Waterfalls in Georgia

Minnehaha Falls Trail

Hike the Minnehaha Falls Trail, a short, easy, kid-friendly hike on Lake Rabun in North Georgia, to a beautiful, towering, cascading waterfall.

trail info

.4 miles
(round trip)
easy
Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:Rabun County near Clayton, Georgia (maps & directions)

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

OFFICIAL MAP: Nat Geo 778 Trails Illustrated Map

Near the banks of Lake Rabun, Falls Creek cascades down into a beautiful forest, forming one of North Georgia’s most popular waterfalls. Minnehaha Falls spills over a cliff in a gorgeous, multi-tiered falls before continuing downstream to the Lake Rabun shore. The trail is exceptionally short, and an easy one as well. But it’s well worth a visit on a warm spring or summer afternoon to catch views of this outstandingly beautiful waterfall.

Hike a short, kid-friendly trail to the stunning Minnehaha Falls waterfall in North Georgia

The waterfall’s unique name derives from the Dakota (Native American) word for ‘waterfall.’ (No, it’s not text-message speak for ‘small laugh,’ but it’s often misspelled ‘minihaha.’) It’s also a common place name in Minnesota, and the state has its own Minnehaha Falls: a single-drop, 50-foot waterfall in Minneapolis.

The beauty of this taller, multi-tiered North Georgia waterfall, despite the trail’s short length, makes it well-worth a visit. It’s especially kid-friendly, too.

Minnehaha Falls Trail: the hike

The hike departs the trailhead, marked with a green diamond and the number 147, located off the unpaved Bear Gap Road near Lakemont, Georgia (view maps and driving directions). The hike ascends a wooden staircase, trekking southwest toward the waterfall.

The hike gently rolls elevation, trekking on a well-worn trail beside Falls Creek. Gnarly-branched rhododendron cover the landscape; their blue-green leaves a contrast to Georgia’s iron-rich, orange-tinged soil. The rhododendron’s thick, leathery leaves are evergreen, making the hike green and color-filled hike in any season.

Hike the kid-friendly Minnehaha Falls trail through a rhododendron-filled forest to a gorgeous waterfall on the shores of Lake Rabun in North Georgia

The waterfall quickly becomes audible, thundering down into the creek valley. Several smaller waterfalls form the waterfall’s lower falls, visible from the trail between thickets of dense rhododendron.

Hike a short, under-half-mile trail to stunning waterfalls at Georgia's Minnehaha Falls on the shore of Lake Rabun

The hike reaches Minnehaha Falls at just under .2 mile, entering a clearing below the waterfall. Several enormous, scattered boulders dot the landscape below the falls. The crest of the waterfall towers overhead, Falls Creek spilling from down over sharply angled terraces.

Explore a stunning waterfall on the short, kid-friendly Minnehaha Falls Trail in Georgia

After admiring the falls from a distance, the hike retraces its outbound steps, reaching the Bear Gap Road trailhead at just under .4 mile 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.

More North Georgia waterfall hikes

Up for some more waterfall-chasing adventure in North Georgia? Hike our top ten favorite North Georgia waterfall hikes, or check out our full list of Georgia’s top trails to waterfalls.

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Minnehaha Falls Trail Map, Directions & Details

Minnehaha Falls Trail Map
Minnehaha Falls Trail Map
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions


Parking

Limited (and free) parking is available at the USFS trailhead, off the gravel Bear Gap Road on the banks of Lake Rabun.

GPS Coordinates

34.749633, -83.479083     //     N34 44.978 W83 28.745

Elevation Profile

Minnehaha Falls Trail Elevation Profile
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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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