Best Hikes in Georgia: Top 5 with Waterfalls

Waterfall at Cloudland Canyon State Park Georgia

Cloudland Canyon, Rising Fawn, Georgia
Water veil with stone cold face

When not writing, I prefer hiking. Our buddies Annie and Louie discovered these hikes and asked us to share them with you. They are all in Georgia within driving distance of Atlanta for a day trip.

In order of beauty:

1. Cloudland Canyon State Park

There are hikes here for everyone, with views accessible to all hiking and ability levels. Strenuous trails get you to Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls. The day we were there, icicles sparkled on rocks and a sheen of ice cloaked stones under waterfalls. 600 steps down to the falls. Worth it.

2. Tallulah Gorge and Tallulah Falls

Lots of water. Lots of hikes for all levels. We tackled this one on a sunny September day in 2012. Spectacular red leaves.

3. Taccoa Falls

One you won’t find on the Georgia State Park website. It’s situated behind Taccoa Falls College. Moderate difficulty and a short trail up a slight incline to reach the bottom of the falls. I discovered my favorite wilderness warning on one of those “duh” signs.

Beware of Snakes

Sign could apply in other places besides hiking trails . . .

4. Panther Creek State Park

We hiked 7 miles. Lots of rocks, better to hike in boots, would not advise sneakers, ankles need support.

5. Sweetwater Creek

Yes, it’s more than a beer. This area offers history lessons, lots of water shoals and a variety of hikes for nearly all levels. It’s easy to get to from downtown Atlanta and makes the perfect outdoor destination on a day when there’s only time for a short drive.

If you really don’t have time to get out of town, try the Belt Line and/or the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

The real experts are Helen and Ren Davis, authors of many walking guidebooks, several specific to Atlanta urban walks.

Waterfall at Cloudland Canyon State ParkImage

Waterfall at Cloudland Canyon State Park


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