Trahlyta Falls, Georgia

Trahlyta Falls (2)

Trahlyta Falls in May 2012

I don’t exactly remember how I stumbled upon Trahlyta Falls, whether it was a planned stop or whether I just noticed it out of the corner of my eye. I feel like it might have been the latter, but the visit was over 7 years ago, so it is a bit fuzzy.

Trahlyta Falls is found in Vogel State Park in northern Georgia downstream from Trahlyta Lake. I only visited this falls for a few moments as I pulled off US-129 to take some photographs (or at least that’s what I recollect). If that’s frowned upon, I wouldn’t suggest it, but I didn’t find much difficulty in pulling safely to the side. Looking now, I find that there is a trail down to the falls called the “Falls Bottom Trail”. I don’t know exactly where it starts because I didn’t follow it. In the photo, you can notice that there are stairs and a boardwalk/viewpoint right near the base of the falls. So if you want a closer view of a very nice waterfall, you might want to explore that option!

Directions:

  1. Vogel State Park can be found essentially at the intersection of US-129 and GA-180. Trahlyta Lake is sandwiched in between those two roads.
  2. If you wanted to view the falls from where I did, you would head a bit south of that intersection along US-129 until you can see the falls. As I mentioned, there is a hiking trail that leads to the base, but it doesn’t start from where I viewed the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 80′
Length of Hike: roadside (though you can hike to the base)

Where in the World is Trahlyta Falls?

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Estatoah Falls, Georgia

I’ve debated for a bit about whether to post anything on Estatoah Falls, and I’ve decided that it’s worth it. Let me start by saying that this waterfall is on private property. There’s no way to get closer to the falls, and there’s not really a good place to stop and view the falls. One book I have mentions a pull-off along the road (GA-246), but there isn’t really any true pull-off to see the falls. I found that the best option was to turn down a road that comes before the falls. (There’s no designated place to view the falls there, it’s just not a busy road.)

So why am I posting about Estatoah Falls. Well, first, I think it’s a cool waterfall. Even from afar, this 200′ can catch your eyes. Just make sure to stay on the road. If it were accessible, it would be very popular…which is why I can understand keeping it private! And second, I don’t think I realized that Estatoah Falls is a continuation of Mud Creek Falls. Mud Creek Falls is also known as Little Estatoah Falls because it’s on the same creek. You can very easily visit Mud Creek Falls by heading into Sky Valley.

Directions:

  1. From US-23, turn onto GA-246 heading east. After about a mile, if you look to your right across the fields, you should be able to get a glimpse of Estatoah Falls.
  2. I found that turning onto Kelly’s Creek Road allowed me to get a “better” photo of the falls, not that it’s the best picture. (Kelly’s Creek Road isn’t wildly busy, which is the only reason I mention it.)

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 200′
Length of Hike: No hiking here (can be viewed from the road)

estatoah

Estatoah Falls in March 2017

Where in the World is Estatoah Falls?

High Falls, Georgia

I’ve looked for waterfalls outside of northern Georgia, where there are many, and didn’t seem to have much luck. I found a few outside of Atlanta, though they didn’t seem particularly big. I then logged onto AllTrails (which you should download), and noticed there was a state park called High Falls State Park. I found out there was a waterfall there, and it looked pretty interesting. (It’s other name, Towaliga Falls, sounds much cooler.)

It wasn’t a difficult drive from Atlanta, only about 50 miles or so, and directly off of I-75. Once driving to the state park area, it was pretty easy to find the falls and it was an extremely easy hike. I was surprised at how wide this waterfall was. The sign says it drops 100′, but that is over a relatively long distance. The main falls are probably 50′ or so, and there is a portion that is difficult to see. There wasn’t anybody else there, and it was pretty early in the morning, so it was extremely peaceful. If you’re looking for an excursion from the Atlanta area, this would definitely be a great option!

