Amicalola Falls

The Top 15 North Georgia Waterfalls (& How to Get to Them)

When you explore the enchanting Blue Ridge region of the North Georgia mountains, you’re bound to run across stunning waterfalls tucked away in remote parts of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests.

Tumbling over massive rock outcrops and spilling into meandering streams lined with towering trees, mossy boulders, and beautiful wildflowers, these natural wonders are an inspiring sight to see.

With Covid-19 concerns leading many travelers to consider staycations and regional road trips this year, this is the perfect time to discover the many beautiful waterfalls North Georgia has to offer.

Whether you’re looking to witness the massive cascades of Amicalola Falls, hike through the vast Cohutta Wilderness to Jacks River Falls, or take a quick walk to the unforgettable Toccoa Falls, read on to see our staff picks for the Top 15 North Georgia Waterfalls!

READ MORE: The 10 Best North Georgia State Parks

“Amicalola Falls 3” by MrTugs / John is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Amicalola Falls

Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, just eight miles from the southern end of the Appalachian Trail, Amicalola Falls State Park is home to the tallest waterfall in Georgia.

The word Amicalola is Cherokee for “tumbling waters,” which is a fitting description for these 729-foot falls, which cover seven cascades.

Various hiking trails that run through the park will give you glimpses of the gorgeous falls from different angles. Check out the wheelchair-accessible West Ridge Falls Access Trail and the one-mile East Ridge Trail.

But the park’s most scenic views come via the 2-mile Amicalola Falls Loop Trail. It starts under a commemorative stone arch for the Appalachian Trail, leading you through a ridge and down a multitude of winding stairs alongside the stunning falls.

Driving Directions to Amicalola Falls:

Amicalola State Park is located 15 miles northwest of Dawsonville on GA Hwy 52. Take GA Hwy 53 West to GA Hwy 183 North, then GA Hwy 52 East. Turn left onto Amicalola Falls State Park Road and take the first left onto Top of the Falls Road.

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

Anna Ruby Falls

Anna Ruby Falls is a rare pair of enchanting side-by-side waterfalls near Helen GA, which are formed at the junction of Curtis Creek and York Creek.

Curtis Creek tumbles over 150 feet, and York Creek 50 feet, to form the intriguing double falls, which spill into Smith Creek and flow downhill into the Chattahoochee River.

To reach this dazzling display, your brief (but scenic) hike begins at the visitor’s center, which is right outside of Unicoi State Park.

The paved trail will take you across a bridge over Smith Creek and continue through the forest. You’ll hear the roaring of the falls before you see the cascading water emerge through the trees.

The two wooden viewing platforms at the top offer the best views and photo opportunities of Anna Ruby Falls. The easy round-trip hike is a total of just under a mile.

Driving Directions to Anna Ruby Falls:

From Helen GA, drive north for one mile on GA Hwy 17 to Robertstown, then turn right on Hwy 356. Go 1.3 miles and turn left on Anna Ruby Falls Road to reach a paved parking lot.

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“100_1366” by mira d’oubliette is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

DeSoto Falls

Another stunning pair of waterfalls in Georgia, Desoto Falls is a sight of breathtaking natural beauty. They’re also believed to be where a piece of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s armor was found from his expedition in the 1500s.

The hike to the falls starts off at a parking area and follows a paved path to a wooden bridge across the rhododendron-lined banks of Frogtown Creek.

After the bridge, you’ll get your first sight of the rushing lower falls, then reach a wooden viewing platform around a 1/4-mile.

As you continue along the path, you’ll cross one more wooden bridge before you reach the magnificent cascades of upper DeSoto Falls.

There’s a viewing platform where you can stop for a rest, picnic, or just savor the beauty of the nearly 80-foot falls. The roundtrip hike will be approximately 2.2 miles.

Driving Directions to DeSoto Falls:

DeSoto Falls are located in Lumpkin County, in the Chattahoochee National Forest DeSoto Falls Scenic Area. From Dahlonega, GA, drive north on GA9 /Morrison Moore Parkway for 13 miles, then turn left on to US 129 for 4 miles. Not long after passing the Walasi-yi Center/Mountain Crossings, you’ll see a left turn into the park.

