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Waterfalls are often created when parts of a river flow over different sections of rock and where soft rocks erode faster than hard rock. When this happens, the water begins to flow off the side of a cliff and creates a dramatic effect.
Many of the waterfalls in Georgia are very accessible, which means that you don’t have to be a hardcore hiker to see them. However, you can also make long hikes and weekend backpacking trips to really experience the region. Georgia has many beautiful state parks that showcase the natural beauty of its waterfalls and make it easy to see with designated trails, stairs, handrails, and signs.
These are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Georgia to see for yourself on a picturesque road trip. They’ll change the way you think about the American South and leave you inspired to keep exploring every day.
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Tallulah Falls & Hurricane Falls, Tallulah Gorge State Park
A beautiful area great for admiring striking waterfalls is Tallulah Gorge State Park. Tallulah Falls actually features six waterfalls that run down a deep gorge that plunges 1,000 feet. For a challenging and very rewarding hike, set out on the Hurricane Falls Trail. This is a great place to visit for aspiring nature photographers because you can cross over the gorge on a suspension bridge and snap some incredible shots. Another epic hike here is the Sliding Rock Trail, which is tough, includes rock scrambles, and leads visitors to the only natural swimming area at the gorge. Just make sure to stop by the state park office to get a permit first! When you visit the Clayton area of Georgia, you can stay at vacation rental properties like Mountain Lauren Tiny Cabin, Lady Slipper Cozy Cabin, or Whispering Winds Tiny Cabin.
Panther Creek Falls, Rabun County
One waterfall that’s very easy to reach, even if you aren’t an experienced hiker, is Panther Creek Falls. It’s in Rabun County, Georgia, and the falls are only about a half mile away from the starting point. If you keep going, however, you can reach Angel Falls and see some beautiful mountain laurel and rhododendron along the way. For more of a challenge, you can hike the Panther Creek Trail, which is moderately difficult and about seven miles long. Or make a weekend out of it by going backpacking and hopping off the trail to sleep over at one of the trails’ campsites overnight. For lodging, you can look for a place to stay in the Clarkesville-Cornelia area of Georgia. The Hampton Inn, Super 8, and Bayonet Inn & Suites are recommended places for accommodation in Cornelia.
Minnehaha Falls, Tallulah Gorge
Another Tallulah Gorge-area waterfall worth checking out is Minnehaha Falls, one of the state’s most underrated waterfalls and a unique natural attraction made up of a 100-foot falls that resembles stair steps. Try to visit this falls area in the springtime, if possible, because the foliage that surrounds it is stunning in the spring. You can reach this trail in under half a mile from the starting point, and it’s close to Lake Rabun as well. This is a great hike for the whole family and more kid-friendly than some others on this list. These falls are near Clayton and recommended places to stay in town are America’s Best Value Inn and the Quality Inn & Suites Mt. Chalet.
Anna Ruby Falls, Near Helen
Curtis Creek and York Creek formed Anna Ruby Falls, which is in another excellent hiking area near Helen, Georgia. This is a very easy and accessible trail, so it’s great for kids and people with limited mobility. The trail from the parking lot to the falls is only about half a mile, but it does have an incline and is considered to have a moderate rating. The towns of Helen and Hiawassee are near these falls if you are looking to spend a weekend in the area. Places to consider staying in the Hiawassee area are the Ridges Resort & Marina, the Boundary Waters Resort & Marina, and the Lake Chatuge Lodge.
Duke Creek Falls, Near Helen
The round-trip hike to see Duke Creek Falls is about two miles, and this is another lovely falls area to see near Helen. You’ll also see Yonah Mountain and the Raven Cliffs Wilderness from this area. Once you reach the end of this hike, you’ll see Duke Creek Falls, which is where Davis Creek and Dukes Creek meet and tumble over a large cliff. If you’re visiting this area from out of town and want to check out Helen as well, you can also book a room at the Heidi Motel, the Helendorf Inn and Conference Center, or the Baymont Inn & Suites in Helen.
Raven Cliff Falls, Near Helen
The Bavarian-themed town of Helen is an incredibly unique place to visit in Georgia, and if you head just outside of town, you can take a hike to see Raven Cliff Falls. This is a great hike that’s about five miles long and perfect for getting active with a moderate challenge. The Raven Cliff Falls Trail runs through a stream valley with tiny cascades appearing throughout the hike. You’ll get views of Dodd Creek as you get closer to the falls and be rewarded with lovely views at the end of the trail. You can stay at the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson or the Riverbend Motel & Cabins when you make Helen your home base for waterfall exploration.
Helton Creek Falls, Vogel State Park
When you’re in Georgia, also make a point to see Helton Creek Falls, which is in Vogel State Park. What’s fun about visiting these falls is that you can actually take a dip in the water pool at the bottom of the falls…so bring your swimsuit! You can hike the easy 0.3-mile Helton Creek Falls Trail to see Helton Creek, two waterfalls, and a 100-foot vertical drop. Just make sure to be careful while hiking around this area because the rocks can be very slippery. This is another falls area that is in the Blairsville-Cleveland area. Recommended places to stay in Cleveland include the Knights Inn and the Country Hideaway.
DeSoto Falls, Chattahoochee National Forest
DeSoto Falls is another beautiful waterfall area, and it was named after Hernando DeSoto, who was a Spanish explorer. This is a waterfall located in the famous Chattahoochee National Forest. Take the 2.2-mile DeSoto Falls Trail to pass by a shady creek and reach the lower and upper cascades of the falls. These falls are in the Blairsville-Cleveland area of Georgia, and you can stay at the Comfort Inn or the Seasons Inn if you plan to find lodging in Blairsville.
Amicalola Falls, Amicalola State Park, near Dawsonville
The name, Amicalola, is a Cherokee word that means “tumbling waters,” and that’s exactly what you’ll see when you visit this state park. This is the tallest waterfall in the state of Georgia, which is why it made it first on our list of must-see spots. Located in Northeast Georgia near Dawsonville, this is a family-friendly destination that everyone should make a point to see in Georgia. Keep in mind that the 2.1-mile Amicalola Falls Trail is popular and often crowded, but it’s definitely worth it. Visit on a weekday and early in the morning if you can for the best views and fewer crowds. You can set up camp nearby or stay at the Len Foote Hike Inn after a backcountry, five-mile hike. These falls are in the Dawsonville-Dahlonega area of Georgia, and you can also stay at the Amicalola Falls Lodge.
Jacks River Falls, Cohutta Wilderness
The Jacks River Falls is located in the Cohutta Wilderness, where the river flows out over a rocky outcropping. You can hike the nine-mile route that includes the Beech Bottom Trail and the Jacks River Trail to reach the falls. For easier access, simply hike the Beech Bottom Trail, which tends to be more popular and crowded. Jacks River Falls is near Epworth in Georgia, and you can stay at the Moonshadow Ridge Guest House B&B when you’re in the area.