Tallulah Gorge State Park: Hiking & Adventure Guide
Run, climb, bike or hike Tallulah Gorge State Park, exploring beautiful waterfalls, steep-sided canyons and serene riverbanks near Tallulah Falls, Georgia.
Peer into the gorge’s depths from the rim’s dizzying heights. Catch sight of Tallulah Falls, the gorge’s series of six spectacular rushing waterfalls. Plummet to the canyon floor via a seemingly never-ending series of stairs to cross a swaying suspension bridge that towers 80 feet over the rushing Tallulah River. Catch an up-close view of the Hurricane Falls waterfall from an observation deck deep within the gorge. Score a gorge floor permit (limited to 100 per day and not available on dam release days; check the park’s schedule) to cross the Tallulah River and scramble over the boulder-filled Sliding Rock Trail. Or venture upstream from Tallulah Gorge for a run, bike or nature walk on the Shortline Trail, where the Tallulah River, which flows from headwaters on Standing Indian Mountain in North Carolina, flows quiet, calm and serene.
The hiking, biking, and trail running options at Tallulah Gorge are plentiful – and the sights are simply stunning. From the barely-perceptible flow of the Tallulah River upstream from the dam to the tremendous, tumultuous, powerful waterfalls deep within the gorge, there’s a whole lot of outdoor adventure to be found in the park.
Tallulah Gorge State Park: our favorite trails
These are our Tallulah Gorge State Park favorites – the trails we’ve loved and hiked year after year, season after season, enjoying their beauty with newfound awe on every visit. We’ve listed them in ascending order of difficulty, from easiest to hardest. Explore them all, to get a full dose of Tallulah Gorge beauty – and overnight at the park’s campsites, backcountry campsites or pioneer camp for an amazing multi-day adventure.
NOTE: Before you go, be sure to check the Tallulah Gorge State Park dam release schedule. Hiking in the gorge is not allowed on water release dates.
EXPLORE TALLULAH GORGE’S OLD RAIL CORRIDOR
Unlike most other trails at Tallulah Gorge State Park, this former rail trail follows a nearly-level, paved path that’s perfect for a shady, scenic run, walk or bike ride. And unlike the dramatic, tumbling waterfalls downstream, the Tallulah River flows calm and serene along the Shortline Trail – a beautiful contrast to the river on the park’s other trails.
CATCH TALLULAH’S STUNNING GORGE RIM VIEWS
Hike a two-trail combo, the North Rim Trail and South Rim Trail, to peer deep into the gorge’s depths and catch sight of the Tallulah Falls waterfalls from towering heights. It’s the fairly easy, and fairly level, option to see Tallulah Gorge’s most grand sights without scaling hundreds of steps or scrambling over a boulder-ridden trail.
CROSS A DIZZYING SUSPENSION BRIDGE
It’s the hands-down most popular trail at Tallulah Gorge State Park. The Hurricane Falls Trail descends a pulse-raising number of stairs to the park’s suspension bridge, crossing the 80-foot high bridge over the roaring Tallulah River. Descend more stairs to visit the base of the thundering Hurricane Falls waterfall before making an epic stair climb back to the rim. It’s a great workout!
SCRAMBLE OVER BOULDERS AND TAKE A SWIM
The Sliding Rock Trail is anything but easy, and due to its difficulty, requires a gorge floor permit from the park’s ranger desk. But it’s by far the most scenic, making a deep descent into a remote section of the gorge floor to visit Bridal Veil Falls and a deep swimming hole that’s perfect for a mid-hike chill.