Beautiful, enchanting, serene. It’s amazing that the simple fall of water from rock can stir up so much beauty and emotion. Georgia’s waterfalls are plentiful, spilling from our mountains on meandering streams, creeks, and rivers. They range in size, from the towering, thundering falls of Amicalola and Panther Creek, to the smaller cascades at Sweetwater Creek. But regardless of their size, they’re all big on beauty, and always worth the journey.

Hike to tumbling and cascading Georgia waterfalls on our top ten favorite hikes to the Peach State's most beautiful falls. #hiking #running #camping #backpacking #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Waterfalls in Georgia: our favorite hikes

These are our favorite hikes and backpacking adventures to our favorite falls in our state. Hike one, or hike a few, and plan the ultimate road trip for an epic, scenic adventure!

  • Amicalola Falls

    Amicalola Falls

    It’s one of our state’s most popular hikes – and for an excellent reason. It’s filled with scenic beauty, and a great workout, too. Follow a loop to the top of Amicalola Falls, our state’s tallest cascade, and catch beautiful views of the distant, rolling peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the crest of the falls, the adventure descends along a series of stairs and platforms, catching an up-close view of Amicalola – and the tumbling mist from the falls.
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  • Raven Cliff Falls

    Explore a beautiful, lush stream valley lined in mossy rocks and filled with tumbling cascades just north of the alpine town of Helen. This ultra-scenic hike passes a number of smaller falls along the way. The adventure ends at an enormous, blocky cliff, where a cascading creek tumbles deep within a crevice inside the cliff.
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  • Jacks River Falls in the Cohutta Wilderness

    Jacks River Falls

    Nestled deep within the Cohutta Wilderness, the crystalline Jacks River plunges over a massive, craggy cliff, plunging into a deep pool below. The Beech Bottom Trail is one of the easiest routes to the ultra-scenic Jacks River Falls, exploring a forest filled with towering hardwoods and springtime wildflowers.
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  • Long Creek Falls

    Follow the famous Appalachian Trail from the lush creek valley at Three Forks, climbing to a series of tumbling cascades on Long Creek. This hike ends at the base of a fifty-foot cascade shaded by fragrant, towering hemlock trees. Scattered boulders offer the perfect spot to relax mid-hike below the falls.
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  • Hike to Panther Creek Falls in North Georgia

    Panther Creek Falls

    It’s undoubtedly one of our state’s most popular cascades, so expect some company on the trail, especially on fair-weather weekends. Follow the Panther Creek Trail along the scenic banks of its namesake creek. A number of campsites along the trail offer a great backpacking adventure under the stars.
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  • High Shoals Falls

    Descend into a lush creek valley filled with blooming rhododendron and a clear-flowing trout creek on this moderately challenging – but rather short – adventure. The hike explores the tumbling cascades of Blue Hole Falls and High Shoals Falls before flipping in reverse to make an unrelenting climb to the trailhead.
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  • Emery Creek Falls

    Emery Creek Falls

    It’s one of our favorite warm-weather adventures. Follow the Emery Creek Trail through a beautiful creek valley, splashing through twenty wet creek crossings along the way. The hike visits two beautiful falls before turning in reverse to wander the water-filled trail back to the trailhead. A summertime favorite, for sure.
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  • Cloudland Canyon

    Nestled in a steep-walled canyon on Lookout Mountain, Cloudland Canyon offers some of our state’s most scenic views from its lofty rims. Deep within the canyon, two exceptionally stunning cascades, Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls, spill into broad pools from enormous, curved cliffs of towering rock. The hike drops from the canyon rim on a series of stairs and landings, making this scenic trek a great workout.
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  • Minnehaha Falls

    Minnehaha Falls

    It’s a short hike, for sure, at under a half mile, round trip. But Minnehaha Falls is well worth a stop, and one of our favorites when we’re chasing adventure in Rabun County. Set in a valley off the shore of Lake Rabun, Minnehaha spills from a tall cliff, cascading over a stair-stepped rock outcrop in beautiful white tendrils.
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  • Hurricane Falls

    It’s a tough hike, but it’s sure worth the effort! Descend from the towering, thousand-foot walls of Tallulah Gorge, and cross a swinging bridge over the tumbling Tallulah River. The hike continues its descent to the base of Hurricane Falls, catching an up-close view of the rushing cascade.
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  • Trahlyta Lake Trail at Vogel State Park

    Trahlyta Falls

    Follow a one-mile path around a mountain lake at Vogel State Park, catching stunning views of the nearby summit of Blood Mountain, the tallest peak on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. A short side spur leads to the tumbling cascades of Trahlyta Falls, and a wooden observation deck offers an up-close view of the falls and an ample dose of cool waterfall mist.
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  • Hiking gear list: our favorite backpacks and trail essentials

    What to pack?

    Our favorite hiking gear

    Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack? Our hiking gear list features our favorite, trail-tested hiking gear for day hikes on local trails and in the backcountry. Our Atlanta Trails shirts and longsleeves are printed our ultra-soft tri-blend shirts, and they’re our favorite for trail adventures all over the South. Our outdoor apparel reviews feature our favorite trail-worthy hiking boots, running shoes, jackets, and layering essentials for the South. And no matter what you pack in, pack it all back out, and please leave no trace to help preserve our state’s beauty.
    OUR HIKING GEAR LIST

More Georgia waterfall adventures

For some great road trip inspiration, check out our waterfall road trip to explore four falls at Lake Burton and Lake Rabun on an ultra-scenic single-day adventure. Looking for a shorter, family-friendly hike? Don’t miss our favorite waterfall hikes under two miles. Plan a short road trip across the state border to explore our favorite wateralls near Asheville, North Carolina. Or find a beautiful, cascading adventure near you with our Georgia waterfalls map.

When to hike?

Autumn is our favorite hiking season, when fall leaf color frames the forest in a spectrum of vibrant red, green, yellow and orange. Spring rainfall turns mere trickles into gushing cascades framed by wildflowers and spring-green leaves. Summer mountain breezes catch a cascade’s mist, providing cool mid-hike refreshment in our state’s summer heat. And chilly winter temperatures offer the chance to catch icicles hanging from the crest of the falls – an uncommon sight in our state’s temperate climate.

Hiking safety

Please don’t hike near, or climb on, the falls. A waterfall’s slippery rock surface and sharp drop are dangerous, and a fall can be fatal. Please don’t climb, stand above, swim near, or jump from any waterfall. And check out these water safety tips for some things to keep in mind when out chasing an adventure.

And please don’t drink the water! As fresh and as refreshing as the water may look, rivers and streams may contain bacteria and parasites. Get more info on water filters and drinking water treatment in the backcountry.

 
Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

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.