|From Dicks Creek Falls|
The longest and most popular trail everyone knows about in Georgia is the Appalachian Trail. It’s a great trail and I’m glad we can lay claim to part of it. But there’s another great long trail that Georgia lays claim all to called the Bartram Trail. I like the Bartram Trail in at least one way better than the AT, namely the extra solitude you get on it because of its lesser use. And there are great sites to see on this trail. With this post, I will introduce to you the nicest waterfall I have found on the trail, namely Dicks Creek Falls in
Now don’t confuse this falls with Dukes Creek Falls or other falls that flow on Dicks Creek. This one sits at the very terminus of the waterway as it dumps into the Chattooga River. It is a 1.4 trek along the Bartram Trail just at the point where Georgia ends and South Carolina begins. Now don’t let this distance thing fool you, the trail head sits just less than two and a half hours Northeast of Atlanta up Interstate 985, near Clayton, Georgia.
To get there, you turn right on Rickman off 985 (which has become 23), and take a quick right onto Warwoman Dell. After 5.3 miles you turn right onto Sandy Ford Road. You are going to travel this road for about 3.5 miles. There is a right turn you need to take about a quarter mile up to stay on the road. You will cross Dick’s Creek once on a bridge. The second time you cross Dick’s Creek it will be a splash through, which you can cross to get right next to the Bartram Trail head, or you can park in a field just before it which will add about 1/3 of a mile to your journey on foot (one way). You cross the creek and then begin to look for the signs. The trail to the waterfall is opposite the rock marker for the Bartram Trail.
You walk the Bartram Trail until you get to the bridge. On the opposite side of the creek you turn right and walk until you see the top of the falls (a little more than a half mile away). The trail to the point is relatively easy, except that, as we experienced, it is not well maintained. There were several spots where we had to cross in, around, and through felled trees along the way. The most difficult obstacle, however, was the fact that the bridge was out so we had to make our second and more difficult wet foot crossing, so be prepared. The trail brushes right up against the top of the trail but there is not much of a view from there. You will want to climb down to the river at one of three quick side trails. These trails are tight and at a good incline which will add another quarter mile to your trek and elevate the path from easy to moderately difficult, parts of which you will need to use your hands as well as feet. But, it is well worth the effort.
The first walk out takes you to the base of the falls and offers the best view of the falls and the rocks at the base. Dicks Creek tumbles with a pretty steep drop 60 feet into the river below. I would rate this falls up there with anything I have seen before. The side trail furthest away from the top, prior to the trail turning left, takes you to one of the most beautiful spots in all of Georgia. You get this awesome 180 degree view of the Falls and the Chattooga River. The sounds of the rushing river are actually louder than the falls itself. My suggestion is you go to this place first and work your way back toward the falls.
So what you get is quite wonderful: quiet time in a pristine wilderness, a mild adventure try to find the trailhead, good healthy exercise crossing the creek and climbing up and down to the base of the falls, and a gorgeous view of a fantastic waterfall and the incredibly scenic Chatooga River. If in Rabun County or a waterfall lover, or curious about beautiful places in Georgia, Dicks Creek Falls is a must see.
Approximate Time: 1.5 hours
Approximate Distance: 1.6 miles
Features: Remote Wilderness, River Views, Waterfall
Overall Rating: A+
Scenic Quality: A+
Parking: Free, but limited
Hours of Operation: Daylight hours
Maps: None found, follow directions in Post