Cochran Mill Park: hiking the Henry Mill Falls Trail
Hike to the beautiful Henry Mill Falls in Cochran Mill Park southeast of Atlanta, visiting a tumbling waterfall on Bear Creek and exploring a scenic forest.
Set in a gently rolling forest, the Henry Mill Falls waterfall cascades over a broad, colorful rock outcrop, tumbling into a shallow pool below. It’s one of several stunning waterfalls at Cochran Mill Park, and the most remote of the falls, offering some mid-hike solitude and tranquility.
Cochran Mill Park is located southwest of Atlanta near Chattahoochee Hills. This adventure on the Henry Mill Falls Trail crosses several streams on the way to the site of a former mill. The trail rolls gently, following the tranquil flow of Bear Creek on this just-under-five-mile round trip to the waterfall.
Henry Mill Falls Trail at Cochran Mill Park: the hike
The adventure begins at the park’s yellow trailhead (view maps and driving directions). (This extensive park has a vast network of color-coded trails; check out the trail maps at the trailhead and consider tracking a GPS route help with wayfinding on the hike.)
The yellow trail meanders through a mixed pine and hardwood forest. The tree canopy towers above the fern and needle-filled forest floor, dappling the forest with sunlight.
The hike descends steadily, meeting a gravel road at .3 mile. This route turns right, following the gravel road westbound to a bridge spanning the shallow, smooth-flowing Cedar Branch Creek. The gravel road passes a long, grassy clearing on the right before crossing a concrete bridge at .8 mile.
Departing the gravel road at .8 mile, the hike follows red trail blazes into a spindly forest.
Meeting the banks of Bear Creek at 1.3 miles, the hike turns right on a side trail to cross the creek. Depending on the creek’s flow and depth, the crossing can be moderately difficult to challenging.
The hike turns left after crossing the creek, following the broad, meandering Bear Creek downstream and venturing northwest toward Henry Mill Falls. The trail crosses a small tributary, winding through a young forest dotted with lichen-covered boulders and smooth rock outcrops, gently rolling elevation along the creek banks.
Large stone slabs dominate the creek’s bed as the sound of rushing water becomes audible on the trail. The hike reaches Henry Mill Falls at 2.8 miles, offering wide-open views of the waterfall on the surrounding smooth, flat outcrops and sandy shores just below the fall’s cascades.
The sandy banks below the waterfall make a great spot for a mid-hike break, and to soak in the beauty of the forest. Departing Henry Mill Falls, the hike doubles back to the trailhead on its outbound route, following the red-blazed trail. The hike finishes at just under five miles, reaching the Cochran Mill Park trailhead and completing the adventure.
Note: slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Please don’t climb, stand on, swim near, or jump from any waterfall.
Cochran Mill Park: Henry Mill Falls Trail Map, Directions & Details
$5 at the Cochran Mill Park trailhead.
33.571550, -84.713350 // N33 34.293 W84 42.801
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