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This family-friendly day hike pairs an excellent overlook to a beautiful waterfall and shares part of the route with the 330-mile-long Pinhoti Trail.
There are several variations to this loop, and there is no wrong way to hike it.
The two highlights of the route are Keown Falls and Johns Mountain Overlook.
Begin by hiking up the Pinhoti Trail from the Keown Falls Trailhead (pronounced "Cowen" Falls).
The waterfall is the first stop of the hike, and a stairway leads to an observation deck with an excellent vantage point of the falls.
Keown Falls is best visited in the winter and spring months before the heat of the summer transforms it to nothing more than a trickle. Continuing the loop, follow the Pinhoti trail toward the Johns Mountain Overlook.
A large wooden platform gives phenomenal views from its perch and can be accessed by vehicle for those looking to bag some views without the hike.
Further south, the loop follows the Johns Mountain Trail along a long, narrow ridge.
In the winter, you'll be greeted with some partial views as the trail traverses the rocky ridge, straddled by steep slopes on either side. Round out your hike by following either the Keown Falls Trail or Pinhoti Trail back to the Trailhead.
Keown Falls is considered more difficult due to its rugged, rocky offerings, as compared to the Pinhoti which gradually switchbacks its way back to the parking lot.
At the trailhead, enjoy a lunch at one of the many picnic benches before heading home for the day. Sources: http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/Johns_Mountain_Trail