Filled with beautifully rugged trails and stunning woodland sceneries, the wide sprawling North Georgia Mountains region is a perfect destination for both families and solo travelers looking for the nature escapade of a lifetime. The North Georgia Mountains is a storied mountain range, tied to the Native American heritage and culture. It was a key location during the American Civil War. The region has picturesque trekking sites that are ideal for camping, mountain biking, and even canoeing. You can dare to cross hundreds of feet long suspension bridges, test your fishing skills on its bountiful trout fishing sites, and explore its biodiverse mountain rivers that are perfect for snorkeling. The region’s best offerings, however, are its breathtaking waterfalls that are surely worth the hike. So if you’re tired of going on usual hiking trips, you can immerse yourself into the wilderness of North Georgia and explore these hidden gems. Here’s our rundown of the best waterfall hikes in North Georgia.
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. Raven Cliff Falls
With an easy-going and fairly short trail of less than 5 miles ( km), a hike to the Raven Cliff Falls is a light, but very rewarding experience. The trail itself is already considered picturesque by hikers, since adventurers would see a lot of brooks and small falls leading up to the main falls. The main falls at the end of the hike is very well worth the hike, as it flows down through a fissure, breaking two gigantic boulders. The trail is also pet-friendly, and equipped with restrooms.
Raven Cliff Falls
Address: 3000 Richard B Russell Scenic Hwy, Helen, GA 30545, United States
2. Jack River Falls
Both beginner and experienced hikers can enjoy the trek to the Jack River Falls. Adventurers could choose between the shorter Beech Bottom Trail, which is 4.5 miles (7 km) long, or the more rugged Jacks River Trail, which is 9 miles (14 km) long. The latter is named after a local Cherokee guide who helped travelers across the river by carrying them on his back. With a stunning 80-foot (24 m) drop, hearing the imposing roar of the Jacks River Falls is an unforgettable experience. The Jacks River Falls is also an all-year-round destination and it is home to a biodiverse environment filled with amazing wildlife and vegetation.
Jack River Falls
Address: Epworth, GA 30541, United States
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
3. Long Creek Falls
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Flowing under a lush forest canopy, the Long Creek Falls boasts a majestic rushing cascade that made it popular camping, backpacking and fishing destination among adventurers. The trek to the Long Creek Falls includes sections of the famous Appalachian Trail and the picturesque Benton MacKaye Trail. More adventurous hikers could also extend their trip to include the famous Hawk Mountain Shelter, which also serves as a decent campsite for travelers who want to immerse themselves deeper in the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains.
Long Creek Falls
Address: Blue Ridge, GA 30513, United States
4. Panther Creek Falls
The Panther Creek Falls is a famous hiking destination for the immense height of its two-tiered plunge. The first drop is a beautiful 100-feet (31-meter) spill along moss-covered rocks, followed by another 30-feet (9-meter) of cascades, which demands a steep and rocky descent for more experienced adventurers. Hidden inside the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, this hike is one of the more rugged destinations in this list. The stream along the trail is also one of the best trout fishing locations in the North Georgia region.
Panther Creek Falls
Address: Chattahoochee National Forest near Tallulah Gorge, GA 30573, United States
5. High Shoals Falls
One of the shorter hikes in this list, the High Shoals Falls trail is a famous family-friendly and pet-friendly North Georgia destination. With its popularity, the trail has moderately heavy traffic, perfect for beginners who prefer safer and busier trails. The trail also includes another waterfall, dubbed as the “Blue Hole”, with an unusually deep and cold pool. The trail to the High Shoals Falls is a very exciting walk, characterized by descents on stone stairs and traverses on switchbacks.
High Shoals Falls
Address: 1333 Indian Grave Gap Rd, Hiawassee, GA 30546, United States
6. Emery Creek Falls
The hike to the Emery Creek Falls is a very challenging route, with a fairly slippery route and a few trail marking issues. Hiking experience and patience is demanded from adventurers who dare to explore this remote waterfalls. But in spite of the difficulty of the trail, there are a plethora of interesting sites along this hike that makes it worth the effort. The trail includes a splendid deciduous forest known for its wildflowers, an old and abandoned homestead, and a scenic boulder-strewn creek. Considered as the most serene waterfall in Georgia, Emery Creek Falls is a perfect destination for adventurers looking for a retreat.
Emery Creek Falls
Address: Emery Creek Trail, Chatsworth, GA 30705, United States
7. Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls
Another two-for-one waterfalls hike, the trail to Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls is one of the most rewarding trails in this list. Tucked between stunning rows of tall trees, the Cherokee Falls boasts a 50-feet (15 m) single drop, but the Hemlock Falls, which is almost twice as tall as the Cherokee Falls, is the main attraction in this trail, complete with an observation deck that is ideal for a picnic. The well-marked trail also offers other fun activities like mountain biking, horseback riding, and caving.
Address: Rising Fawn, GA 30738, United States
Opening hours: 7am - 10pm (daily)
8. Minnehaha Falls
An exceptionally short and light trail, the hike to Minnehaha Falls is very child-friendly and family-friendly. Even with a fairly easy trail, the Minnehaha Falls is a sight to behold, making it one of the most popular destinations in this list. Minnehaha, which literally means waterfalls in the Native American language, is a quintessential waterfall destination in the region. The Minnehaha Falls has a multi-tiered cascade, with several smaller waterfalls in its lower levels, and its commanding sound filling the trail. This trail, with its wonderful flora, is also best enjoyed during springtime or summertime.
Address: Lakemont, GA 30552, United States
9. Hurricane Falls
Last on the list is the most picturesque and most thrilling trail in the North Georgia Region, with an exciting descent along an impressive gorge, and a daring traverse of a long suspension bridge atop a roaring river. The entirety of the trail itself boasts six waterfalls, with the majestic Hurricane Falls only being the main attraction. The hike only involves a moderately difficult trail, with well-groomed and well-marked paths.
Address: Tallulah Falls, GA 30573, United States
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
10. Amicalola Falls
Dubbed as the ‘tallest waterfall in the south’ - at more than 700-feet (213 m) - the Amicalola Falls is a sight to behold. Cherokees called the waterfalls Amicalola, meaning “tumbling waters”, for its numerous cascades. Located near the southern end of the Appalachian Trail, the Amicalola falls is best explored with a longer trek, but families can spend the day at the Amicalola Falls State Park, as it is only a part of the greater Chattahoochee National Forest.
Address: 418 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd, Dawsonville, GA 30534, United States
Beautiful waterfall hikes in North Georgia
Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a family-friendly nature trip, consider exploring North Georgia. This region is a treasure trove of magnificent waterfalls. North Georgia also boasts glamping accommodations. It has yurts for people looking for a rustic but cozy nature getaway, and quaint wood cabins with spectacular views of the North Georgia Mountain Region.
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