The 20 Best Easy Hiking Trails to Waterfalls in Georgia

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In our eyes, one of the highlights of hiking in the North Georgia Mountains is finding yourself at the base of an eye-popping waterfall.

Thankfully, there are an abundance of breathtaking Georgia waterfalls to explore, from the 729-foot Amicalola Falls (the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi) to the stunningly beautiful Minnehaha Falls.

You might think that reaching these impressive cascades inherently requires a long trek, or a laborious climb up the side of some remote mountain. And in the case of some waterfalls in Georgia, that’s 100% true!

But there are plenty of North Georgia waterfalls that can be reached by hiking less than 3 miles, with minimal elevation gain. It’s all about knowing where to start!

So whether you’re hiking with kids, older dogs, or just looking for a quick, yet rewarding outdoor adventure, you’ll want to check out our picks for the best easy hiking trails to waterfalls in Georgia. 

We’ve broken them up geographically into five sections: waterfalls near Blairsville, waterfalls near Blue Ridge, waterfalls near Clayton, waterfalls near Helen, and waterfalls near Atlanta.

Each listing includes the overall trail length, elevation gain, plus an overview of the hike itself. So read on to find your new favorite North Georgia hiking trails!

READ MORE: 101+ Things to Do in North Georgia

 

Guide to Easy Hiking Trails to Waterfalls in Georgia

  1. Trahlyta Falls
  2. Helton Creek Falls
  3. DeSoto Falls
  4. Falls Branch Falls
  5. Long Creek Falls
  6. Sea Creek Falls
  7. Amicalola Falls
  8. Minnehaha Falls
  9. Hemlock Falls
  10. Dicks Creek Falls
  11. Holcomb Creek Falls
  12. Panther Falls & Angel Falls
  13. Toccoa Falls
  14. Anna Ruby Falls
  15. Dukes Creek Falls
  16. Horsetrough Falls
  17. Blue Hole Falls
  18. Sweetwater Creek Red Trail
  19. Vickery Creek at Roswell Mill
  20. Toonigh Creek Falls

 

Waterfalls Near Blairsville GA

Trahlyta Falls in Vogel State Park, North Georgia Mountains
Trahlyta Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

1. Trahlyta Falls

Trail Length: 0.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 219 feet

Located in one of North Georgia’s oldest state parks and surrounded by the lush Chattahoochee National Forest, Trahlyta Falls ranks among the most beautiful waterfall hikes in GA.

The easy hiking trail begins near the Vogel State Park Visitors Center, where you’ll cross a wooden boardwalk and be guided onto an earthen dam.

The trail offers incredible views of Trahlyta Lake and Blood Mountain before making its way down the wooden stairs to the cascades.

After descending the stairs, you’ll reach a spacious platform where you can get closeup views of the massive 110-foot-tall Trahlyta Falls in all their glory.

Note that this waterfall can also be seen from the park’s main road!

READ MORE: Vogel State Park: Camping, Hiking & History in North Georgia

Couple relaxing on rocks at Helton Creek Falls near Helen, GA
Helton Creek Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

2. Helton Creek Falls

Trail Length: 0.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 29 feet

Clocking in at just over a half-mile (with minimal elevation gain), the Helton Creek Falls trail is short and easy, but offers a scenic and fun-filled adventure.

The trail immediately descends a set of stairs enveloped in a mixture of wildflowers, hardwood trees, and conifers before taking a short side trail to descend one more set of wooden stairs.

Soon after, you’ll reach the base of Helton Creek’s lower falls, where crystal clear water tumbles over a rock face into a pool that small kids and dogs love to splash around in.

The hike isn’t done yet, because the trail continues climbing up to a viewing platform where you can catch awesome views of Upper Helton Creek Falls in all its glory.

The large boulders scattered around the pool at the base of the falls also make a perfect spot for enjoying a picnic or simply soaking in the spectacular views. 

READ MORE: How to Get to Helton Creek Falls in Blairsville GA

DeSoto Falls near Helen GA, photo by Jason Dominy
DeSoto Falls, photo by Jason Dominy

3. DeSoto Falls

Trail Length: 2.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 160 feet

According to local legend, Desoto Falls is believed to be where a piece of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s armor was found from his expedition to the New World in the 1500s.

