From the DeSoto Campground, you can go in two directions along the DeSoto Falls Trail. If you turn left, you’ll end up at Lower DeSoto Falls, which is the smaller of the two waterfalls. If you turn right, and hike about 3/4 of a mile, you’ll end up at Upper DeSoto Falls. This hike does require a little more effort, but is definitely worth it!
Upper DeSoto Falls is about 100′ tall. When I visited in mid-May, the falls were at a good flow level. After the summer heat, I imagine the falls quiet down a bit. There is apparently a third waterfall even further upstream that is now inaccessible. I had previously mentioned that the Upper and Lower Falls didn’t seem like they were on the same creek because of the way the trail system was set up. I’m not sure I was right, though I’m still confused. Other sites have indicated both falls are on Frogtown Creek. If both falls are on the same creek, there is some very odd turn in the creek that occurs in the mile between the upper and lower falls. It’s actually very interesting to think about how that could happen. No matter what, both waterfalls are worth a visit, and there are a number of other great waterfalls in the vicinity.
- Due to the nature of the road system and the mountainous terrain, it can be a little bit complicated to manage all of the different turns required to get to Lower DeSoto Falls. If you’re starting from Dahlonega, head north along US-19 for a little over 13 miles. (At times, US-19 may also be signed as GA-9 and GA-60, all three often simultaneously.)
- At Turners Corner, turn left onto US-19/US-129/GA-11, and drive for a little over 4 miles. The parking area for the falls will be on your left, and there’s a very obvious sign indicating you’ve reached your destination.
- From the parking area, follow the signs for the trail. If I remember correctly, you will cross a river, and then you’ll start hiking left on the trail to Upper DeSoto Falls. If you turn left, you will head toward Lower DeSoto Falls.
Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Length of Hike: 1.5 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Upper DeSoto Falls?