Directions:

  1. From I-75, take exit 198. If you are coming from Atlanta, you will exit and then turn left onto High Falls Road.
  2. Continue about 1 mile or so the park entrance. The first park entrance is where you can pay the $5 entrance fee early in the day. If you cross the bridge, though, you’ll come to the day use area on your left.
  3. Park there and then cross the road to the trail. It is directly adjacent to the river, and you just walk downstream for a few hundred feet to some pretty good viewpoints. The second one is the better vantage point.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate, stairs and some dirt trail)
Height: 50′
Length of Hike: 0.2 mi round-trip

High Falls in May 2014

Where in the World is High Falls?

Upper DeSoto Falls, Georgia

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.

Directions:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
Height: 100′
Length of Hike: 1.5 miles round-trip

Upper DeSoto Falls in May 2012

Where in the World is Upper DeSoto Falls?

Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia

I have a lot of thoughts about Anna Ruby Falls, and none of them are particularly eloquent. To get to the falls, you drive through a state park, leave the state park and enter a national forest, and then take the short hike to the falls. I remember you only pay for the national forest entrance. Random memory, right? I don’t remember the hike being particularly long or difficult, and I’m pretty sure it was paved the whole way. It’s really great for the whole family, which explains why it can be busy. Even so, I still had no difficulty finding parking.

As for photographing the falls, I wasn’t especially pleased. Overcast days are usually the best options for photographing well, but when you’re only there for two days, you don’t really have any other choice except to visit, point, and shoot. Adding more to the “difficulty” in photographing the falls are the trees blocking much of the view of the upper portion of the falls. No trees were harmed.

Looking at the pictures, Anna Ruby Falls is a trippy, visual feast for the eyes. It’s a double waterfall! A 150’+ drop is on Curtis Creek, while another 50′ drop to the right is on York Creek. To me, the falls look like they’re at an angle because of how my eyes try to focus. Or maybe the ground is just slanted? Like I said, random thoughts…

As with many Georgia waterfalls, there are others nearby, though it’s not usually a straight drive from one falls to the next. Each visit to the next waterfall require drives down curvy back roads. If you’re in the area, check out not one, but many falls. Otherwise, don’t go out of your way for just one.

Directions:

  1. From Helen, head north on GA-75 for just a few miles until you reach the junction with GA-356.
  2. Turn right onto GA-356.
  3. Turn left onto Anna Ruby Falls Rd. (This is not the first road to the left.)
  4. Head to the end of the road, where you’ll pass through the pay station to the parking area.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 153′ and 50′
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip

Anna Ruby Falls in May 2012

A cascade below Anna Ruby Falls

Where in the World is Anna Ruby Falls?

Bad Branch Falls, Georgia

Rabun County in Georgia is a treasure trove for waterfall hunters. Some of these falls are easy to visit, while a few others require more effort. Bad Branch Falls requires more effort, at least to get there in the first place. The journey involves driving 6 miles down the paved, but very curvy and winding, Lake Rabun Road. Then there is another 3 mile drive down a curvy, winding, unpaved road. The unpaved road was by no means dangerous, but it can be tiresome. It’s out there in relative isolation, and I had lingering thoughts of cars breaking down.

Not to deter anyone from visiting Bad Branch Falls, but to further complicate things, there aren’t any clear signs for the falls along this road. Lower and Upper Crow Creek Falls are both found further along the road. The only way to identify that trail is by intently looking for a small creek. In the case of Bad Branch Falls, the falls if further back, so it is much easier to miss the creek area. (And the unmarked trailhead might not be right where the creek is found, if I remember correctly). I honestly think it was pure chance that I seemed to notice a trail heading slightly uphill, and only after driving by it two or three times. (Turning around along the narrow, curving, road was another stress-inducer.) In the end, it helps to set the odometer, and pay attention like a hawk for the not-very-noticeable trail!

