Region of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.
Johns Mountain Loop begins in a gravel parking area. The trail really begins with one of its best features. To the right of the parking lot, if one were looking from the entry of the parking lot, there is a beautiful deck and overlook. This view provides a wonderful overlook of the mountain ridge and valley, as well as the town below.
This overlook is worth the drive alone. But don’t ignore the loop trail. The true trail head of the loop appears to be opposite of the overlook. Although one could begin the trail by walking past the overlook deck heading towards a small building and antennae, but following this path will create a much more difficult , very steep uphill final mile.
I recommend that beginners, or those looking for a simpler, more enjoyable hike begin with the true trail head by crossing over the gravel parking lot from the overlook deck and beginning with a steep downhill climb.
This loop will provide hikers with fantastic views from both sides of the Johns Mountain ridge. Also, halfway through the trail, hikers will reach the top of Keown Falls. With a very short (100 or so feet) walk from the trail is the Keown Falls upper observation deck. Take the opportunity to get a glimpse of one of Rome’s best waterfalls. (WARNING: This waterfall does occassionally run dry, or very low, especially in Rome’s current drought conditions). Afterward viewing the falls, head back to the trail, and cross over the creek via a small wooden bridge that leads to the falls. The trail will then continue along the ridge where there will be views of a smaller water fall, and views of both sides of the Johns Mountain Ridge. The trail slowly loop back around to parking area.
Directions to Johns Mountain Loop from Rome, GA
1. Take US-27/GA-1 into the Armuchee area (past the Mount Berry Square Mall and Berry College) towards Summerville, Georgia.
2. Turn right onto GA-156/New Rosedale Road. (There will be a sign pointing to Camp Sidney Dew)
3. Travel down GA-156 for 2.4 miles.
4. Turn Left onto Floyd Springs Road (keep following the Camp Sidney Dew signs)
5. Travel straight for 7.0 miles until the road ends.
6. Turn Left on Everett Springs Road. The pocket campground is on this road, as the entrance to Keown Falls, and finally, the entrance to Johns Mountain Overlook.
Directions to Johns Mountain Loop from Lafayette, GA
1.Take GA 136 east from LaFayette for l3.5 miles
2. Turn right (south) on Pocket Road and go about 5 miles to the entrance road.