READ MORE: Top 10 NC State Parks in the North Carolina Mountains

“SMT_7623” by Scott Tanksley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Dukes Creek Falls

Dukes Creek Falls is a trio of beautiful waterfalls located just north of Helen, Georgia, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The hike to the falls departs at the Dukes Creek trailhead, where you can catch an excellent view of Yonah Mountain before embarking on your adventure.

The trail passes an ADA-accessible viewing platform and continues downhill on a series of stairs and platforms before reaching a junction.

Turn right to take a quick trip to the crystal-clear waters of Davis Creek, or continue on the main trail to reach a viewing platform. From there you can admire the beauty of the waterfalls cascading from the cliffs high above… 150 feet high, to be exact!

After soaking in the breathtaking views, it’s an uphill climb back to the trailhead to complete the 2-mile round trip hike.

Driving Directions to Dukes Creek Falls:

From Helen GA take GA 75 north for 1.5 miles. Turn left on GA 356 for 2.3 miles to the Richard Russell Scenic Highway. Turn right and continue 2 miles to the falls trailhead and parking area.

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Emery Creek Falls in North Georgia by Jeff Moore via CC BY-NC 2.0

Emery Creek Falls

Hidden away in lush, deciduous forest, Emery Creek Falls is a remote pair of beautiful waterfalls located near Ellijay, GA.

Although more difficult than most hiking trails in north Georgia, the trek to Emery Creek Falls is well worth the effort. Along the way you’ll get 20+ creek crossings, intriguing wildflowers, stellar views of the falls, and the bliss of being immersed in nature.

The adventure starts at a trailhead and follows a ridge, where you’ll reach the convergence of Emery and Holly Creek– the first and most difficult of the creek crossings. Fair warning, the rocks can be extremely slippery here, and you probably will get wet!

At just over two miles, the trail reaches a signed intersection. Turn left to reach the lower falls, and then the hike continues along to the double cascades of the upper waterfall.

After you’ve taken in the serene views there, the hike turns outbound and is completed at about six miles.

Driving Directions to Emery Creek Falls:

From Ellijay, Georgia, follow GA State Route 52 for just over 9 miles. Turn right onto Conasuaga Road and continue straight when the road turns to gravel. In another 2.1 miles bear left on Old CCC Camp Road. In 2.8 miles, the parking area will be on the right at a switchback in the road.

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“File:Helton Creek Falls (17380779330).jpg” by ChattOconeeNF is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Helton Creek Falls

Tucked away in the lush Chattahoochee National Forest, Helton Creek Falls is a pair of beautiful waterfalls near Blairsville, GA.

At less than a mile, the hike to the mesmerizing cascades descends into the enveloping array of hardwood trees, rhododendron, and conifers.

The trail continues down a set of wooden stairs to the lower Helton Creek Falls, where the waterfall flows down into a crystalline pool of water.

Shortly after, the trail leads to a viewing platform where you can get a clear view of the upper falls situated along a huge rock outcrop. When you’re ready to make your way back, you can follow the trail back to the trailhead.

Driving Directions to Helton Creek Falls:

From Blairsville, GA, take US 19/129 south for 11 miles. Just after the entrance to Vogel State Park, turn left on Helton Creek Road. Continue for 2.2 miles to a small parking area, and the trailhead will be on your right.

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

“Crest of Hemlock Falls in Cloudland Canyon” by Andrew Kalat is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Hemlock Falls (Cloudland Canyon)

The Cloudland Canyon Waterfalls Trail in Cloudland Canyon State Park is a relatively difficult hike compared to others on this list. But it’s well worth the trek thanks to two stunning North Georgia waterfalls– Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls.

To reach Hemlock Falls, the hike starts at the East Rim parking area and winds throughout the forest and a series of stairs. Make sure to watch out for falling rocks, because the canyon walls will be right next to you throughout a good portion of the hike.

The trail will reach an intersection where you can turn left to visit Cherokee Falls, or continue through more stairs to reach a wooden viewing platform for Hemlock Falls.

Dropping over 90 feet, the falls tumble off a towering rock wall into the canyon floor, where large boulders sit along the placid stream.

Once you have taken in the beauty of the falls, the trail will loop around back to the trailhead, finishing at 2.1 miles. 

Driving Directions to Cloudland Canyon:

From Ellijay, GA, head northeast on N Church St toward N Main St/Old Hwy5. Follow GA-382 W and GA-136 W to Cloudland Canyon Park Rd in Rising Fawn. Turn right onto Cloudland Canyon Park Rd, and the trail will be on your left.

