|From Toccoa Falls|
Just a short trip West of Helen, Gainesville, or Cleveland and just a scant 10 miles South of the majestic Tallulah Gorge stands a beautiful creation in nature, known as Toccoa Falls.
Many believe that Toccoa Falls are the highest single drop waterfall in Georgia (some have said the Eastern United States), but both are false. Cascade Falls (AKA Caledonia Cascade), part of the Tallulah River system, has a single drop of over 250 feet (Part of a 600 foot cascade). However, Toccoa’s lone and majestic simple 186 foot drop creates a most memorable image. I think it would be proper to say that it is the tallest single drop fall in Georgia, but if I am wrong let me know.
It doesn’t take much effort to see the Falls. It’s located on the Toccoa Falls college campus and its a simple 1/3 of a mile walk from the parking lot. If your in the area, it is well worth a quick drop by. The Falls are open to the public, normally accessed through the Gift Shop/Restaurant. After the store closes, they normally open a gate to the right of the building for general access.
Toccoa Falls College is a Christian College founded in 1907 and has been at this location since 1911. In 1977, the Kelly Barnes Dam burst, dumping water from a 40 acre lake over the falls onto the campus. This event left 39 dead and over 60 injured. There is also a memorial to this event on the site. The lake is now gone, so there is no chance of a similar occurrence ever happening again.
Because of the hour long drive from Atlanta, and the very short walk to see Toccoa Falls, I wouldn’t recommend a special trip just to see this waterfall. However, if you are in the general vicinity and are looking for something interesting to see that would take about an hour or so, this is a must see.