“A challenging journey ending at a beautiful campsite next to a waterfall.
— JC Miller
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
There is a parking fee. Standard GA Parks rates apply ($5 per vehicle).
This trail is a fun but challenging one. Wear good shoes and be ready for a journey. This trail has it all: muddy paths, rocks with slight bouldering required, steep ledges leading to great riverside views, great campsite locations, and fantastic waterfalls.
Need to Know
Dress for the occasion; bring layers in the cold as you'll get hot at times, water, first aid kit for scrapes and falls, and, if in the summer months, bring a bathing suit to take a dip in the pool at the end!
Be mindful of the many, many rocks and roots and uneven ground.
This is a bit difficult as there is very little parking. About 4-5 cars can park beside the trailhead, and another 10-12 can park across the street, so be sure to get here early to have a spot. The park charges $5 per vehicle or the State Annual Parks pass will work ($50 purchased online).
Trailhead and Signage:
The trailhead is well-marked and easy to find. It starts next to a stream which leads under the interstate. The underside of the bridge is covered in ever-changing graffiti, however, this only seems to take enhance the unique view. Signage from start to finish is adequate with some white blazes on trees; however, in two cases a blazed tree was down on the trail which could cause some confusion.
The journey is the best part right? The trail, at 3.2 miles one-way, is a healthy length and has its fair share of river views, foliage, trees to climb over, boulders to scramble around, and rocks to trip over. For most of the trail, you'll be heading south-southeast on the outbound leg towards the falls. Along the way, there are a decent number of places to set up a hammock and rest, logs to sit on, and at least four good places for a full campsite with room for about four double occupancy tents.
You parallel the banks of the river the entire length of the trail and are seldom out of the view of the river. There are a few river crossings, but all have wonderfully built bridges with handrails and firm footing. There are a few steep ledges along the path which can feel a bit treacherous without trekking poles, but the presence of steel cable railings make them safe to cross. Multiple waterfalls on this trail keep you pushing past the difficult terrain so you can see what lies ahead. The final waterfall is a fabulous place to sit, rest and just enjoy nature; there is also a nice swimming hole nearby. The run back can feel more challenging since the path is uphill.
This is not a "let me take a quick stroll in the woods with my significant other" type of trail; this is the "my significant other and I like to be challenged and want a fun adventure" type trail. It is a fun run with a group also as the extra hands will make it easier to get over some of the "harder" parts.