High Falls State Park near Macon: hiking the Falls Trail to gorgeous waterfall views

High Falls State Park: hiking the Falls Trail

Hike the Falls Trail at High Falls State Park near Macon, hiking a double loop to views of the enormous, thundering High Falls waterfalls.

trail info

1.2 miles
(round trip)
easy
Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:High Falls State Park near Macon, Georgia (maps & directions)

GEAR: REI Flash 18 Backpack w/ our favorite hiking gear list and Canon 6D Camera

Just north of Macon, High Falls State Park is a popular warm-weather outdoor destination, well-loved for its glassy lake, broad spillway dam and an enormous, multi-tiered waterfall. Nestled in a shady forest in middle Georgia, the High Falls waterfall tumbles loudly on the Towaliga River, churning in whitewater and free-falling cascades over a massive rock outcrop. The waterfall is a beautiful sight – and while it’s partially visible from the High Falls State Park bridge, the views are much better from the park’s Falls Trail. (Don’t miss the elevated views from the High Falls State Park Historic Trail just across the river!)

Hike to stunning waterfall views at High Falls State Park near Macon, GAAbove: The Towaliga River cascades in an enormous waterfall at High Falls State Park near Macon, Georgia.

The High Falls Trail follows the waterfall’s northeastern edge, descending into a rocky, boulder-filled forest. The trail hikes a double loop, exploring the waterfall-filled Towaliga River south of the High Falls State Park dam before looping through a shady forest. It’s a beautiful, moderately challenging but short-distance trail that’s a must-hike in the Macon area.

Falls Trail at High Falls State Park: the hike

The Falls Trail departs a signed trailhead on the Towaliga River’s northeastern shore, just downstream from the High Falls State Park dam (view maps and driving directions). The trail descends a series of wooden platforms along the river, catching increasingly better views of the huge, whitewater-filled High Falls waterfall.

Hike High Falls State Park near Macon to some of Georgia's most spectacular waterfall views

The hike continues descending elevation along High Falls, the roar of the waterfall amplifying loudly along the trail. Large rock outcrops and boulders dot the forest floor, as pine and deciduous trees shade the trail overhead.

The Falls Trail reaches a sandy shore framed by large boulders. Multiple waterfalls spill over the river’s rocky, angled bed, cascading in streams of tumbled whitewater into heavily-churned pools below.

Hike the High Falls Trail near Macon, GA, to stunning waterfall views

The Falls Trail crosses a wood bridge before beginning the hike’s southern loop section, continuing to follow red blazes. The hike veers from the river, crossing a small stream and then re-joining the notably-calmer Towaliga downstream. The hike arcs northbound at .5 mile, gaining elevation through the forest. Though the waterfall is now out of sight, its roar remains audible as the hike climbs a ridge before completing the trail’s lower loop.

Reaching the Falls Trail upper loop, the hike veers right to climb elevation through a rocky forest, crossing between several huge, angular rock outcrops.

Hike the Falls Trail at High Falls State Park between enormous, exposed rock outcrops to gorgeous waterfall views

The Falls Trail steadily climbs elevation toward the trailhead, passing a wooden bench at 1 mile before completing the trail’s upper loop. The adventure reaches the trailhead and finishes the hike at just under 1.2 miles.

(There are two stunning waterfalls with the same name in North Carolina, and both are well worth a visit if you’re in the Asheville area. Hike to High Falls at DuPont State Forest, one of many waterfalls in this stunning park near Brevard, NC. And don’t miss the tumbling, towering High Falls at Lake Glenville near Cashiers, another exceptional NC waterfall hike.)

Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.

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Falls Trail at High Falls State Park Map, Directions & Details

Falls Trail at High Falls State Park Map
Falls Trail at High Falls State Park Map
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions


Parking

$5, or included with a Georgia State Parks annual pass.

GPS Coordinates

33.179233, -84.017450     //     N33 10.754 W84 01.047

Elevation Profile

Falls Trail at High Falls State Park: Elevation Profile
Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails is an official Leave No Trace partner

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.

 
Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, online magazines that cover the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.