Scott & Kristy Nilsson's Travels
Tallulah Gorge Area
Including information on:
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Panther Creek &
Details on each memorable waterfall and the gorge ~
Tallulah Gorge Along the rim, you can see stunning views of the 1,000 foot deep gorge. There are a total of seven sets of falls in the gorge, each exquisite. Hawks and falcons swirl on the up current from the gorge and trees and flowers decorate the beautiful stone walls of the gorge.
If you never go on another hike in your life, all adventurous hikers must hike the spectacular Tallulah Basin! Many observers only visit the upper rim (which is lovely), but if you are able, spend a day in the one of the most beautiful places on earth, down in the gorge!
Hiker Information: If you want to explore the floor of the gorge, a special pass is required, which can be obtained at the visitor's center. It is a long hike and light becomes demised early in the day do to the depth of the gorge, so leave early in the day to save daylight. To get to the bottom of the gorge, you will descend 1,300 steps (which is quite tiring). At the bottom, you will be required to cross the river at a few points due to the rugged terrain. Wear hiking boots and be prepared to get wet. I highly recommend that you ask very specific questions about distances and visual clues as to how to locate the "get-out." There is only one point where climbing from the gorge is possible and it is not marked with any signs or paint, so the more information that you can get on this, the better. Restrooms are on site at the visitor's center. Pets are allowed on a leash (Note: our dog could not complete the steps because the metal treading on the steps hurt his feet. We ended up carrying the poor guy out of there.).
Directions: From U.S. 19/129 at Turner's Corner, go west on U.S. 19 for approximately 0.5 miles. Turn right at the signs for “The Chattahoochee Wildlife Management Center” and “Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church”. This road is called F.S. 34 – you will drive a total of 2.8 miles before parking the car on the hill to the right (The best roadside view of the falls is at 2.6 miles after turning onto F.S. 34). To get to Turner's Corner from Atlanta: take GA 400 North - this will become US 19; the intersection of US 19 and US 129 in known as “Turner’s Corner”
Minnehaha Falls (Tallulah Ranger District) There are five beautiful waterfalls along the three-mile section of the DeSoto Falls Trail located in the 650-acre recreation area. Two of these falls are maintained for the hiker's viewing convenience and are designated as the lower and middle DeSoto Falls. It is 0.8 mile walk is to the lower falls which cascade 20 feet. The walk to the middle falls is a well-maintained 2.5 mile trail with hills. The middle, and most scenic falls, drop 80 feet (or approximately 100 feet with falling and shoaling). Water at the middle falls flows down the striations of the sedimentary slate rock to create a “ripple effect” in a series of four cascades and may be viewed from a wooden platform. The DeSoto Falls got their name from a legend that tells of a piece of armor found near the falls; it is believed that the armor belonged to Hernando DeSoto or one of his fellow explorers.
Directions: Take U.S. 23/441 north from Tallulah Falls for three miles to the Rabun Beach Recreation Area sign. Turn left onto Old 441. Go 2.5 miles and take left on Lake Rabun Road. Go one mile past Recreation Area. Take left on Low Gap Road (@ Flat Creek Community sign). Follow Bear Gap road, which forks to the left. Go 1.5 miles to sign marking the trail on the right side of the road. The Minnehaha Trail (.4 mile in length) follows Fall Branch until it dead ends at Minnehaha Falls.
Hiker Information: This is a moderate hike with a very steep first ten feet, after that, it is not too difficult. There are no restrooms on site. Pets are allowed on a leash.
Panther Creek & Angel-Panther Falls This waterfalls drops through a series of cascades which culminate in a stunning 50-foot falls. Another set of falls is about one-half mile upstream.
Hiker Information: These falls are truly beautiful. The path is 0.3 miles long and is easy. There are no restrooms in the recreational area. Pets are allowed.
Directions: From Clayton, take U.S. 441/23 south for 7 miles. Turn right on unnumbered country road for .1 mile, then turn left on GA Hwy 15 for 2 miles. Turn right on County Road 10 and go 5 miles. Enter Rabun Beach Campground #2 entrance and go .2 mile to parking area on right. Trailhead is 80 feet to the north. You will be at Angel-Panther Falls. To reach Angel Falls, hike up another .3 mile. Go on the Panther Creek Trail to reach the waterfalls. Panther Creek Trail begins its western end at the Panther Creek Recreation Area on Historic US 441/23 just about 3 miles south of Tallulah Falls.