To reach the mystical set of waterfalls, your journey begins at a paid parking area and follows a paved path before crossing over Frogtown Creek.

At the rhododendron-lined creek, you’ll get your first glimpse of lower DeSoto Falls through the trees. But keep going, because at around 1/4-mile you’ll reach a wooden viewing platform where you can see them up close.

After one more bridge crossing, you’ll reach the spectacular 80-foot cascades of Upper DeSoto Falls and another large viewing platform, where you can marvel at the beauty of the falls. 

Note that these waterfalls are much more impressive after recent rains. 

READ MORE: How to Get to the DeSoto Falls Scenic Area Near Helen GA

 

Waterfalls Near Blue Ridge GA

Falls Branch Falls in Blue Ridge GA
Fall Branch Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

4. Fall Branch Falls

Trail Length: 0.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 200 feet

Guiding hikers along part of the Benton MacKaye Trail (which is filled in spring with North GA wildflowers like rhododendron and mountain laurel), the Fall Branch Falls trail packs a lot of scenery into its short length.

The short hiking trail explores a mossy forest before descending to a wooden observation platform at the base of the multi-tiered, 75-foot waterfall.

The photo opportunities here are especially great after recent rains, and the views of the surrounding forest are simply stunning when the fall colors of North Georgia are on full display.

From there, you can opt to continue along the Benton MacKaye Trail and tackle a longer adventure. But if you simply retrace your steps back to the parking lot, you can complete the hike at just under a mile.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge, GA

Long Creek Falls, the Best Waterfalls in Blue Ridge GA
Long Creek Falls, photo by Hope Cross

5. Long Creek Falls

Trail Length: 1.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 301 feet

Arguably the most popular of the five waterfalls in Fannin County, Long Creek Falls is a picturesque 50-foot waterfall.

But the glistening cascades aren’t the only reason this waterfall trail is so popular.

Long Creek Falls has a unique location near Three Forks, where some of the Best Hiking Trails in North Georgia (the Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, and Duncan Ridge Trail) come together.

The hike guides visitors along Long Creek, through a lush forest that’s filled with rhododendron and other wildflowers, hemlock, and tulip poplar.

You’ll reach the falls in less than a mile, leaving you plenty of time to relax and admire the water as it surges downward before collecting in a tranquil creek dotted with moss-covered boulders and stones.

READ MORE: How to Get to Long Creek Falls in Blue Ridge GA (Fannin County)

Sea Creek Falls in Suches GA, one of the best waterfalls near Blue Ridge)
Sea Creek Falls in Suches, photo by Hope Cross

6. Sea Creek Falls

Trail Length: 0.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 32 feet

Nestled in the Coopers Creek Recreation Area of the Chattahoochee National Forest, Sea Creek Falls is a captivating 30-foot waterfall that can be reached by a quick half-mile, in-and-out trail.

The well-marked trail follows alongside its namesake creek. But it can get quite muddy after heavy rains, so it’s good to check the weather and/or wear grippy hiking shoes.

Soon you’ll reach Sea Creek Falls, which flows into a shallow, rock-filled pool that’s great to splash around in and cool off during warmer months.

While this Blue Ridge waterfall is a popular spot during the summer, they’re particularly striking in late winter or spring, when the water flow tends to be stronger.

READ MORE: How to Get to Sea Creek Falls in Suches, GA

Amicalola Falls in Dawsonville, GA
Amicalola Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

7. Amicalola Falls

Trail Length: 0.6 miles

Elevation Gain: N/A

Amicalola Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in north Georgia. It’s also the tallest waterfall in the state, reaching an incredible total height of 729 feet.

There are a number of Amicalola hiking trails that give you access to the falls, including the one-mile East Ridge Trail and the two-mile Amicalola Falls Loop Trail.

But the easiest of them all is the ADA-accessible West Ridge Falls Access Trail.

The 0.6-mile out-and-back trail is made out of a recycled tire surface that is both wheelchair- and stroller-friendly.

It leads to the midsection of the falls, which offers an awesome view of the cascades and a great spot for photos.

