Chasing Waterfalls?

The Mountain Traveler - Summer 2018

Northeast Georgia has scenic wonders to enjoy in its forests and along its rivers and streams. Many of its picturesque waterfalls have relatively short and easy trails, while others require a more strenuous effort. Some of the waterfalls are close to each other and can be visited on one trip. Many of the waterfalls offer breathtaking views and quiet places for contemplation. Access and degree of difficulty varies. Included below is a county-by-county guide to many of the waterfalls in Dawson, Habersham, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union and White counties.

Dawson County

Amicalola Falls

The stunning Amicalola Falls, located in Amicalola Falls State Park, is 729 feet tall. It was named Amicalola, which means “tumbling waters,” by the Cherokee Indians. Several viewing spots for the falls are easily accessible. Amicalola Falls State Park is located on state Route 52;

Amicalola River Trail

This trail features “Edge of the World” rapids. From Dawsonville, take state Route 53 west. The road begins to descend into the Amicalola River Watershed. The trailhead and parking is on the right, before the bridge over the river;

Bearden Falls 

Bearden Falls is in the Chattahoochee National Forest. There is no designated trail. At the headwaters of Nimblewill Creek is Bearden Creek. Follow Nimblewill Creek and Bearden Creek (the right fork) for approximately 1.5 miles and you’ll find the falls. From Dahlonega, take state Route 52 West for 8 miles to Nimblewill Church Road on the right. Follow Nimblewill Road for 4.5 miles to the National Forest boundary and continue on FS28-2 for two more miles, where the road begins to climb the side of Frosty Mountain on the way to Nimblewill Gap;

Cochrans Falls

Cochrans Falls cascades approximately 600 feet from peak to base. The falls descend from Frosty Mountain and cascade before changing to a series of smaller cascades. Travel west on state Route 52 from Dahlonega 14.5 miles to the second entrance for Wesley Chapel Road, just inside Dawson County. Turn right on Wesley Chapel Road and, after nearly a mile, turn left on Dan Fowler Road. Go 1.2 miles, turn left on Blackhawk Road and go about two miles;

Fall Creek Falls

Fall Creek Falls, located in Dawson County, is a set of four waterfalls, the second and largest of which is more than 75 feet high. Follow state Route 136 to the Dawson-Pickens County line and turn south on Monument Road. The trailhead is 3 miles on the left at the kiosk. Follow Tobacco Pouch Trail 0.3 mile to the junction with Fall Creek Trail, then go 3.3 miles.

Habersham County

Cascade Falls

A moderate to difficult one-way hike, Rhododendron Trail starts at the historic Chenocetah Fire Tower in Cornelia and descends to Lake Russell in Mt. Airy. The trail to the almost hidden Cascade Falls is 1.75 miles in and is good for families and novice hikers. The complete trail to Lake Russell is approximately 2.6 miles. From Cornelia’s Main Street, turn onto Wyly Street. Across from Cornelia City Park, turn onto Chenocetah Drive, then follow the road to the top of the mountain. The trail starts on the left, across from the marble entrance sign. Follow the blue blazes; 

Panther Creek Falls

This 6.6-mile trail is probably best traveled by adults, teens and older children. The trail begins across the highway from the Panther Creek Recreation Area on Historic Highway 441. The trail is on steep slopes that fall to the creek below. There are scenic views, including wildflowers, cascading portions of the creek, then Panther Creek Falls. Remember, the falls is 3.3 miles in. Do not be fooled by the high shoals that are 2.3 miles in;

Raper Creek Falls

Take state Route 197 south toward Batesville. Stay on 197 south two miles past the junction with state Route 255 which leads to Helen. Turn left onto Watts Mill Road. Go 1.2 miles onto Oakey Mountain Road. Go 0.2 miles and turn right onto Raper Creek Road. Bear left from there for 0.2 miles to the parking area and trail on the right;

Tallulah Gorge State Park

There are five waterfalls inside Tallulah Gorge State Park on the Tallulah River. They are: Bridal Veil Falls, Hurricane Falls, L’Eau d’Or Falls, Oceana Falls and Tempesta Falls. TGSP is located on U.S. 441 on the Rabun-Habersham county line.

