11 Best Waterfall Hikes In Georgia, USA

waterfall hikes in ga

Georgia is a state located in the southeast region of the United States. It is home to a huge diversity of landscapes, including plateaus, mountains, valleys and, most excitingly, waterfalls. Many locals and visitors take advantage of Georgia’s moderate weather year-round to visit the beautiful waterfalls for the fresh, blooming smell of spring or the crisp, refreshing atmosphere of autumn. What’s even better is that there are plenty of hiking trails of varying difficulties and lengths that offer ideal nature getaways for both families with young children and novice hikers alike. Ranging from towering, cascading waterfalls to gentler, soothing ones, you don’t want to miss these majestic views. Read on to find out more about the best waterfall hikes in Georgia, USA.

Travel Advisory

Trip101 recommends assessing the risks before hitting the hiking and trekking trails. Please be especially aware of the difficulty levels, the locations’ ground conditions, as well as the seasonal risks.

1. Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls (20419189011)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Thomson20192 used under CC0

Amicalola Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the entire state of Georgia. Amicalola means “tumbling waters” in the Cherokee language, which is fitting considering that the waterfall is the tallest cascading waterfall in the southeastern region of the United States, standing at a whopping 729 feet (222 metres). Visitors will be spellbound by the tiers upon tiers of water running down what looks like a cliff that touches the sky.

The waterfall is located in Amicalola Falls State Park, which is only an hour’s drive away from the city of Helen. Visitors can park near the visitor centre before following the easily navigatable path to the trail. The hike to the waterfall is also known for being family-friendly, as young children can easily enjoy and manage the hike.

Amicalola Falls

Location: Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville, GA 30534, United States

Distance: Round trip: 2.1 miles (3.4 kilometres)

Waterfall height: 729 feet (222 metres)

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

2. DeSoto Falls

Upper Desoto Falls
Source: Photo by user Jeff Gunn used under CC BY 2.0

DeSoto Falls consists of not one but two stunning waterfalls located in the same area. The lower waterfall can be enjoyed at a viewing platform very near to the start of the hiking trail. As you continue on your path, going through fairytale-like forests as well as magical pools of rocks and water, you will reach the upper waterfall, a multi-tiered cascading waterfall. Aside from the beautiful scenery, the waterfall also has a lot of history behind it, as it was named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who hiked in the region in the 16th century. Signs located throughout the trail will tell you more about its interesting past.

Located in Chattahoochee National Forest, the start of the trail is accessible by car and has a parking area.

DeSoto Falls

Location: Chattahoochee National Forest, Suches, GA 30572, United States

Distance: Round trip: 2.2 miles (3.5 kilometres)

Waterfall height: 200 feet (60 metres)

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

3. Helton Creek Falls

Lower Helton Creek Falls
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jsfouche used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Helton Creek Falls is yet another double waterfall with stunning views. The trail to the waterfall is very short, which makes it ideal for a family adventure with children. The easy walk to the waterfall combined with the scenic valley nearby also makes this a perfect location for a picnic. There’s even a waterfall pool if you fancy a quick splash!

The start of the trail lies at the south side of Vogel State Park and is a quick half-hour drive from the city of Blairsville.

Helton Creek Falls

Location: Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd, Blairsville, GA 30512, United States

Distance: Round trip: 0.6 miles (0.9 kilometres)

Waterfall height: 60 feet (18 metres)

Difficulty: Easy

4. Raven Cliff Falls

Raven Cliff Falls
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user JAG used under CC BY 2.0

The hiking trail to Raven Cliff Falls may be a long one, but it is most definitely rewarding. The path follows Dodd Creek and is filled with a diverse amount of flora, fauna and wildlife. Along the creek, you will find many wildflowers and mossy patches of greenery, and the soothing sound of water flowing will inspire you to trek on. The creek is also home to an abundance of trout, and trout fishing is common during spring. As you reach the end of the long hike, the sounds of crashing water will alert you to the massive cliff that is home to the waterfall.

The hiking trail begins near Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway in Chattahoochee National Forest and has a parking area at the trailhead.

Raven Cliff Falls

Location: Chattahoochee National Forest, Suches, GA 30572, United States

Distance: Round trip: 5 miles (8 kilometres)

Waterfall height: 90 feet (27 metres)

Difficulty: Moderate

5. Anna Ruby Falls

Anna Ruby Falls 2
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jsfouche used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Anna Ruby Falls has an entire recreational, scenic area all on its own. With two tumbling waterfalls situated side-by-side, the water cascades down almost as if they were in sync, so the view is definitely a sight to behold. The waterfall area is also very popular among locals, especially those with young children and even toddlers, as it is a short 0.45-mile (700-meter) walk from the parking area. The wooden platforms that pave the way, as well as the convenient viewing area, make the trail stroller-friendly as well!

Anna Ruby Falls is situated near Unicoi State Park and has a small fee of 3 USD per person to access the trailhead.

