Minnehaha Falls

Chasing Waterfalls--Again map

From Minnehaha Falls

I thought I might share some nice photos of what the water can look like here in Northern Georgia. To me the saddest thing about hiking in Georgia drought season is the sight of a dried up waterfall. It’s like going to a baseball game and it being rained out. It takes something special and makes it simply go away.

A closer look

So as I was walking down a favorite path along what was once a pleasant little falls and is now simply some dirt (not the site of this pictorial, but at Mulberry Park ), I decided that we needed to see some water, even if its photos from the spring, traditionally the best time for seeking a good water show.

The Falls Full View

These were taken at one of the most memorable falls I have seen in Georgia, at Minnehaha Falls , near Lake Rabun (about 4 miles from Clayton, Georgia) in Rabun County , in Georgia‘s Blue Ridge Mountains . It’s not much of a hike being about .5 miles to the Falls from the parking lot (1 mi round trip). The drive to get there is more of an adventure, driving on a dirt road, passing the venerable Beechwood Inn , and some beautiful homes on Lake Rabun, as well as the lake itself. The parking lot, if you could call it that, is just a small patch of land near the trailhead that can fit a mere handful of cars.

Falls Peeking Through the Trail

But this is a great example of stellar payoff for minimal work. A quick jaunt to see something majestic that you could do in an hour if your in the neighborhood. Waterfalls are best in the Spring, and after rains, and there are many to choose from in the North Georgia mountains. This is a convenient add-on to a trip to Panther Creek or Toccoa or Tallulah Gorge .

At the Top of the Falls

The Falls are a 100 feet high series of 3-5 foot cascades that is my favorite of the lesser known waterfalls. My most frequent traveling companion said the sight of the rushing water simply took her breath away. You walk up a short flight of stairs, then along a path for a quarter mile or so. The Falls then literally jump in front of you.

Another Close Up

When we went, we climbed a little side trail to see the top of the falls, an exhilarating and difficult maneuver since it is a steep incline and must be traversed over parts on hands and knees (and we did it after a nice rain so it was muddy as heck too. I only bring this up to say three things: Its amazing how much of a show a little stream of water can make over some rocks placed just right, it can be done if you put in the effort, and finally, how important it is in life to sometimes actually take the road less traveled rather than simply talk about it.

The Trail head

Among the many Waterfalls of North Georgia that exist, Minnehaha Falls is a picturesque falls less than two hours from Atlanta (about 90 miles), well worth the side trip, especially if the waters are running.

Trail Essentials
Approximate Time: 45-60 minutes (principally viewing time)
Approximate Distance: 1 mile roundtrip
Trail Surface: Short Staircase, compact soil
Features: Stunning Waterfalls, shoals, nice little stream

Overall Rating: B-
Scenic Quality: A
Athleticism: D
Solitude: B
Value: B
Parking: limited and free
Hours of Operation: Daylight hours
Facilities: None
Maps: Not really necessary
County: Rabun County

1 comment:

  1. We also visited Minnehaha Falls in July 2008. It was beautiful! We viewed three waterfalls that weekend and Minnehaha was the best. We stayed for quite a while enjoying the cool water and the sound of the rushing water, but could have stayed all day. Even though there were other people there (10+) it was still a peaceful and relaxing spot.

    If you're in the area, I recommend eating at Isabelle's on the Gorge. Fantastic food served in an old house (over 100 years old) that has been converted into a restaurant. The prices were reasonable and the atmosphere nice, but casual.

    Kathy E.



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