Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Top Georgia trails & how-to

Seven Georgia waterfall hikes, two miles or less

Catch beautiful views of spilling and splashing waterfalls on these great, relatively easy Georgia beginner hikes, two miles or under. They’re short, but beautiful – and kid-friendly, too!

Some of our favorite waterfalls hikes in Georgia are set deep in remote Georgia wilderness, only accessible by a long, steep hike. But not every hiker has the time, energy or ability to trek a long trail, scale high cliffs, climb hundreds of stairs or cross rocky creeks. Fortunately, North Georgia’s abundant waterfalls are accessible by trails of all lengths, and some of Georgia’s best waterfall trails make a great beginner hike (or hike with the family).

Hike to these seven beautiful Georgia waterfalls on trails under two miles (and several under one mile!) to catch views of beautiful forests, tumbling whitewater and rocky, boulder-lined trout streams. Pack a picnic or a snack to enjoy at the falls, or relax under a shady forest canopy while enjoying the remarkable beauty and thundering sound of a waterfall.

Catch beautiful views of spilling and splashing waterfalls on these great, relatively easy Georgia beginner hikes, two miles or under.  They're short, but beautiful - and kid-friendly, too! #hiking #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Waterfalls in Georgia: our favorite hikes under two miles

  • Hike the short, kid-friendly Minnehaha Falls Trail to one of North Georgia's most beautiful waterfalls, on the shores of Lake Rabun

    Minnehaha Falls

    .4 mile round trip

    Minnehaha Falls is one of Georgia’s most popular short-distance waterfall hikes, and for a good reason: the hike measures under a quarter mile each way, and the waterfall is just stunning. Set in a valley off the shore of Lake Rabun, Minnehaha Falls spills from a tall cliff, cascading over a stair-stepped rock outcrop in sheets of whitewater.

  • Best short waterfall hikes in Georgia: hike a half-mile paved trail to the rare double waterfalls at Anna Ruby Falls

    Anna Ruby Falls

    .9 mile round trip

    Just north of Helen near Unicoi State Park, the Anna Ruby Falls Trail treks a paved path through a beautiful waterfall-filled valley that’s rich with wildflowers, rhododendron, and green moss. The hike’s main attraction, Anna Ruby Falls, is a pair of waterfalls that spill in tandem cascades from a cliff high above. Two wood viewing platforms offer a perfect place to admire the enormous, thundering waterfall duo.

  • Hike a moderate, kid-friendly two-mile trail to Dukes Creek Falls, a set of multiple, tumbling waterfalls near Helen, GA

    Dukes Creek Falls

    2 miles round trip

    Hike the Dukes Creek Falls Trail north of Helen to catch vistas of Yonah Mountain from the hike’s trailhead before diving into a valley in the Raven Cliffs Wilderness. At the trail’s end, the hike views many waterfalls on Davis Creek and Dukes Creek, tumbling over a massive, towering cliff and cascading into the valley below.

  • Hike to stunning waterfall views at High Falls State Park near Macon, GA on an easy, scenic 1.2-mile loop

    High Falls State Park

    1.2 miles round trip

    High Falls thunders over a massive rock outcrop north of Macon, Georgia at High Falls State Park. The hike explores the banks of these popular, powerful waterfalls on a figure-eight loop trail on the Towaliga River. The hike to the base of cascades is steep, but short, making this trail a must-see for High Falls State Park visitors.

  • Best family hikes near Blue Ridge, GA: hike the Appalachian Trail to Long Creek Falls, a beautiful tumbling waterfall set in a scenic, mossy creek valley

    Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail

    1.9 miles round trip

    This Appalachian Trail hike to Long Creek Falls is one of our all-time favorite North Georgia adventures. The hike departs a gravel forest road at Three Forks, a ruggedly beautiful creek valley near Springer Mountain that’s filled with spilling waterfalls, fantastic wilderness campsites, and beautiful trout streams. The hike follows the Appalachian Trail to Long Creek Falls, where the waterfall tumbles over a terraced, mossy outcrop under a canopy of sweet-scented hemlock and rhododendron into a pool of water below.

  • Best kid-friendly hikes near Helen, GA: hike Helton Creek Falls to a pair of stunning waterfalls

    Helton Creek Falls

    .6 miles round trip

    Helton Creek Falls plummets in a pair of waterfalls set deep in a valley shaded by hemlock trees. Located off a gravel road north of Helen, the waterfalls are easy-access along a short trail, making the hike a favorite for families with kids visiting the nearby Vogel State Park and Alpine Helen.

  • Hike an easy, kid-friendly two mile hike to the beautiful Hemlock Falls at North Georgia's Lake Burton

    Hemlock Falls at Lake Burton

    2 miles round trip

    For its relatively short length, the Hemlock Falls Trail packs a ton of natural beauty into a moderately easy hike near Lake Burton. The trail departs a trailhead near Moccasin Creek State Park, following a tumbling creek upstream to the beautiful cascades of Hemlock Falls. Along the hike, multiple waterfalls spill from lofty cliffs high above the river valley into Moccasin Creek below.

  • Hiking gear list: our favorite backpacks and trail essentials

    Our favorite hiking gear

    What to pack for a Georgia waterfall hiking adventure?

    Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Our hiking gear list features our favorite, trail-tested hiking gear for day hikes on local trails and in the Georgia backcountry. We print and stitch our Atlanta Trails shirts and hats locally in Atlanta and Asheville, and they’re our favorite for trail adventures all over the South. And no matter what you pack in, pack it all back out. Please leave no trace and help preserve Georgia’s beauty.

More waterfall adventures in the South

Up for chasing some more ultra-scenic falls? Cross the Georgia border to explore seven outstanding hikes to Asheville waterfalls under two miles for more kid-friendly and beginner-friendly adventures.

Slippery rocks and fast-moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall. And please remember to leave no trace on your hike to help keep these wilderness areas beautiful and pristine.

Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.

Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.

Eric Champlin is a creative director and photographer who loves to explore southeast. He's the co-owner of Trailful Outdoor Co, a locally-owned hiking outfitter shop in Hiawassee in the Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail. He’s also the co-founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.