In case you didn’t know, North Georgia is a paradise for outdoor travelers. The mountain views, the incredible hiking trails, and amazing waterfalls are all part of what you can experience. For me, although this wasn’t my first time traveling to North Georgia, hiking at Tallulah Gorge was definitely an adventure for the books! Not to mention, this state park is gorgeous and breathtaking during the fall season. In fact, fall is the season when many prefer to visit the beautiful Tallulah Gorge State Park.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – North Georgia
Tallulah Gorge is considered one of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern part of the U.S. There are about 20 miles of hiking trails inside this 2,689-acre park–one of the most stunning state parks in the state of Georgia! You’ll find a suspension bridge, backcountry shelters, plenty of waterfalls, an Interpretive Center, and so much more. This was my first time visiting and hiking at Tallulah Gorge and I’m super glad that I did it during the fall season. It’s simply spectacular!
We arrived at the park at exactly 8 am–which is the park’s opening time. The first thing we did was walk around the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center to learn about the history of the town and I really enjoyed all the exhibits there. However, we did not get to see the film because I was already getting way too excited to see the gorge and to explore the park. The trails vary in time, which means that even if you only have 30 minutes to enjoy the park, you will be able to see at least one waterfall!
Hiking Trails to see the Waterfalls
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the gorge floor permits were not being issued at the time of my visit during the last week of October. For this reason, I was only able to hike along the Gorge Rim Trails.
L’Eau d’Or Falls and Tempesta Falls
If you only have time for a short hike, this would be your starting point. To view these falls, take the North Rim trail starting near the Interpretive Center. Turn right at the rubber trail and follow the brown signs leading to overlooks 2 and 3.
Trail difficulty: Easy | One-way Hiking Time: approx. 6 minutes (0.3 miles)
This trail will give you a great view of Oceana Falls from overlook 1. To get on this trail, follow the brown signs leading to the North Rim Trail, and turn left when it ends. At a short distance, you will arrive at overlook 1–located on the right side. Here, you’ll enjoy the view of Oceana Falls and an impressive vista of this gorgeous park.
Trail difficulty: Easy | One-way hiking time: approx. 7-10 minutes
Bridal Veil Falls–Inspiration Point View
Take the same trail that leads to Oceana Falls, but instead of heading right towards overlook 1, keep going straight. This trail leads you to Inspiration Point–the highest point in the park and the spot with the best views of the Bridal Veil Falls.
Trail difficulty: Moderate, Uphill | One-way hiking time: approx. 26 minutes (0.8 miles)
Suspension Bridge and Hurricane Falls–Strenuous Hiking at Tallulah Gorge
Sometimes, I like to save the best for last. The trail to the suspension bridge and Hurricane Falls is both the best and most difficult trail at Tallulah Gorge State Park. The first thing I should mention is that the suspension bridge staircase trail is composed of a total of 1,062 steps (one way)–if you cross the bridge and continue your path towards Hurricane Falls.
However, if you only want to walk to the suspension bridge, you will need to do 620 steps (one way). It’s a steep and strenuous hike that will temporarily take your breath away–literally! But, it’s very much worth it! You will find some benches along the way where you can take short breaks.
Tip: Be sure to carry snacks and water for the suspension bridge and Hurricane Falls hike.
Trail difficulty: Difficult, Strenuous, Steep | Round-trip hiking time (complete trip including Hurricane Falls): approx. 2 hours and a total of 2,124 steps. Yikes! I can’t believe I did this!
Tallulah Falls Dam
To view the dam, you will follow the same trail that leads you to L’Eau d’Or Falls and Tempesta Falls. Only that this time, you will then follow the brown signs that lead you to overlooks 4 and 5. You’ll be able to view the dam from overlook 4.
Trail difficulty: Easy | One-way Hiking Time: approx. 13 minutes (0.6 miles)
Tips for Hiking at Tallulah Gorge
Hiking at Tallulah Gorge State Park was one heck of an experience! The park is impressively beautiful and has a lot of scenic overlooks that make for great photo ops. Here’s a couple of tips for your trip to Tallulah Gorge.
- Wear comfortable shoes. I swear by my Reebok running shoes! For some reason, they work so well for me when I’m hiking. They are great on any terrain and they feel really nice and comfy on my soles. You can use my code FRIEND to get a sitewide 40% off on your Reebok online purchase by clicking on this link. (valid until 11/17/20)
- Snacks and water are a must! For this hike, I packed my bag with bananas, dried fruits, and granola bars. Plus, I also had 2 bottles of water.
- Grab a map at the Interpretive Center. If you’ve been following my adventures for some time, you already know how much I love physical maps. But preferences aside, it will really come in handy–especially in this park.
- Arrive early. If you can be there as soon as the park opens…bingo! There are a lot of trails and some are strenuous and difficult, which will take you more time than usual.
Bonus Tip: Since you’re already in North Georgia, take a 38-minute drive to the quaint Alpine City of Helen. You’ll find some great shops and many places to eat!
Plan your visit:
Fees: $5 per vehicle
Hours: 8 am until sunset
Address: 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr., Tallulah Falls, GA 30573
Visit the park’s website for updates before traveling
There are a TON of pictures that I have from this trip to Tallulah Gorge State Park in North Georgia! Since not all of them are included in this post, follow me on Instagram to enjoy the rest ✌🏼
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