Angel Falls Trail: Hiking Lake Rabun Beach to Angel Falls & Panther Falls
Hike the Angel Falls Trail at the Lake Rabun Beach campground in North Georgia to two beautiful waterfalls, Angel Falls and Panther Falls.
Nestled deep in rolling mountains, Lake Rabun’s winding shoreline and glassy waters are a favorite North Georgia destination for hiking, boating, kayaking, and camping. Just below Lake Rabun’s dam, the Tallulah River plummets in a series of enormous waterfalls deep in the steep-walled depths of Tallulah Gorge.
Near the historic lakeside town of Lakemont, the Angel Falls Trail explores two tumbling waterfalls, Panther Falls and Angel Falls, in a beautiful creek valley near the Lake Rabun Beach Campground. Hiking less than two miles, round trip, the Angel Falls Trail is a fantastic family-friendly hike for campers at the campground, and fully worthy of a visit for anyone exploring the namesake lake of Rabun County.
Angel Falls Trail at Lake Rabun: the hike
The Angel Falls Trail departs from a trailhead in Loop 2 of the Lake Rabun Beach Campground (view maps and driving directions). The trail follows Joe Creek upstream, crossing a wooden bridge and catching sight of a small, multi-tiered waterfall near the trailhead. The hike ascends stone stairs, climbing elevation into a shady forest filled with fern, rhododendron and mountain laurel.
The Angel Falls Trail continues its ascent, Joe Creek tumbling over a rocky creek bed on trail right. The hike reaches a historical, moss-covered stone bench at .3 mile, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps at the site of a small spring in the early 20th century. Now diverted, the spring once flowed through the stone channel below the bench, a source of water for the nearby CCC camp.
The trail passes a large, rocky, mossy outcrop on the right before crossing two bridges, the sound of Panther Falls growing louder. The Angel Falls Trail reaches Panther Falls at just under .6 mile, where Joe Creek cascades down a stair-stepped rock outcrop into a tranquil pool of water below.
Departing Panther Falls, the hike hangs a right, climbing the trail’s steepest stretch through a sharp switchback. (Metal cables serve as a safety railing on this stretch of the trail; extra caution should be taken with dogs and children.) The hike climbs, reaching a trail loop; a turn in either direction leads to Angel Falls.
The trail reaches this hike’s second waterfall at .9 miles, catching views of Angel Falls from a wooden platform. Above, the waterfall cascades down over an angled, multi-tiered rock face framed in leafy rhododendron.
Departing Angel Falls, the hike retraces its steps to the trailhead, pausing at Panther Falls on the return hike for one last look at the waterfall. The hike reaches the Angel Falls trailhead at the Rabun Beach Campground at 1.75 miles, completing the hike.
Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.
More Lake Rabun-area waterfall adventures
In the Lake Rabun area and up for some more waterfall-chasing adventures? Don’t miss the nearby Minnehaha Falls just north on the Lake Rabun shore, a shorter hike to a much larger waterfall. (But, unlike Angel Falls, the Minnehaha Falls Trail is usually crowded on warm-weather weekends.) And further north, a beautiful waterfall cascades down into a shady creek valley near the shores of Lake Burton, reached by a popular 2-mile hike on the Hemlock Falls Trail.
Angel Falls Trail at Lake Rabun Map, Directions & Details
$4 (daily). Camping at the Lake Rabun Beach campground? Walk to the trailhead and save the parking fee.
34.761333, -83.472700 // N34 45.680 W83 28.362