READ MORE: Fall in the Mountains of North Georgia (Where to See the Best Fall Colors)

 

Waterfalls Near Clayton GA

The 60-foot-tall Minnehaha Falls near Lake Rabun, GA
Minnehaha Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

8. Minnehaha Falls

Trail Length: 0.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 62 feet

One of the easiest and most rewarding North Georgia waterfall hikes, the Minnehaha Falls Trail begins at the Bear Gap trailhead, which is distinguished by a green diamond and the number 147. 

Traveling near the banks of Lake Rabun, the short but beautiful trail climbs a set of wooden stairs and guides you on a gentle incline through the forest.

In approximately 0.2 miles, the trees open up to reveal the multi-tiered cascades of Minnehaha Falls.

There is a wide area at the base of the falls that’s scattered with rocks that are perfect for relaxing, having a picnic, and taking in the enchanting views of the 50-foot waterfall.

When you’re ready to head back down, just follow the trail the way you came to complete the scenic trek at less than half a mile!

READ MORE: How to Get to Minnehaha Falls GA at Lake Rabun

Hemlock Falls, GA near Moccasin Creek State Park
Hemlock Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

9. Hemlock Falls 

Trail Length: 2 miles

Elevation Gain: 242 feet

Located across the road from Moccasin Creek State Park, Hemlock Falls is a picturesque 15-foot-tall North Georgia waterfall whose smaller stature belies its beauty.

The Hemlock Falls Trail trail begins near the shores of Lake Burton, with a gradual incline before crossing a wooden bridge over Moccasin Creek.

At just one mile in you’ll reach a clearing where you can admire the Hemlock Falls as it tumbles over a rocky cliff into a serene pool below. 

The area is sandy and has large rocks where you can stop for a rest or enjoy a nice afternoon picnic. You can also explore the area further and see a smaller cascade just a few hundred feet downstream. 

After soaking in the sights, you can retrace your steps to complete the relatively easy hike at a total of 2 miles.

READ MORE: How to Get to Hemlock Falls at Moccasin Creek State Park, Georgia

Dicks Creek Falls in Clayton Ga
Dicks Creek Falls, photo by Kim Easterling Ramos

10. Dicks Creek Falls

Trail Length: 1.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 173 feet

Dicks Creek Falls is located near the Warwoman Wildlife Management Area, on the Georgia-South Carolina border near downtown Clayton GA (one of our favorite Blue Ridge mountain towns).

The hike to the falls follows a section of the Bartram Trail north towards Dick’s Creek, exploring a beautiful hardwood forest along the way.

You’ll pass a point where three beloved North GA hiking trails (Dicks Creek, Chattooga River, and the Bartram) intersect before reaching the banks of the wild and scenic Chattooga River. 

There, you can admire the breathtaking view of Dicks Creek Falls as it cascades into the rushing river.

All in all, the easy hike can be completed in just over one mile.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Things to Do in Clayton, GA (the Gem of Northeast Georgia)

Holcomb Creek Falls in Clayton GA
Holcomb Creek Falls, photo by Kim Easterling Ramos

11. Holcomb Creek Falls 

Trail Length: 1.75 miles

Elevation Gain: 505 feet

Featuring a nearly 150-foot drop, Holcomb Creek Falls is easily one of the most striking waterfalls in Georgia. 

To reach the gorgeous display, follow a 1.75-mile loop trail that explores the Chattahoochee National Forest and also showcases another great GA waterfall, Ammons Creek Falls, along the way.

The hike begins at the intersection of Hale Ridge Road and Overflow Road. It then descends into the forest, eventually reaching Holcomb Falls and looping back around to where you started.

While the total hike is under two miles, the elevation gain of the loop trail is more moderate than easy.

But you can easily modify the trail: Just hike until you reach Holcomb Creek Falls, then follow it back out the way you came for a quicker, less strenuous trip.

READ MORE: Things to Do in Black Rock Mountain State Park Near Clayton GA

Panther Falls near Lake Rabun, GA
Panther Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

12. Panther Falls & Angel Falls

Trail Length: 1.75 miles

Elevation Gain: 436 feet

Tucked away in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest close to the western end of Lake Rabun, Panther Falls and Angel Falls can both be seen on a relatively easy 1.75-mile trail. 

The trail starts on Loop 2 of the Lake Rabun Beach Campground, where it begins following Joe Creek upstream.

From there you’ll ascend a set of stone stairs and pass a moss-covered stone bench that was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. 