Anna Ruby Falls

Location: Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA 30545, United States

Distance: Round trip: 0.9 miles (1.4 kilometres)

Waterfall height: 153 feet (46 metres)

Difficulty: Easy

6. Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mikael Häggström used under CC0

The shortest hiking trail on this list belongs to the Minnehaha Falls trail. The hike is a mere 0.4-mile (600-meter) loop around the entirety of the waterfall. But despite the short walk, the gently cascading waterfall is a sight to behold. It is especially popular with photographers since it is surrounded by beautiful trees that branch over it. During the spring season, the waterfall is especially photogenic as the forests create a perfect backdrop.

Located in Rabun County, the stairs to the trail are located near Bear Gap Road, which also contains a parking area.

Minnehaha Falls

Location: Rabun County

Distance: Round trip: 0.4 miles (600 metres)

Waterfall height: 100 feet (30 metres)

Difficulty: Easy

7. Tallulah Falls

Tallulah falls 1-10-08 - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bas van Oorschot used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tallulah Falls is a series of six entire waterfalls that rush down Tallulah Gorge, a narrow valley dropping a massive 1,000 feet (300 metres) that lies in between two mountains. Within Tallulah Gorge State Park there are actually many different trails you can take to see the breathtaking waterfalls. The most popular trail is Hurricane Falls Trail, as it includes a suspension bridge 80 feet (24 metres) above-ground and can lead all the way down to the base of the waterfalls. Within the gorge, there’s also an observation deck that lends you a picture-perfect view of the falls.

Tallulah Falls is located in Tallulah Gorge State Park and is easily accessible by car.

Tallulah Falls via Hurricane Falls Trail

Location: Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Rd, Tallulah Falls, GA 30573, United States

Distance: Round trip: 2.25 miles (3.62 kilometres)

Waterfall height: 524 feet (160 metres)

Difficulty: Difficult

8. Panther Falls and Angel Falls

Panther Falls Georgia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jsfouche used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Panther Falls and Angel Falls are another pair of tumbling waterfalls located along Joe Branch Creek. The waterfalls are nestled within a peaceful, tranquil creek valley that is still relatively untouched. Following the trail, you will reach Panther Falls first, where you will see the water flowing down into a clear, glistening pool. Afterwards, continue on to reach Angel Falls and observe the majestic cascading water from the wooden platform.

The waterfall hiking trail begins at Lake Rabun Beach Campground. Take note that the trail can be steep and rocky at times and thus may not be suitable for young children.

Panther Falls and Angel Falls

Location: Lake Rabun Beach Campground, Lake Rabun Rd, Lakemont, GA 30552, United States

Distance: Round trip: 1.75 miles (2.8 kilometres)

Waterfall height: 50 feet (15 metres)

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

9. Toccoa Falls

Toccoa Falls, Georgia3
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user FloNight used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Probably one of the most unique locations for a towering waterfall, Toccoa Falls is situated within a college campus adequately named Toccoa Falls College. Doubling as both a tourist attraction as well as a student retreat destination, the stunning waterfall is an impressive sight. Moreover, it is a free-falling waterfall and goes directly into the stream below.

To access the waterfall, make your way to Toccoa Falls College campus and enter through Gate Cottage Gift Shop. Take note that there is an entrance fee of 2 USD per adult.

Toccoa Falls

Location: Toccoa Falls College, 107 Kincaid Dr, Toccoa Falls, GA 30598, United States

Distance: Round trip: 0.4 miles (600 metres)

Waterfall height: 186 feet (57 metres)

Difficulty: Easy

10. Holcomb Creek Falls

Ammon Falls
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jsfouche used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Holcomb Creek Falls is at the end of a tough hike, but the view is certainly worth it. The looped trail brings you through a variety of terrains as well as flora and fauna. The scene is even more picturesque in spring and summer when the abundant rhododendron flowers bloom. Once you reach the waterfalls, there is an observation bridge where you can fully take in the majestic beauty of the waterfall. As a bonus, the trail also contains another waterfall, Ammons Falls, which is smaller and shorter but just as beautiful in its own right.

The trailhead lies on Hale Ridge Road (Forest Service Road 7) within Chattahoochee National Forest.

Halcomb Creek Falls

Location: Chattahoochee National Forest, Suches, GA 30572, United States

Distance: Round trip: 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometres)

Waterfall height: 120 feet (36 metres)

Difficulty: Difficult

Picture-perfect waterfalls in Georgia

There are few better places than Georgia, USA to enjoy such scenic, breathtaking views of waterfalls. Awaken that adventurous spirit in you and take a day trip to these wonderful locations for these worthwhile sights. Whether you’re going alone, with friends or with family, there is a waterfall trail that will suitably reward your efforts. What are you waiting for? Hop in your car and drive out to these great hiking trails!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Born in Hanoi and moved across London to Sydney to Singapore - I'm your typical starry-eyed student with a heart to explore the world, just one who's too poor to travel but does so anyway.

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