If you can find the trail to the falls, you’re in for a treat. I find Bad Branch Falls to be particularly beautiful. There is something about the slanted rock formation that is very intriguing to me. The water cascades down it in a unique fashion. I wasn’t as impressed by the falls on Crow Creek, so I was glad when I found this taller falls nearby. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re willing to just let your worries go away and enjoy the journey.

Directions:

  1. You’ll be travelling along US-441 north of Tallulah Falls.
  2. About 2 miles north of Tallulah Falls will be Old US-441.
  3. Turn onto old US-441, heading west for about 2.5 miles.
  4. Turn left on Lake Rabun Rd. and go for 6 miles. You will come to a dam with a road that crosses the lake/river right before the dam.
  5. Turn left and cross the dam.
  6. Go a short distance and turn/veer right onto Crow Creek Rd.
  7. Start watching your odometer. Travel for 2.9 miles on Crow Creek Rd. It will be rather narrow at points, so be careful!
  8. Right around the 2.8 mile mark, start paying attention for a trail that will be on your left. It will be unmarked, and if I remember correctly, it seems to climb uphill. The only way it is really noticeable is that the trail is at least moderately worn.
  9. I don’t remember if there was an official place to park. There might have been a make-shift pullout right near the trailhead, though I have a feeling I just tried to pull over as much as possible. While the road is narrow, it is not very busy, at least not in early March. (A recreation area with restrooms might be just past the trailhead, so pay attention to that as another possible point to help you find the falls.)
  10. After finding the trailhead, it’s a rather short hike to the falls.
  11. The falls on Crow Creek are just 0.8 miles further down the road. You might be able to use them as a basis for finding Bad Branch Falls, as the falls on Crow Creek are easier to find.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Bad Branch Falls in March 2009

Where in the World is Bad Branch Falls?

Dukes Creek Falls, Georgia

The portion of Dukes Creek Falls that is on Davis Creek (May 2012)

As I am sitting here, I am trying to decide how to put this post together. No waterfall in recent memory could be more convoluted to explain as Dukes Creek Falls. In a recent post, Upper Dukes Creek Falls, I initially identified these falls as being partially located on Dodd Creek. Dodd Creek is nearby, but the falls are not located on Dodd Creek. (I based this information on another site, which is also not correct.) Instead Dukes Creek Falls is located on Davis Creek Falls, at least a portion of it. Another portion of the falls is actually located on Dukes Creek. It’s just confusing. I’m just going to assume that the all of the portions below refer to Dukes Creek Falls.

The portion of Dukes Creek Falls found on Davis Creek (as the two creeks are about to meet) is just plain frustrating. Much of it is hidden behind trees, and there’s really no clear way to nicely photograph the falls. This portion of the falls is rather tall, but gosh darn if you’re going to get a good shot! This might be better when the trees haven’t bloomed, but there’s still a lot of clutter in front of the falls.

The confluence of Davis and Dukes Creeks

The portion of the falls where Dukes Creek and Davis Creek meet are more interesting, since you can actually get a better view. You’re actually standing directly in front of them.  This portion of the falls isn’t particularly tall, though.

If you look upstream on what is Dukes Creek (to the right), you’ll see one other drop. I wasn’t sure whether to list this as a separate falls, but just decided to make it easier. You can see all of these falls along the same short part of the trail. This is also not very tall, though it is somewhat wider.

The total hike to the falls is about 2.2 miles round trip. It isn’t difficult, maybe moderate at most. It is consistently downhill on the way there, and therefore uphill on the way back. The trail is very well kept, and the final stretch to the falls includes stairs and a boardwalk.

Directions:

  1. From Cleveland, Georgia, head northwest along GA-11.
  2. After some distance turn right on GA-75.
  3. Again, some distance later, turn left on GA-348. (I seem to remember this turn coming rather abruptly.)
  4. Drive two miles to the parking area for Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area. A National Forest pass will be required, which carries a daily cost.
  5. Follow the trail to Dukes Falls.
Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/difficult)
Height: 250′
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip

The portion of the falls that is actually on Dukes Creek!

Where in the World is Dukes Creek Falls?