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Family Time…in The Pocket

Our family loves the outdoors. Several times during the summer, we try to find new places to explore and spend time together in the sunshine. Our neighbors told us to check out The Pocket at John’s Mountain. They raved about the scenery and variety of outdoor experiences, so we jumped in the SUV to check it out ourselves. Needless to say, we’ve found our new favorite outdoor spot. 

The Pocket at John’s Mountain is located in Gordon County; Georgia (just northeast of Rome). It is a part of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. The drive to The Pocket and John’s Mountain is beautiful and scenic. The kids counted all the deer and turkey they saw along the way. We wondered why the area was called The Pocket…and then when you get there, it makes sense: It is a pocket of low-lying land that is surrounded by steep mountains.

The Pocket is a perfect day trip since it is easily accessible (not far from I-75). It’s a great place for the family, as we saw families like ours with camping gear and fishing poles. Kids were swimming and all types of games were being played. There seemed to be some intense, yet friendly games of cornhole being played by friends and family alike!

We immediately noticed that there were a lot of shaded areas, which was important because on the day we went the temperature was…well, it was a typical Southern summer day! There were also a lot of picnic tables, a few bridges, and swimming holes…and I mean swimming holes - there were different levels of shallow bodies of water outlined by rocks.

There is a pavilion located in the picnic area that is available for rent. There was a sign posted that if the pavilion is not reserved, then it is available for use as well. We made a note of that so we can bring the whole family with us next time – maybe for our next family reunion.

The campground is located on the other side of the picnic area. The Pocket, with its wealth of outdoor activities and picturesque scenery, is a great place to camp. The campsites do not require a reservation and are just first-come, first-serve. Camping season is from April until October. While the campsites have no running water or electricity, there are restrooms with running water. So, you may “rough it” at The Pocket…but it’s not too rough!

When we left the picnic area and campgrounds, road signs that directed us to trails. Two trails, the 2.5-mile Pocket Loop Trail and 0.5-mile Pocket Nature Trail, offer easy - and relaxing- ways through the woods. John’s Creek offers a wonderful opportunity to cool down with a quick wade in the cold water. Good fishing is available in nearby Lake Marvin and Pilcher Pond, which may not be open to the public at all times, so check ahead of time to make sure. An alternative is nearby John’s Creek which is stocked with trout. 

We turned into the gravel drive that leads to the parking area for the walking trails. The hiking trails were clearly marked and the signs had lots of information for hikers. We spent most of the day seeing The Pocket’s natural beauty. One of the trails led to a sparkling waterfall. The kids oohed and aahed and we memorialized the day with a group photo. 

Our family thoroughly enjoyed our day in The Pocket. The quiet lushness of this hidden place in ancient mountains was the perfect way for us to spend quality time together. We’ll be back to The Pocket soon – with our fishing poles and our camping gear. Whether or not you want a nature-filled day trip or a family weekend, The Pocket at John’s Mountain is the perfect location for fun, family, and relaxation.

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