Hike the Dicks Creek Falls Trail to an enormous tumbling waterfall on the ultra-scenic banks of the Chattooga River.
LOCATION:Rabun County, Georgia
OFFICIAL MAP: Nat Geo 778 Trails Illustrated Map
Flowing broad, clear, and mighty, the Chattooga River carves through northeast Georgia, meandering and tumbling and spilling through mile after mile of scenic forest. It’s easily one of the most beautiful rivers in the south, and one of the few that flows unaltered and undammed, earning it the designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. This relatively short and easy hike makes a trek to the river’s banks through a beautiful stretch of forest. The endpoint of the hike is nothing short of spectacular, catching stunning views of the Chattooga basin from an elevated bluff, where Dicks Creek Falls tumbles into the wide-flowing river.
It’s easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Georgia, framed by towering hardwoods, spilling over a 60-foot bluff, and tumbling into the Chattooga far below. The views of the river are outstanding, as the river tumbles over rocky shoals and carves through a broad meander. The hike is fairly mild, until the final, short descent to the base of the waterfall. And it’s a great hike in any season, but especially so in autumn, when fall’s colorful leaves turn this already-beautiful forest flanking the falls into a colorful, vibrant display.
Dicks Creek Falls: the hike
The adventure begins at a small parking area off the gravel Sandy Ford Road (view maps and driving directions), just before the road crosses Dicks Creek. The trail hikes eastbound, diving into the forest and crossing a small, shallow-flowing creek. Tall hardwoods stretch skyward, and the forest is lush and green under the tree canopy, dominated by dense thickets of doghobble.
The trail skirts a small knob, climbing gently at .3 mile and arcing to the southeast. The hike dips elevation, crossing the yellow-blazed Bartram Trail at just under a half mile and crossing a small wooden bridge, following green trail blazes to the banks of the Chattooga River. The sound of falling water amplifies through the forest as the trail reaches the upper falls. A short side trail scrambles to the rocky area above the tumbling Dicks Creek Falls, catching outstanding views of the Chattooga River below.
The creek’s rocky bed and the waterfall’s sharp drop can be a deadly combination, though – so be sure to keep a safe distance from the crest of the waterfall. Backtracking to the green-blazed Dicks Creek Falls Trail, the hike descends to the banks of the scenic Chattooga. A steep side trail drops from the trail’s right side at just over a half mile, offering views from the base of the tumbling waterfall.
The hike continues its descent, reaching the river’s sandy banks at .6 mile. The views of the Chattooga are outstanding, stretching westward to a broad meander bordered by large rock outcrops on the river’s shore. Just ahead, the river spills over a series of wide rock shoals, tumbling and cascading in small waterfalls.
The river’s banks make a great spot for a mid-hike water break, and a great place to hang out and enjoy the beauty of this rare, wild, and untamed river.
Departing the Chattooga, the hike turns to follow its outbound route in reverse, climbing above the falls, crossing the wooden bridge, and skipping through the shallow creek crossing. The adventure ends when the hike reaches the Sandy Ford Road trailhead at just over 1.2 miles.
Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.
Nearby waterfall hikes and adventures
In the area with daylight and energy left to burn? Hike through a lush, wildflower-filled valley to Becky Branch Falls at Warwoman Dell. Follow the Bartram Trail to the view-packed summit of Rabun Bald, catching stunning 360-degree views from a historic fire tower on the mountain’s summit. Or check out our favorite trails in Rabun County for more of our favorite adventures near Clayton, Lake Rabun, and Lake Burton.
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.
Free parking is available at the trailhead. (Note: trailhead access is via a gravel road.)
34.870633, -83.252950 // N34 52.238 W83 15.177