Hike several scenic trails in Lula Lake Land Trust to two tumbling waterfalls, the 120-foot freefall at Lula Falls, and a spectacular 20-foot waterfall into an emerald-hued lake.

georgia hiking trails: 2-4 miles 3 miles
(round trip)
georgia hiking trails: moderatedifficulty:
moderate
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:near Cloudland Canyon State Park in North Georgia

GEAR: Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack, our hiking gear list and Nikon D750 Camera

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

OFFICIAL MAP: Core Property Map

Lula Lake Land Trust is a privately owned property in Northwest Georgia dedicated to preserving the Rock Creek watershed since 1994. It is home to over eight miles of trails filled with waterfalls, overlooks, and beautiful hardwood forests. This popular hike follows the Middle Trail, Ford Trail, and North Creek Trail, crossing a tall wooden bridge, exploring scenic stretches along Rock Creek, and visiting two tumbling waterfalls.

Hike the scenic trails at Lula Lake Land Trust to a beautiful lake and two exceptionally beautiful waterfalls in North Georgia

Since it is a private property and is largely maintained by volunteers, the land trust is only open to the public on the first and last Saturday and Sunday of each month (May-November), and the first and last Saturday of each month (December-April). Please check the official website before you go to make sure the gates will be open. All visitors must check-in to the land trust and sign a waiver to enjoy all of the beauty that the land trust has to offer.

Hike several scenic trails in Lula Lake Land Trust to two tumbling waterfalls, the 120-foot freefall at Lula Falls, and a spectacular 20-foot waterfall into an emerald-hued lake. #hiking #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Lula Lake Land Trust: the hike

This hike leaves from the first parking area closest to the check-in area (view maps and driving directions), and follows above and along Rock Creek until it reaches the falls. The hike begins southbound, crossing a stone and wooden bridge across Rock Creek and beginning the northeast-bound climb up the Middle Trail.

The hike is moderately steep for the first 0.2 mile, and then it flattens out as it explores a hardwood forest above the creek. Hemlocks, poplars, and pines line the trail. At .6 mile, the Middle Trail intersects with the Ford Trail. The Ford Trail descends towards the creek as the Middle Trail continues to rise the valley. While both routes offer roughly the same distance to the enormous waterfall, the Ford Trail connects to the North Creek Trail, which runs along some scenic sections of the river and also visits the falls at Lula Lake.

Hike to an outstandingly beautiful waterfall on Lula Lake in North Georgia

This hike veers left on the Ford Trail, following it eastbound, and then right on the North Creek Trail, hiking northbound. The trail opens up to a bridge over a turbulent section of the creek, before the rushing water drops over a 20-foot waterfall into a beautiful emerald-colored pool below. A unique sandstone dome rises 35 feet over the pool, which beautifully captures the reflections of the ripples of the water in the morning hours.

Above the east side of the pool, the trail widens into a dirt road and continues downstream for another 0.3 miles before reaching some viewpoints of Lula Falls.

Hike along Rock Creek to two beautiful waterfalls at Lula Lake Land Trust in North Georgia

There are several ways to access and appreciate the epic 120-foot falls. To descend to the gorge floor, follow the Old Lula Falls Trail on the left, or the Lula Falls Trail another 0.1 mile further. Both access points are quite steep with a lot of stairs. The bottom of the gorge delivers incredible views of the waterfall that really put the power of the plunging water into perspective. From the gorge floor, the trail gets very vague, but this is an opportunity to climb some boulders, explore around, or have a snack.

Hike to the outstanding Lula Falls waterfall at Lula Lake Land Trust in North Georgia

Because of its volume and height, the waterfall spits out a ton of mist through the valley. The closer you get to the waterfall, the wetter everything becomes and the slipperier the surfaces are. If you choose to get up close to the falls, be sure to wear a rain jacket or poncho and take extra caution with each step.

There are a number of return routes to the parking area – but retracing the outbound path will take you southbound along the creek on the North Creek Trail, up the valley on the Ford Trail, and back down to the wood and stone bridge on the Middle Trail. The hike reaches the trailhead at just over 3 miles, 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.


Lula Lake Land Trust Map, Directions & Details

This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions



Parking

Free, but please consider making a donation to help support the land trust's work.


GPS Coordinates

34.921867, -85.380600     //     N34 55.312 W85 22.836

Elevation Profile

Lula Lake waterfall hike: elevation profile
 
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Christian Murillo
Author

Christian Murillo is a professional Adventure and Natural Landscape Photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. His passion is getting outdoors as much as possible and inspiring others to do the same. His photography serves a purpose to not only show the natural beauty of the American Southeast, but also to motivate people to protect our natural spaces for generations to come. You can check out more of his work in Instagram @cmurillophoto and on his website, murillophoto.com.