Water may be just water to some people; but to the hiker, it is the essence of the trail, which is probably why hiking trails that incorporate waterfalls are some of the most heavily-used ones in the world.
The state of Georgia is no stranger to some of the best waterfalls west of the Mississippi. But knowing that, how do you select a trail with a waterfall when there are so many in such close proximity to each other? Listed below are five great trails in the north Georgia mountains that are definitely worth a visit.
- Raven Cliffs Falls – Truly one of the smaller marvels a hiker can find in north Georgia. Raven Cliffs Falls is nestled deep in the Chattahoochee National Forest, but is still quite easy to hike to. With a difficulty level of “moderate” for most hikers, this 2.5 mile trail (5 total including the hike back) takes you deep into the Raven Cliffs Wilderness and ends at the giant waterfall which descends between the deep cut of a massive rock bluff. The fact that the falls are almost entirely surrounded by rock makes the sounds of the water that much more ominous.
- Amicalola Falls – Not only is Amicalola Falls the highest waterfall in the east, its park is essentially the starting point for the longest-blazed hiking trail in the world, the Appalachian Trail. The falls is approximately 730 feet of rushing and tumbling waters and several trails take you around the entire area of the state park. Several bridges take you over sections of the falls for great views of both the falls and the rolling Georgia Piedmont to the park’s south.
- Panther Creek Falls – Located near Clarkesville off Highway 441, the Panther Creek Trail often gets lost in comparison to other waterfalls within the state. But don’t let the word “creek” fool you. After roughly 3.5 miles of moderate hiking, you are met with an awesome cascading waterfall of approximately 120 feet in length. With several viewpoints alongside the falls as you make your way down to its base, the roar of the falls is truly amazing and the views the hiker can achieve are even better.
- Desoto Falls – Being a short trail of only 1.9 miles, you wouldn’t think this one had enough worth checking out. But for just a short trek through the woods, hikers can actually view two sets of waterfalls, the Middle Falls and the Lower Falls. With the Lower splashing down nearly 30 feet and the Middle at 90 feet, the view from either observation deck is sure to take your breath away.
- Tallulah Gorge – Probably one of the most visited parks in the state, Tallulah Gorge is home to several phenomenal waterfalls with easy access to many of them. Of all the trails mentioned here, this is definitely the most family-friendly area, with several interpretive trails that are short and filled with great views throughout the gorge.
Of course, there are several more hiking trails in north Georgia with waterfalls that are worth seeing, but these definitely should be on the top of every hiker’s list when it comes to admiring the true force of a waterfall.