At around 0.6 miles, you’ll reach Panther Falls. This is a wonderful place to stop for a while and admire the tumbling waters of the creek as they fall down the rocks and collect in a serene pool at the base.

Note that the elevation gain of the hike up to Angel Falls is more strenuous. So if you want an easier hike, you could retrace your steps from here. But the second section of the hike is just 1/3-mile further, with ropes for assistance! 

READ MORE: How to Get to Panther Falls & Angel Falls GA

Toccoa Falls GA
Toccoa Falls, photo via Canva

13. Toccoa Falls

Trail Length: 0.4 miles

Elevation Gain: Negligible

One of the tallest free-falling cascades east of the Mississippi River, Toccoa Falls is a breathtaking waterfall that surprisingly doesn’t require any sort of hike to reach. 

In fact, the path to the falls (which are located on the grounds of Toccoa Falls College) is more of a short walk, just 100 yards from the visitor center and gift shop. This waterfall trail is also ADA-accessible. 

The trail begins on asphalt and ends with gravel as you approach the 186-foot-tall falls. To put their massive height in perspective, Niagara Falls is a mere 167 feet tall!

The enormous waterfall drops into a steady stream that flows throughout the 1,000-acre campus. 

READ MORE: The 20 Best Fall Fairs and Festivals in Georgia

 

Waterfalls Near Helen GA

Anna Ruby Falls at Vogel State Park near Helen, GA
Anna Ruby Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

14. Anna Ruby Falls

Trail Length: 0.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 219 feet

One of the easiest out-and-back waterfall hikes in North Georgia, the 0.8-mile Anna Ruby Falls trail begins at the Visitor Center.

The path is entirely paved, and has a variety of interpretive signs along the way detailing the area’s fascinating history, geology, and wildlife.

As you travel along the photogenic path (which explores a gorgeous section of the Chattahoochee National Forest), you’ll see the rushing waters of Smith Creek the entire way. 

Before long you’ll reach two wooden viewing platforms, where you can watch in awe as Curtis Creek drops 150+ feet and York Creek drops 50 feet before merging to form Smith Creek.

They eventually flow into the lake at Unicoi State Park, which can be reached via the 8-mile Smith Creek Trail.

READ MORE: How to Get to Anna Ruby Falls Near Helen, GA

Vertical shot of Dukes Creek Falls near Helen GA
Dukes Creek Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

15. Dukes Creek Falls

Trail Length: 2 miles

Elevation Gain: 300 feet

Partially wheelchair-accessible and great for kids and dogs, the Dukes Creek Falls Trail is one of the most popular hikes to North Georgia waterfalls.

Beginning at the Dukes Creek trailhead (where you can catch an awesome view of Yonah Mountain), the paved trail will guide you to an ADA-accessible viewing platform at around 1/10th of a mile.

There you can get a first look at the falls from a distance before the trail descends a set of wooden stairs and turns into a wide dirt path.

The trail is very well-maintained, treating hikers to several sightings of smaller cascades as well as previews of the upper part of Dukes Creek Falls peaking out between the trees. 

At around 1 mile, the trail descends to reach several large viewing platforms, where you can admire the spectacular wateralls, the largest of which drops nearly 150 feet!

READ MORE: How to Get to Dukes Creek Falls Near Helen GA

 
Horsetrough Falls Near Helen GA
Horsetrough Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

16. Horse Trough Falls

Trail Length: 0.4 miles

Elevation Gain: Negligible 

If you want a more private and secluded waterfall near Helen GA, the Horsetrough Falls trail is a great option.

The hike is incredibly short and easy. What makes this waterfall less popular is its location at the end of a rugged 5-mile Forest Service Road that has large ruts and requires either a 4X4 or an experienced driver.

Once you make your way there, the trailhead is located in the back of the Upper Chattahoochee River Campground (which has been closed since 2018) and guides you to the 60-foot cascades of Horsetrough Falls. 

Even when the campground reopens, the gate to the campground will likely be locked from early November through mid-March. But don’t worry, you can still get to the waterfall!

Just park outside the gate and walk through the campground to find the trail at the very back. Note that this option will add around a half-mile to the hike each way, but there’s no elevation gain to speak of.

