7 must-see roadside waterfalls in Georgia


7 must-see roadside waterfalls in Georgia

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Contributed by Eric Champlin
Fall Branch Creek rambles over Fall Branch Falls through lush north Georgia forest, located just off the Benton MacKaye Trail near Blue Ridge.

A waterfall's tumbling water, soothing sound and cool, misty breeze are beautiful, mesmerizing and rejuvenating.

Longing for the tranquility of a waterfall, but can't commit to a long hike? Georgia offers a wide range of fantastic waterfall trails that range from dozens of miles to dozens of feet. Check out these seven must-see falls on relatively short hikes, all well under a mile. A few are even roadside, offering views from the car!

Hike an easy loop trail at Vogel State Park to the tumbling water of Trahlyta Falls. The waterfall spills from the edge of Lake Trahlyta, a small lake named for a Cherokee princess buried nearby. It's a short but scenic hike; the lake views are beautiful, and you'll catch reflections of nearby Blood Mountain in Lake Trahlyta's glassy water.

Catch views of two rushing waterfalls on this short hike near Helen. The Helton Creek Trail descends through a forest filled with evergreen trees and rhododendron to a pair of waterfalls.

Visit these spectacular thousand-foot-tall gorge walls to spot a series of waterfalls on the Tallulah River far below. You'll see the falls from several overlooks on the gorge rim, all a short walk from the park's interpretive center. For even more impressive views, hike the Tallulah Gorge North and South Rim Trails to catch more stunning, photo worthy views of the deep gorge and its waterfalls.

See stunning waterfall views right from the car at High Falls State Park, located south of Atlanta near Macon. A bridge crosses the Towaliga River near the park's entrance and offers views of the thundering, enormous waterfall downriver. For even better views, hike the Falls Trail, a short walk to up-close views of the falls from several overlooks.

Enjoy a picnic with a view at High Shoals Falls near Dallas. This waterfall shares a name with a much larger waterfall near Helen. But unlike the other High Shoals Falls, this waterfall hike is in the metro area and is quite a bit shorter. Hike an easy, quarter mile trail from an old cemetery to the spilling waterfall, where boulders line the sandy shores of a small pool below.

Visit Falls on Waters Creek near Cleveland, another no-hike-necessary waterfall that offers views of the falls from the car. Or catch a closer view of the waterfall on a short hike; a trail travels to the bottom of the falls where you'll find a swimming area.

It's a spectacular waterfall, and though it's a moderately challenging quarter mile uphill hike, Fall Branch Falls is worth a visit. Hike the Benton MacKaye Trail near Blue Ridge to these double cascades set in a valley filled with soft, green moss and gnarly-branched rhododendron.

Ready to stretch your legs a little?

If you're up for a longer hike, don't miss these five waterfall hikes in North Georgia. They're beginning hiker friendly, under two miles and visit some seriously beautiful falls.


Eric Champlin is an outdoor enthusiast, and the editor of AtlantaTrails.com and AshevilleTrails.com, online magazines that highlight the south’s best outdoor adventures.

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