Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Georgia Running Trails

Tallulah Gorge Shortline Trail

Run or walk the Shortline Trail, a former rail trail at Tallulah Gorge State Park, and explore the quiet, scenic shores of the Tallulah River just north of the gorge.

georgia hiking trails: 2-4 miles 2.8 miles
(round trip)
? Your mileage may vary! Accuracy of your GPS device, weather conditions, and stops along your route will affect your own recorded distance.
atlanta running trails: pavedtrail:
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
?Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. We’ve loved hiking this route with our trail-loving Labrador Retrievers! Check out more of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:Tallulah Gorge State Park in Rabun County, Georgia

PACK:our Osprey day pack and our hiking gear list

Just north of the gorge, the Tallulah River flows dramatically different from the familiar waterfall-filled, canyon-carving river that thunders through the depths of Tallulah Gorge. The Shortline Trail explores the shores of these serene stretches of the Tallulah River north of the gorge, running a paved, nearly flat course on the river’s banks.

This former railway runs between steeply pitched rock outcrops, under a historic wooden bridge and crosses the Tallulah River by a suspension bridge. It’s a great morning run or fitness walk, and a popular paved bike route, too.

Tallulah Gorge Shortline Trail: top places to run in North GeorgiaUpriver from the gorge, the Tallulah River flows tranquilly through the forest

Run or walk the Shortline Trail, a former rail trail at Tallulah Gorge State Park, and explore the quiet, scenic shores of the Tallulah River just north of the gorge. #hiking #running #northgeorgia #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Tallulah Gorge Shortline Trail: the run

The adventure begins at a trailhead off Terrora Circle (view maps and driving directions), following a wide, mostly-shaded, paved trail into the forest. Along the trail, interpretive signs pair trail features with suggested fitness activities, making the trail especially kid-friendly. The rail trail follows the route of a former rail line and runs nearly level, diving between towering rock outcrops that were blasted to make way for the train tracks that once ran this same path.

At .25 mile, the trail ducks under a historic wooden bridge.

Shortline Trail: run a scenic and historic route at Tallulah Gorge State Park along the Tallulah River

The trail nears the banks of the Tallulah River at .5 mile, where benches offer a shaded resting spot under the leafy canopy of deciduous trees. The Shortline Trail crosses a trickling stream by a wooden bridge at .7 mile before entering a clearing.

To the left of the trail, fern carpet the sunlight-dappled banks of the Tallulah River. The route turns left at just under 1 mile, crossing the Tallulah River on a long wooden suspension bridge. Below, the river courses through shallow whitewater as it tumbles over its rocky streambed.

Cross the Tallulah River on a tall suspension bridge on the Shortline Trail at Tallulah Gorge State Park

Reaching the end of the suspension bridge, the run hangs a left, following the river downstream along its western bank. The trail crosses a bridge before reaching an alternate trailhead at 1.25 miles, continuing its southward trek. The run reaches the end of the Shortline Trail at 1.4 miles, and turns to retrace its outbound steps to the trailhead. The run reaches the Terrora Circle trailhead at 2.8 miles, completing the adventure – or turning for another lap along the river’s scenic banks.

More adventures at Tallulah Gorge State Park

Camping at the gorge, or in the area with daylight left? Don’t miss the incredible hikes on this river located just downstream in the waterfall-filled, rocky gorge. Hike the Hurricane Falls Trail to explore the gorge’s lofty rim, and descend into the gorge by stairs and suspension bridge to visit an enormous, thundering waterfall. Or request a gorge floor permit from the park’s interpretive center, and scramble down the difficult Sliding Rock Trail to the Bridal Veil Falls rockslide and swimming hole.

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.

Tallulah Gorge State Park Shortline Trail Map, Directions & Details

This map shows our approximate route while exploring this trail, but does not replace an official trail map. Please refer to the official trail map for the most current and accurate route.

Love the trail?

This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of the Friends of Georgia State Parks. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!

Driving Directions



GPS Coordinates

34.743383, -83.403783     //     N34 44.603 W83 24.227

Elevation Profile

Tallulah Gorge State Park Shortline Trail Elevation Profile

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.