Lumpkin County

Cane Creek Falls

Located on the grounds of Camp Glisson, Cane Creek Falls is open to the public during daylight hours except when camp is in session. You must check in at the visitors’ center prior to visiting the falls. From Dahlonega, follow Business U.S. 19 and state Route 60 north for two miles. Turn left at the sign for Camp Glisson and go 1 mile to the parking area near the bottom of the falls. Swimming is not permitted and fishing is permitted on a catch-and-release basis;

DeSoto Falls 

Two waterfalls can be viewed from the DeSoto Falls Trails. Trout fishing in Frogtown Creek is allowed and camping is available. To reach the falls, from Dahlonega travel north on U.S. 19 for 13.5 miles to Turners Corner. At this intersection, turn left and proceed on U.S. 129 for 4.2 miles. Turn left after you pass the Walasi-yi Center. A sign at the trailhead lets visitors know the history of the discovery of a plate of armor in the 1880s;

Dicks Creek Falls

The falls are located at the convergence of Dicks Creek and Waters Creek in the Chattahoochee National Forest. To reach the falls, take U.S. 19 13.7 miles to Mt. Pisgah Church Road and turn left. Travel 2.6 miles to the falls, which will be on the left. Parking is available on the right;

Black Falls

Black Falls is on the Etowah River and is on the property of Camp Frank D. Merrill, 11 miles north of Dahlonega. Access may be restricted. Check with the visitors’ center before attempting to visit the falls. To reach the camp, travel north on U.S. 19 for 2 miles and turn left onto Camp Wahsega Road. Follow this road for 9 miles to the entrance;

Blood Mountain Creek

Three falls flow from Blood Mountain Creek. To reach the falls, take U.S. 19 north 13.7 miles and turn left onto Mt. Pisgah Church Road. Travel 3.3 miles to the ford across Crow Mountain Creek. Continue for 1 mile to Blood Mountain Creek. A difficult and unmaintained but well-used trail follows the left side of the creek. The lower falls are about 100 yards from the road. The middle falls are another 50 yards upstream. 

Rabun County

Bad Branch and Crow Creek

Follow Low Gap Road to the right, instead of going straight toward Minnehaha. At 0.3 miles, you reach Crow Creek Road. Go right and follow the road 2.8 miles to a pull-off on the right. Trailhead is on the left across the road. Bad Branch is a five-minute hike. To get to Crow Creek Falls, stay on Crow Creek Road for another mile. Pull off to the right at telephone pole No. 41-72. Trail is across the road;

Becky Branch Falls

This 20-foot cascade is located just five minutes from downtown Clayton and is easily accessible. From Clayton, drive east on Warwoman Road for 2.8 miles and park on the left side of the road by the branch. Walk up the right side of the branch on the trail for about 200 yards to a bridge at base of falls;

Darnell Creek Falls 

A pretty little waterfall that is easy to get to and not far off the main road. From Clayton, drive north on U.S. 441 to the Rabun Gap Post Office. Turn right on Kelly’s Creek Road. Go 1 mile and turn right on Darnell’s Creek Road. Continue 0.4 mile, bear left at the fork with the private Chestnut Mountain Road. Drive across the bridge and bear right for another 0.3 mile. Park at the fork and take the right fork onto the old wood road. Hike is about 0.25 mile to the falls;

Denton Branch Falls

From Clayton take U. S. Highway 76 west for 8 miles to Persimmon Valley Road. Turn right and continue 4 miles to Forest Service Road 70, to the left. Look for Coleman River WMA signs. Continue down this road for 6.6 miles. Denton Branch Road is off this road to the right, just past the "Tate City Mall" and Chapple Rd. This road is a rough, rocky and single-lane. The trailhead is a couple hundred feet down this road.

