Hike Cloudland Canyon's Waterfall Trail

Rising Fawn, Georgia

4.8/5
based on 6 reviews

Details

Distance

2 miles

Elevation Gain

450 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Alan Maxcy

The Waterfall Trail at Cloudland Canyon offers a descent down steep canyon walls as well as 2 beautiful waterfalls awaiting you at the bottom.

When you enter Cloudland Canyon State Park you will drive straight through all of the 4 way stops for about 1 mile before you reach the parking lot for the Waterfall Trail. The parking area does have restrooms and picnic tables if you would like to bring a lunch.

What goes down must come up! I know that is not how that saying normally goes, but it is painfully true in this situation. The trail is a 2 mile out and back trail, descending more than 400 feet and 600 steps. The Waterfall trail will follow the yellow markers to the left when looking at the Canyon. You will begin walking around the rim of the canyon before you start descending down the stairs to the canyon floor.

At about .5 miles you will reach a fork. The left trail goes to Cherokee Falls and the right trail goes to Hemlock Falls. Cherokee Falls plunges 60 feet into a large aqua blue pool. In the winter the flow of the waterfall is much greater than the drier summer months. You will have to back track to the fork to continue down the canyon to Hemlock Falls.

Hemlock Falls is another impressive 90 foot waterfall surrounded by trees and boulders. After enjoying the Falls you will return back the way you came. The ascent is difficult so be prepared to take plenty of water breaks on your way back up.

There are many muddy areas on the trail so make sure to bring appropriate footwear. And be sure to bring $5 cash for a parking pass or you can buy an annual for pass for all of the Georgia's State Parks for $50.

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Features

Fitness
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

This hike can either be a hell of a leg workout and absolutely stunning, or it can be a hell of a leg workout and just short of impressive. No matter when you go, you will be surrounded by beautiful scenery. However, if water levels are low (depending on the season and rainfall) there just might not be any waterfalls to marvel at. The winter is usually the best time of year to see the falls in full force. You can call the state park ahead of time to get an idea of what it is going to look like.

One thing I loved about this trail is that there were 3-4 waterfalls that weren't too far from each other. So it's super family friendly. Also, the Cherokee Falls on this trail is pretty ideal for long exposure photography. I hear the coolest photographing opportunity at this place is during the winter when the waterfall is frozen.

Nice park only 5$ for the day multiple hike loops or waterfalls to see. Great campgrounds and picnic areas. Only downfall pretty busy spot go weekdays or off season

Definitely suggest trying to go in the fall to get a glimpse of the fall colors there. The waterfall is gorgeous and wasn't too crowded when we went. Hike back up is a pain in the butt, but well worth it.

Cloudland is a bit off the beaten path from touristy stuff. But what a treasure once you are there. Cherokee falls has some great rocks to sit and have a picnic. We'll be back!

Watch for ice on the steps in places! Lots of steps on the way back out but well worth it! The falls are beautiful!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Hike the West Rim Trail to Cherokee Falls

Hike Sitton's Gulch Trail

Camp at Cloudland Canyon State Park

Explore Lula Lake Land Trust

Relax at Sunset Rock

Photograph Moccasin Bend From Point Park