Hike to Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia: top GA waterfall hikes Waterfalls in Georgia

Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail

Hike a scenic stretch of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia to the beautiful Long Creek Falls, and explore the lush, waterfall-filled Three Forks valley.

trail info

1.9 miles
(round trip)
moderate
Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:Appalachian Trail near Ellijay, Georgia (maps & directions)

GEAR: Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack, our hiking gear list and Canon 6D Camera

WEAR: Our ultra-soft Atlanta Trails shirts and our favorite outdoor apparel

OFFICIAL MAP: Appalachian Trail, Trails Illustrated Map

The Appalachian Trail travels through the Three Forks creek valley in the Chattahoochee National Forest, four miles from its Georgia beginning on Springer Mountain. At Three Forks, this two-mile out-and-back hike explores one of the most beautiful stretches of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, exploring a lush valley on the way to Long Creek Falls. The waterfall, one of the few on the southern stretch of the AT, is a beautiful, rushing cascade that flows under a forest canopy of hemlock, tulip poplar, and rhododendron.

Hike the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, trekking from the beautiful Three Forks valley to Long Creek Falls, a gorgeous, multi-tiered waterfall

Three boulder and waterfall-filled trout streams converge to form Noontootla Creek at Three Forks, lending to the valley’s name. The valley is beautiful, filled with steep cliffs, wildlife, wildflowers and blankets of vibrant green moss – and is one of the most popular North Georgia areas for hiking, backpacking, fishing and camping.

Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia: video on YouTube

Long Creek Falls: Appalachian Trail from Three Forks

The adventure departs from a trailhead on Forest Road 58 (view maps and driving directions), following the Appalachian Trail northeast. Long Creek flows parallel to the AT on the trail’s left, running clear and broad over a colorfully-graveled creek bed. The hike follows two iconic, long-distance hiking trails: the white rectangle-blazed Appalachian Trail has converged with the white diamond-blazed Benton MacKaye Trail – and both blazes mark the trail to the waterfall.

Hike the Appalachian Trail through the lush Three Forks creek valley, one of the most beautiful and popular hiking and camping destinations in Georgia

The hike climbs elevation, rising above the creek’s banks. Side trails depart on the trail’s left, leading to several tumbling waterfalls on Long Creek.

Hike the Benton MacKaye Trail and Appalachian Trail through the waterfall-filled Three Forks valley, just south of the gorgeous Long Creek Falls

At .8 mile, the hike meets a signed intersection: a blue-blazed trail leads north to Long Creek Falls, the Benton MacKaye Trail departs northwest, and the Appalachian Trail continues its epic, 2200+ mile hike north to Maine.

Hike the Appalachian Trail to Three Forks, a beautiful valley filled with crystal-clear trout streams and the tumbling Long Creek Falls waterfall in North Georgia

This hike follows the blue-blazed trail, reaching the double-tiered waterfall at just under 1 mile. The stunningly beautiful waterfall tumbles over 50 feet, cascading twice over the lower and upper waterfalls before tumbling into a deep, calm, blue pool below. Hemlock trees soar high into the sky above the waterfall, and dark green rhododendrons frame the creek’s cascade as it drops from the sharp, sheer rock cliff. Large strewn boulders and rock outcrops provide a shaded resting spot for viewing the waterfall.

The waterfall is one of our all-time favorite spots in Georgia: the waterfall’s tranquility is simply beautiful.

Hike to Long Creek Falls, a tumbling waterfall just off the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia

Departing the waterfall, the hike retraces the blue-blazed side trail and the Appalachian Trail to the FR 58 trailhead and completing the adventure at just under 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.

Extend the hike

Up for a longer hike? From Long Creek Falls, the Appalachian Trail hikes eastbound, visiting a rustic, centuries-old cemetery before hiking to the Hawk Mountain Shelter. Get more info, photos, and maps in our Appalachian Trail from Three Forks to the Hawk Mountain Shelter trail review.

And departing from the opposite side of FR 58 is one of our favorite hikes in the South, the 8.6-mile Three Forks to Springer Mountain hike on the Appalachian Trail, visiting the southernmost end of the AT in Georgia.

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Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail Map, Directions & Details

Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail Map
Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail Map
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions


Parking

Free parking is available at the trailhead. Note: Trailhead access is via a gravel Forest Service Road.

GPS Coordinates

34.663850, -84.183967     //     N34 39.831 W84 11.038

Elevation Profile

Long Creek Falls on the Appalachian Trail: Elevation Profile
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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, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.
 
 
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