Dick’s Creek Falls 

This waterfall is about 60-feet high and makes a sheer drop over a granite mound into the Chattooga River. From Clayton, drive 6 miles east on Warwoman Road. Turn right onto Dick’s Creek Road or Sand Ford Road. Go 0.5 mile, then take a left across the creek. Go 3.5 miles. Cross second ford and park at Bartram Trail sign. Follow trail north to Dick’s Creek. Follow creek to viewing area at top of falls;

Hemlock Falls 

This 15-foot falls is on a scenic trail directly across from Moccasin Creek State Park. Children may be interested in the Lake Burton Fish Hatchery next door to the campgrounds. From Clarkesville, take state Route 17 to Alternate SR 255. When this road dead ends, turn right onto SR 255. In Batesville, turn left onto SR 197, driving past LaPrade’s at Lake Burton to Moccasin Creek State Park;

Holcomb Creek Falls

The Holcomb Creek Trail (1.3 miles in length) begins at the intersection of Hale Ridge Road (FS Road 7) and Overflow Road (FS Road 86) and follows a short loop to its end on Hale Ridge Road. The trail passes Holcomb Creek Falls (which drops and flows over shoals for approximately 150 feet) and Ammons Creek Falls, where there is an observation deck. 

Take Warwoman Road east from Clayton for 10 miles. Turn left on FS Road 7 (Hale Ridge Road) and drive 9 miles. Park to the east of intersection with Overflow Creek Road (FS Road 86);

Kilby Mill Falls

From Clayton take U.S. Highway 76 west for 8 miles to Persimmon Valley Road. Go 3.2 miles past the turn for Tallulah River Road and Tate City. Park just before the bridge to the right. From the parking area, follow the trail into the woods and up the creek. You’ll pass a 20-foot fall before reaching Kilby Mills Falls.

Martin Creek Falls 

This two-tier waterfall is 35-feet high with aquatic plants covering the weeping rock wall on the left. This 20-minute walk (0.5 mile in length) follows the Bartram Trail along the west side of the creek. From Clayton, go east on Warwoman Road for 3 miles. Turn left onto FS Road 152 and drive past the Game Checking Station. Park in the small cleared camping area on the left at a sharp left bend in the road. Walk west from the camping area. Cross Martin Creek, then travel uphill about 0.4 mile to the top of the falls;

Minnehaha Falls  
The Minnehaha Trail (0.4 mile in length) follows Fall Branch until it dead ends at Minnehaha Falls. This waterfall is approximately 100 feet high (falling and shoaling). 

Take Old Highway 441 South from downtown Clayton to Lake Rabun Road. Continue on Lake Rabun Road for 6.2 miles. Take a left on Low Gap Road (at Flat Creek Community sign). Bear left onto Bear Gap Road for 1.6 miles to a small pullout on the left. The trail starts on some wooden steps to the right which lead to the falls;

Mud Creek Falls 

Also known as Little Estatoah, the falls have a vertical drop of 100 feet and flow into Estatoah Falls in Dillard. Take U.S. 441 north to Dillard. Turn right onto state Route 246 and follow signs to Sky Valley. At Sky Valley’s entrance gate stay left. Turn right on Tahoe Road and follow to the falls;

Panther Falls/Angel Falls 

These falls are close to the Rabun Beach Recreational Area. Turn right into Area 2 of the recreation area. Drive back along the loop road to the sign designating the trailhead. This is an easy trail that follows Joe Branch north of the recreation area to the two waterfalls. Panther Falls is located about a half-mile up the trail, while Angel Falls is another 600 yards farther down the trail;

Stonewall Creek Falls

From Clayton, take U.S. 441 south for 2.7 miles, turn right onto Tiger Road. Go 1.1 miles, and turn left onto Old 441 S. Go 2.3 miles and turn right at Stonewall Falls Mountain bike trail sign. Continue on this road for 1.3 miles. Parking area is uphill to the left.

