Review of the popular hiking trails offering breathtaking views of Tallulah Gorge – a steep-walled, waterfall-filled gorge in North Georgia.
Length: 3 miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Highlights: This hiking trail courses the rim of Tallulah Gorge – a steep-walled, waterfall-filled gorge that offers spectacular views.
Tallulah Gorge is a sight not to be missed in North Georgia – spanning 2 miles long and 1000 feet deep, the Tallulah River cuts through a deep gorge in the surrounding quartzite rock, creating a stunning set of six waterfalls as it cascades down through the gorge.
Tallulah Gorge State Park is well manicured, with a great interpretive center just off the parking lot. The center covers the historical and natural details of the area – perhaps a good stop after you’ve had the chance to stretch your legs on a tour of the trails. This was our second visit to the park; our first, over a year ago, was cut short by rain and we wanted a chance to re-explore the area.
A set of well marked, well manicured hiking trails (North and South Rim trails) skirts the outer edges of the gorge, providing breathtaking views from the top rim into the deep expanses of the cut rock below over a moderately easy 3 mile loop. The hiking trails are well traveled; you’re likely to encounter many people along your hike, especially on weekends in peak season. With the popularity of the trails, they’re sometimes crowded – but the views are a solid 10 out of 10 for the chance to peer into the stunning canyon and view some of the most stunning geology we’ve seen in the Southeast.
We’ve found the views from the Southern rim more picturesque than the North – and found less foot traffic on the trails. Be sure to take time to rest at the outlook vistas and take in the gorgeous views into the canyon – this is one of the most unique geologic features in the Southeast US.
Arrive early on prime hiking days for a permit to hike down into the floor of the gorge (permits are free but limited to 100 per day). The hike down is easily traveled and offers the opportunity to cross a suspension bridge that spans the gorge from a height of 80 feet and offers great views of the gorge not seen from the rim.
With views and terrain unlike any we’ve seen East of the Mississippi, we rate the Tallulah Gorge State Park a must-hike, not far from Atlanta (less than an hour and a half from Midtown), and a chance to view some of the great diversity that Georgia has to offer. Click here for the Tallulah Gorge State Park Hiking Trail Map, published by Georgia State Parks.
GPS Coordinates: 34.739849, -83.390399
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