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“Holcomb Creek Falls” by DKFrost is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Holcomb Creek Falls

Situated in the northeast corner of Georgia, Holcomb Creek Falls is a gorgeous waterfall with a nearly 150-foot drop.

To reach the stunning spectacle, there’s a 1.75-mile loop trail that features two great North GA waterfalls, Ammons Creek and Holcomb Falls.

The moderate hike begins at the intersection of Hale Ridge Road and Overflow Road, then descends into a section of the Chattahoochee National Forest that’s filled with beautiful rhododendron.

Along the way to the main falls, you’ll cross several small cascades. The trail will lead you straight to Holcomb Falls, and then loop back around to where you started. 

Driving Directions to Holcomb Creek Falls:

From Clayton, Georgia take Warwoman Rd east for 10 miles. Take a left on FS Rd 7 and continue on for 9 miles. At the intersection with Overflow Creed RD (FS Rd 86) park on the east side. The trailhead is marked with a blue band around a tree and a rock engraved with Holcomb Creek Trail.

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“Jacks River Falls” by Doug Bradley Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Jacks River Falls

Nestled in Georgia’s Cohutta Wilderness (the largest wilderness area in North Georgia), Jacks River Falls is one of the most remote and strikingly beautiful Georgia waterfalls.

To reach the falls, you’ll have to embark on one of the more intense waterfall hikes in north Georgia, the 18-mile round-trip Jacks River Trail.

Be prepared to get wet, because throughout the hike features almost 40 river crossings!

At mile 9 of the hike you’ll reach the crystal-clear water of Jacks River Falls, which spills over 80 feet into an open pool filled with rocks and lined with lush vegetation. From there, it’s 9 miles back to the Daily Gap trailhead.

If you’re looking for an easier hike, the Beech Bottom Trail is 4.5 miles downhill, and converges with the Jacks River Trail to lead you to the falls. Round-trip, it’s just over a 9-mile hike.

Driving Directions to Jacks River Falls:

From Atlanta, take Hwy 75 to Cartersville and exit North to Chatsworth on Hwy 411 towards Cisco, GA. Find Old Hwy 2 on the right and follow the road for 7 miles. When you see signs that point to Beech Bottom, turn right and cross a gravel road. The first right turn will be the Daily Gap trailhead. For the Beech Bottom Trailhead, keep going for 5 miles and you’ll see a parking area

READ MORE: 20 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Overlooks in NC & VA

Image by Rain095 from Flickr is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls is one of the most popular falls in north Georgia and one of the best waterfalls to visit with kids because of the short, relatively easy hike.

Departing from the Bear Gap trailhead (which is distinguished by a green diamond and the number 147), the hike travels near the rhododendron-lined banks of Lake Rabun and ascends a set of wooden stairs.

At just .2 miles you’ll reach a clearing where you can enjoy the dazzling, multi-tiered cascades of Minnehaha Falls. The loop hiking trail is less than half a mile in total.

Driving Directions to Minnehaha Falls:

From Clayton, Georgia, head south on US 441 to Old US 441. Turn left on Lake Rabun Road. After you pass Rabun Beach Camping Area #1, turn left onto Flat Creek Road. Continue straight on Bear Gap Road for 1.5 miles to find a small parking area on your left.

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“Panther Creek waterfall (HDR)” by gapeppy1 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Panther Creek Falls

One of the most breathtaking North GA waterfalls, Panther Creek Falls is located in the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest.

The 7-mile hike is great for backpacking trips, with campsites that are open on a first-come basis dotted throughout the area.

The trail follows Panther Creek downstream, crosses a wooden bridge, and begins to narrow before veering left and reaching a series of waterfalls.

You’ll begin to hear the roaring sound of water before you reach the upper part of Panther Creek Falls. Continue along the trail to the sandy shores atr the base of the falls, where you can swim and admire the gorgeous scenery.

When you’re ready to go back, all you have to do is follow the trail in reverse.

Driving Directions to Panther Creek Falls:

From Tallulah Falls, take US 23/441 south. After 3 miles, turn right on Historic 441 to the Panther Creek Recreation Area on the right.