Stephens County

Toccoa Falls

Toccoa Falls is located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa. At 186 feet, it stands as one of the highest free-falling waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. Located off state Route Alternate 17 on the campus of TFC. 

Towns County

Cupid Falls

Near Young Harris College in Young Harris. Take U.S. 76 to Maple Street, go through Young Harris campus to Thomastown Road. Falls are on the left;

Enota Mountain Retreat & Conference Center

The grounds of this facility in Hiawassee contain two major falls. Visitors must obtain permission before accessing the property at 100 state Route 180, Hiawassee;

High Shoals

Blue Hole Falls and High Shoals Creek Falls are located on High Shoals Creek in the High Shoals Scenic Area of the Chattahoochee National Forest. These falls are easily accessed and feature two observation decks. Located north of Helen on state Route 75 off Indian Grave Gap Road.

Union County

Canada Creek Falls

There are several falls on Canada Creek, both within the boundaries of the Chattahoochee National Forest and after the creek enters private lands. The upper falls are on public land, above the confluence of Wild Hog Creek and Canada Creek. From Dahlonega on state Route 60 North, go approximately 16 miles and turn left at Tritt’s Store across from Woody Lake. Proceed 1.6 miles, turn right on Canada Creek Road. Go 2.4 miles to the ford across Canada Creek, cross Canada Creek and follow on foot the trail down the right side of the creek;

Helton Creek Falls

A pair of falls in a rhododendron grove in the Chattahoochee National Forest with the approach including a well-maintained stairway and an observation platform. From Blairsville take U.S. 19/129 south 11 miles, turn left on Helton Creek Road on the left just past the entrance to Vogel State Park. Go 2.2 miles to small parking area. Trailhead will be on right;

Horse Trough Falls

An easily-accessible falls located where Horse Trough Creek joins the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, in the southeast corner of the county with the approach including a footbridge, which is the first bridge on the Chattahoochee. From Helen, take state Route 75 north for 8 miles, turn left on FS 44, proceed 5 miles on the unpaved, steep road to the Upper Chattahoochee Campground. The falls are 0.2 mile from the parking area;

Lake Trahlyta Spillway

On Wolf Creek just below the dam in Vogel State Park, with the approach including a boardwalk trail and an observation platform. Vogel State Park is located south of Blairsville on U.S. 19/129.

White County

Anna Ruby Falls

When you see this natural wonder, you’ll understand why each year 50,000 people come from all over the world to view the Chattahoochee National Forest’s most popular attraction. Located off state Route 356 north of Helen and adjacent to Unicoi State Park, Anna Ruby Falls tumbles down the side of 4,430-foot Tray Mountain. It’s actually two falls: Curtis Creek (153 feet high) and York Creek (50 feet) drop to a plunge pool to form Smith Creek. Start at the visitors center and climb a half-mile paved trail along the whitewater creek. Cost is $3 per person, ages 16 and up. Kids age 15 and under are admitted free;

Dukes Creek Falls

Seeing Dukes Creek Falls takes a bit of legwork, but it’s worth the effort. Park at the Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area, off Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway ($4 fee per vehicle). A handicapped-accessible path takes you to an overlook, but after that, you’ll descend steep stairs and continue on a dirt trail for almost a mile down to the falls. There, you’ll see not one but two cascades, fed by Davis and Dodd creeks. The Davis falls is high (200 feet) and narrow; the Dodd falls is shorter, but wide and thundering;

Raven Cliff Falls

Six-mile roundtrip hike that passes several waterfalls before arriving at Raven Cliffs. Entrance road is Forest Service Road 244, about a mile past the Duke’s Creek Area (see above). Turn left onto FSR 244 and follow to the marked parking area on the left. Trailhead is across FSR 244 and heads upstream on the left side of the creek. 

 

Northeast Georgian

Mailing Address:
2440 Old Athens Hwy
Cornelia, GA 30531

Phone: 706-778-4215
Fax: 706-778-4114