Lifestyle

Every Atlanta Waterfall We're Excited to Hike to This Summer

Published On 07/07/2016 Published On 07/07/2016
Amicalola Falls Atlanta Georgia
JayL/Shutterstock

Whether you’re a hardcore outdoorsman, or wouldn’t be caught dead in a tent, Georgia makes its waterfalls fairly easy to get to, so you don’t have to be in optimal shape to enjoy them. And thank God for that, because as the Southern humid heat gets worse, we keep hoping for more ways to cool off and not spontaneously combust as we walk to our cars. One surefire way? Go to one of these amazing waterfalls and act like you’re in the weirdest Pantene Pro-V commercial since… well… Pantene Pro-V started making commercials.

Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls State Park
Looking for the tallest waterfall in the state? Here it is. At 729ft tall, Amicalola Falls, which is Cherokee for "tumbling waters," offers a handful of smaller cascades along with short and long (think eight miles) hiking trails for you to spend the whole day with nature. The falls are located in the North Georgia mountains, north of Dawsonville, a little over an hour from the city, making them perfect for a weekend day trip.
How to get there: Take GA 400 North/US 19 North until you reach Dahlonega, then take Highway 52 and follow the signs to the state park.

Flickr/mpsutt

Tallulah Falls

Tallulah Gorge State Park
Tallulah Falls is a group of six cascading waterfalls, and the home of Tallulah Gorge -- one of the most impressive canyons on this side of the country. It’s two miles across, and almost 1,000ft deep. Don’t miss the suspension bridge hovering 80ft above the rocky bottom, giving you some Instagrammable views of the river and falls. Skip it if you’re not into heights, as it can be a doozy. Stay the night also, as campgrounds are available along with a swimming beach.
How to get there: I-85 north to I-985 (I-985 turns into 365), 365 to 441 North, 441 to Tallulah Gorge. Follow signs.

Flickr/Ben Grewell

Panther Creek Falls

Chattahoochee National Forest
The Panther Creek Trail is for those who actually show up to the gym once or twice a week. The hike itself has been described as moderate to difficult due to its elevation. However, the reward is worth it. You’ll reach the beautiful Panther Creek Falls around mile 3.5 (out of seven total). It takes about an hour and a half to reach them, and about two hours to return, so plan accordingly. Big cascades fall on smaller ones along the rocks leading to the creek. The pool-like water below is perfect for a quick, refreshing dip.
How to get there: Follow I-85 N and I-985 N/Lanier Pkwy to US-23 Nin Hall County. Then follow US-23 N to Old Historic US 441 N in Habersham County. There’s a parking area for the trail, follow the trail signs to the falls.

Flickr/Jimmy Emerson, DVM

Toccoa Falls

North Georgia mountains
More a walk than a hike, the path to Toccoa Falls is an easy stroll from the parking lot. At 186ft, the falls are more than a dozen feet taller than Niagara Falls. They are located near the Toccoa Falls College campus in the North Georgia mountains. The falls are open year-round for a small fee. The spot is great to dip your toes and bring your beach read to enjoy.
How to get there: Take I-85 N and I-985 N/Lanier Pkwy to US-23 Nin Hall County, then follow US-23 N and GA 17Alt S to Kincaid Dr in Toccoa. Park at the Visitor’s Center.

Flickr/Brenda Wiley

Raven Cliff Falls

North Georgia mountains
One of the most popular waterfall hikes in Georgia, Raven Cliff Falls is a moderate climb about 5 miles long, round-trip. Best yet, this trail is dog-friendly so make sure you grab your four-legged friend before you head out. You start hearing the roaring of the three waterfalls about 2 miles into your hike, and at only an hour and a half from the city, this is the ideal break from the hustle and bustle of your week.
How to get there: Follow I-85 N and I-985 N/Lanier Pkwy to US-23 Nin Hall County. Continue on US-23 N. Take GA-52 W and US-129 Nto GA-348 W in White County.

Flickr/Jeff Gunn

DeSoto Falls

Chattahoochee National Forest
Named after a Spanish explorer, DeSoto Falls are a quick walk (about two miles round-trip) from the parking lot on the trail. The area has multiple campgrounds that are pet-friendly, and is a good spot to spend the night and head to nearby Helen the next day.
How to get there: Take GA 400 N until you reach Dahlonega. GA. From there, take Highway 19 north for 18 miles to campground entrance on left.

Sign up here for our daily Atlanta email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun the ATL has to offer.

Muriel Vega is a freelance writer, and even though TLC told her not to chase them, she loves waterfalls anyway. Follow her hiking adventures at @murielvega.

Clickbait

close

Learn More