Toccoa Falls Waterfall: One of the Easiest Hikes in North Georgia

If you’re looking for easy waterfall hikes in Georgia, we’ve got you covered! This accessible hike that leads to the breathtaking Toccoa Falls Waterfall in North Georgia is one that everyone can enjoy.

With a vertical drop of 186 feet, it’s taller than Horseshoe Falls in Nagara Falls and one of the tallest free-falling waterfalls east of the Mississippi.

toccoa falls waterfall cascading down the rocks into the natural pool with mist

This beautiful waterfall is located on the grounds of the campus of Toccoa Falls College and it’s just about 100 yards from the college’s gift shop.

If you’re taking a road trip to North Georgia with kids, family, or friends, or plan to be near Tallulah Gorge State Park, then this is a must-visit! Here’s what you need to know about getting to Toccoa Falls Waterfall.

Key Takeaways

🥾 Suitable for all skill levels, this is a quick and easy hike leading to the base of the falls from the Toccoa Falls College Gift Shop.

🗺 This waterfall is owned by Toccoa Falls College but it's open to the public year-round, except for holidays and fall/winter college breaks.
me standing in front of the welcome to north georgia outdoor treasure sign

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Directions to Toccoa Falls Waterfall

Toccoa Falls is located in Toccoa, Georgia, which is about 95 miles north of Atlanta and 65 miles south of Greenville, South Carolina.

If you’re driving from Atlanta, it’s a drive of about 1 hour and 45 minutes. You’ll take I-85 N to exit 173 and follow the signs to Toccoa Falls.

Driving from Orlando, the drive is about 7 hours and 50 minutes. You’ll take I-95 N to Georgia, follow the signs for Int’l Airport/Savannah, and then take I-16 W.

After this point, there will be a few exits you will need to take, but the GPS should lead you directly to the Gate Cottage Gift Shop at Toccoa Falls College without any issues.

creek with rocks and fall leaves at toccoa falls

Getting to the Falls

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, this must-visit waterfall in Georgia is perfect for a scenic road trip from Orlando or from further up north.

It can also be a great stop to add to your itinerary when road-tripping to the Great Smoky Mountains or West NC.

Upon arrival to the campus, you will be parking your car at the lot next to the Gate Cottage Gift Shop.

Since the waterfall is only accessible through the gift shop, you will go in and pay a nominal admission fee before heading out to the falls.

How Much Does It Cost to go to Toccoa Falls Waterfall?

🎟 The entrance fee is $2 per adult and $1 per seniors.
paved trail behind gate cottage gift shop

Then, you will continue toward the back of the gift shop and follow the short trail of approx. 100 yards that lead directly to the base of the falls.

Although the beginning of the trail is paved, the rest will be natural dirt or gravel. However, this trail is easy for everyone, making Toccoa Falls one of the most accessible waterfall hikes in North Georgia.

This waterfall trail is also pet-friendly and doesn’t require anything other than wearing comfortable shoes with good traction.

Once you reach the end of the trail, you’ll be face-to-face with the breathtaking view of the falls cascading down the rocks into a big natural pool.

To me, Toccoa Falls Waterfall is powerful and beautiful but also peaceful and serene.

standing in front of the toccoa falls waterfall

The scenery surrounding the falls is perfect for a relaxing afternoon sitting by the rocks listening to the sound of the waterfall and soaking in all the goodness of nature.

After taking the time to visit this waterfall, you’ll find yourself loving everything about this place!

Hours: You can visit Toccoa Falls Waterfall any day of the week from 10 am to 4 pm and on weekends from 12 pm to 4 pm.

A Place for Reflection

Although a beautiful natural wonder, Toccoa Falls is also the location where an unfortunate disaster took place.

Back in the early morning of November 6, 1977, the Kelly Barnes Dam above Toccoa Falls College gave way.

The aftermath was tragic, with 39 lives lost in the ensuing flood that swept through the campus, including a trailer park.

This event marked the most devastating natural disaster in Georgia in over four decades. Learn more about the Kelly Barns flood.

commemorative sign about the kelly barnes dam flooding in toccoa

More Things to Do in Toccoa

If you’re looking for more things to do while you’re in the area, and are up for chasing more waterfalls of the south USA, you’re in the right place.

At just about 20 minutes from Toccoa Falls Waterfall, you’ll find Tallulah Gorge State Park (commonly referred to as Tallulah Falls).

This Georgia State Park is a waterfall paradise with many hiking trails, mountain views, and overlooks.

On the other hand, if you also want to please the history buff in you, the Currahee Military Museum is also nearby in Toccoa.

This museum is part of three that are located in the Train Depot in Historic Downtown Toccoa, GA, and tells the story of the soldiers who trained at Camp Toccoa during World War II.

Basic Precautions and Things to Know

While the Toccoa Falls hike is easy and short, it’s still important to take some basic precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Wear appropriate footwear with good traction
  • Do not climb on the rocks
  • Be aware of your surroundings and watch for loose gravel or slippery surface
  • Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly
  • Lastly, but most importantly, just use common sense!
sitting on a rock facing the watefall

Can You Swim at Toccoa Falls?

No swimming is allowed on this waterfall.

Are Pets Allowed?

Yes. Pups on a leash are welcome.

Is Toccoa Falls Worth a Visit?

This North Georgia gem is one of the most beautiful free-falling waterfalls you will see and it’s definitely worth visiting!

It’s accessible, has a good parking area, cheap admission fee and it’s beautiful any time of the year.

Toccoa Falls is an amazing destination that could turn out to be one of the favorite stops on your road trip.

Nonetheless, it’s also worth mentioning that responsible tourism is encouraged at all times, along with following the Leave No Trace principles.

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Yanitza Ninett
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Yanitza is one 1/2 of the Next Stop Adventures dynamic duo with 15+ years of hiking experience and adventure travel. As a PADI-certified Scuba diver, she's also passionate about ocean conservation. When she's not exploring the great outdoors, Yanitza obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and dreams of traveling to Spain.

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