READ MORE: How to Get to Horse Trough Falls in Helen GA

Blue Hole Falls near Helen GA
Blue Hole Falls near Helen GA, photo by Maria Guillen

17. Blue Hole Falls

Trail Length: 2 miles

Elevation Gain: 500 feet

Blue Hole Falls is an enchanting 20-foot waterfall that collects in the deep, turquoise pool which inspired its name.

To reach this beautiful sight, follow the High Shoals Falls Trail downhill through the forest, across High Shoals Creek, and past a few primitive campsites. 

You’ll reach Blue Hole Falls at around one mile in, where you can admire the area’s sheer natural beauty and even jump in to cool off on a hot summer’s day.

The pool is over 10 feet deep and has incredibly clear water, making it one of the most popular swimming holes in the North Georgia mountains. 

When you’re done, you can either continue on to High Shoals Falls (where the trail becomes moderately difficult), or just follow the trail back the way you came.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Helen GA

 

Waterfalls Near Atlanta

Sweetwater Creek
Sweetwater Creek State Park, photo licensed by CC0 1.0

18. Sweetwater Creek Red Trail

Trail Length: 1.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 111 feet

One of the most popular hiking trails at Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs, the Red Trail is just under two miles and explores a beautiful deciduous forest.

Starting at a trailhead near the interpretive center, the path follows Sweetwater Creek downstream. At around half a mile you’ll reach the ruins of New Manchester Mill, which was destroyed by Union troops during the Civil War.

Departing the ruins, the trail will become rocky and cross a small bridge before ascending a wooden staircase.

There you’ll reach an overlook offering great views of the tumbling cascades of Sweetwater Creek.

The hike then retraces its path in reverse, passing by the mill ruins again on the way back to the trailhead.

READ MORE: The 15 Best North Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

Roswell Mill
Roswell Mill Waterfall, photo by Christina Maggitas

19. Vickery Creek at Roswell Mill

Trail Length: 3.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 337 feet

Offering both a beautiful waterfall and a peek into Georgia history, the Vickery Creek Trail at the Roswell Mill is a longtime favorite of Atlanta locals and visitors alike.

The trail leads you along the banks of Vickery Creek to the ruins of the Roswell Manufacturing Company Mills.

Constructed back in the late 1830s and 1850s, the mills burned down by Union forces during the Civil War. They were eventually rebuilt in 1853, only to be destroyed again by fire in 1926. 

The waterfall you’ll see during the hike is man-made, created when the creek was dammed to provide waterpower. If you just want to get to the waterfall and back, the trail is probably less than a mile round-trip. 

This is a great place to practice your photography skills, jump in and swim during the warmer months, or just enjoy the rich history of the area. 

READ MORE: Non-Venomous vs Venomous Snakes In Georgia (Identification Guide)

Falls/Allatoona Falls at Olde Rope Mill Park in Woodstock GA
Tonight Creek Falls/Allatoona Falls, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

20. Toonigh Creek Falls (a.k.a Allatoona Falls)

Trail Length: 3 miles

Elevation Gain: Unknown (but easy)

Located at Olde Rope Mill Park in Woodstock GA, Toonigh Creek Falls (also known as Allatoona Falls) is a 20-foot waterfall near the mouth of Toonigh Creek, where it spills into Lake Allatoona. 

To reach the falls, you have to either take the water route in a kayak or canoe or take an unofficial hiking trail.

The trail option starts at Olde Rope Mill Park, crossing a bridge over the Little River before following a path north for about .3 miles. 

You will then turn left and follow a broad road under the I-575 overpass, eventually making your way onto a well-worn path following along the Little River.

Follow the sounds of the waterfall to your left and you’ll reach the falls at around 1.5 miles. When you’re ready to head back, just follow the path back the way you came. -by Christina Maggitas; lead image of Minnehaha Falls by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

 

Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

Growing up in rural south Georgia, Christina Maggitas developed a love for nature at a young age and spent the majority of her formative years outdoors. Since first visiting the Great Smokey Mountains with her family as a child, she has always admired the beauty of the Blue Ridge region and spends as much time as she can hiking north Georgia. She has a passion for writing and storytelling with the hopes of inspiring others to enjoy the great outdoors. Currently, Christina is a senior at Kennesaw State University where she is studying Journalism and Emerging Media.