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Raven Cliff Falls in North Georgia
Raven Cliff Falls in North Georgia by Rod Ramsey via CC BY 2.0

Raven Cliff Falls

With a background of towering hardwood trees, verdant moss, and banks lined with vibrant wildflowers, Raven Cliff Falls is one of the most gorgeous waterfalls in North GA.

To reach the falls, you can take the Raven Cliff Trail, one of Georgia’s most popular and beloved hiking trails with waterfalls.

The adventure begins at a gravel trailhead, and follows Dodd Creek upstream. After crossing the creek on a wooden bridge, the trail continues through the forest, crossing small streams and a variety of side paths that will lead to smaller cascades.

A little over 2 miles in, you’ll reach Raven Cliff Falls. After taking in the breathtaking sight of the 40-foot falls, the hike follows Dodd Creek back downstream to the trailhead, completing the hike at just under 5 miles.

Driving Directions to Raven Cliff Falls:

From Helen, GA, take GA 75 North for 1.5 miles and turn left on FA 356 (75 Alternate). Continue for 2.3 miles to the Richard Russell Scenic Highway and turn right. After 2.8 miles, you will see the trailhead and parking area.

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“Fall at Tallulah Gorge State Park” by golab1995 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tallulah Falls

Home to Tallulah Falls, the Tallulah Gorge is a 2-mile long and 1,000-foot deep chasm formed over millions of years by the spectacular Tallulah River. Offering some of the best hiking in North Georgia, Tallulah Gorge State Park promises an unforgettable adventure.

Tallulah Gorge’s Hurricane Falls Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails with waterfalls in this region.

The two-mile hike offers a chance to explore the north and south rims of Tallulah Gorge, encompasses 10 overlooks with jaw-dropping views, and visit the massive Hurricane Falls.

Another great hike here is the 3.4-mile Sliding Rock Trail, which will give you an up-close look at the Bridal View waterfall. To make this hike, you need to get a permit: They’re free, but are limited to just 100 per day, so be sure to get to the park early!

For a more bird’s-eye view of the Tallulah Falls waterfalls from the canyon’s rim, you can also try the 2.5-mile North Rim & South Rim Trails.

Driving Directions to Tallulah Gorge:

From Atlanta, take I-85 North to I-985, which will turn into 365. From there, take Hwy 441 North to Tallulah Gorge. Depending on which hike and area you want to visit in the state park, you can follow various signs that will direct you.

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“img175b” by MadMarlin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Toccoa Falls

One of the best waterfalls in North Georgia (and one of the tallest free-falling cascades east of the Mississippi River), Toccoa Falls is a magnificent sight to see.

Located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, these falls are privately owned, but are open to the public.

The handicap-accessible hike to Toccoa Falls is more like a short walk– just 100 yards away from the visitor center and gift shop.

The trail starts on asphalt and ends with gravel when you get up close to the 186-foot-tall falls (that’s 19 feet taller than Niagara Falls)! The towering waterfall plummets into a steady stream that then flows throughout the 1,000-acre college campus. 

Driving Directions to Toccoa Falls:

Get on Highway 17 north of Toccoa, Georgia. Follow the signs to the campus of Toccoa Falls College. Drive to the back area of the visitor center to find a parking area.

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

Trahlyta Falls

Located in one of Georgia’s oldest state parks, Trahlyta Falls is a 110-foot-tall cascading waterfall surrounded by the gorgeous Chattahoochee National Forest.

To reach the falls you take the Trahlyta Lake trail, one of the easiest and most scenic North Georgia hiking trails with waterfalls.

The hike begins near the Vogel State Park Visitors Center and sets off into the forest, crossing over a wooden boardwalk. It continues onto an earthen dam where you can see Trahlyta Lake and, if the water is calm, the reflection of the majestic Blood Mountain.

Descending a set of wooden stairs, you’ll reach a large viewing platform where you will be incredibly close to the rushing cascades of Trahlyta Falls.

When you’ve finished taking in the wonder of the falls, the gentle trail retraces its steps around the lake to the trailhead, completing the hike at a little over a mile.

Driving Directions to Vogel State Park:

From Blairsville, Georgia, take US 19/129 south for 11 miles and turn right into Vogel State Park. You can park on the south end of Lake Trahlyta, but will have to walk to reach the falls on the north side of the lake. -by Christina Maggitas

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.

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