Hike the Tumbling Waters Trail

Rate this Adventure 1.3 miles 160 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Christian Murillo

Come explore one of North Georgia's local favorite trail, the Tumbling Waters Trail, just North of Carters Lake. Its relative ease makes it great for the family and on the hottest days you will enjoy a dip in the refreshing and scenic waters.

Just North of Carters Lake lies one of its tributaries, Tails Creek.  The Tumbling Waters Trail follows along a scenic stretch of this creek as it cascades its way towards the lake.  This trail is moderately trafficked and considered a local favorite.

The Tumbling Waters trailhead also contains a boat ramp for recreational use.  A daily fee of $3 is required to use these facilities and the money goes towards protecting and preserving the beautiful land in the Chattahoochee National Forest.  

Beginning at the trailhead, the trail begins to gently climb through lush hardwood forest, with occasional views of the lake.  After about 0.4 miles, the trail forks to an overlook straight ahead, and the bridge down to the left.  The overlook is only another 150 yards, and provides a nice view over a very pretty section of the stream.  After soaking it all in for a couple minutes, you will make your way to the bridge.  

Here, you can either cross the bridge directly, or check out the scenery below the bridge.  This is where the tumbling cascades which earn the trail its name come to an end, so it is pretty cool to see the progression all the way to the end of the trail.  Although the water is beautiful here, the bridge is very cool as well and is a rare find in North Georgia.  

After crossing the bridge, the trail curves to the left before doubling back to the right.  The trail then runs parallel to the creek for a couple hundred yards until the last overlook.  Along this section of trail, there are several side-paths which head down to the water and provide different perspectives and some nice views.  There are also some great pools on this section of the creek so taking a dip in some super refreshing water can turn a scorching day in Georgia into a relaxing day hike.  

At the last overlook, you will get a view of almost the same section of creek that you got from the first overlook, except you might not recognize it because it offers a completely different perspective.  The water seems to cascade over small boulders and ledges endlessly, creating one of the most beautiful river scenes in North Georgia.  

The return hike is as straightforward as the hike out, so you should not have any complications with navigation.  This is a great quick hike if you are in the area or are looking for something that is family friendly.  On several of my visits, I have found some trash left behind by fellow hikers so I ask that we all pack out what we brought with us and if you can, pick up a piece of trash or two after those who are not as considerate.  This will help us all enjoy an unspoiled experience of this beautiful trail.  

Read More


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Swimming Hole


Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

Stay Nearby

Ellijay, Georgia

Doll Mt. Campground

Overview Doll Mountain Campground is located in the North Georgia Mountains on beautiful Carters Lake, Which is just a short 70 miles north of Atlanta. Carters Lake provides clean, safe, and qui...

Ellijay, Georgia

Woodring Day Use Area Shelter

Overview Woodring Day Use Area is located in the North Georgia Mountains about 70 miles north of Atlanta on Carters Lake. The sparkling waters and rugged shoreline provide a beautiful surrounding ...

Ellijay, Georgia

Doll Mountain Day Use Area Shelter

Overview Doll Mountain Day Use Shelter is located in the North Georgia Mountains about 70 miles north of Atlanta on Carters Lake. The sparkling waters and rugged shoreline provide a beautiful surr...

Ellijay, Georgia

Woodring Campground

Overview Woodring Branch Campground is located in the North Georgia Mountains on the beautiful Carters Lake Project, which is just a short 70 miles north of Atlanta. Carters Lake provides clean,...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike the Gahuti Trail

    Fort Mountain rises prominently from the plateau to the West, serving as the start of the Blue Ridge Mountain range in Georgia. The Gahuti Backcountry Trail circumnavigates the mountain, with several overlooks with views in all directions.  At 8.1...

    8.1 miles 1223 ft gain

  • Hike the West Overlook Trail and CCC Stone Tower Trail Loop

    Fort Mountain State Park is filled with horse trails, biking trails, walking trails, camping sites, and a lake. Once you arrive at the park you pay a $5 entrance fee and will receive a park map. While visiting I walked the West Overlook Trail and ...

    1 miles 200 ft gain

  • Hike to Emery Creek Falls

    The hike to the five waterfalls on the Emery Creek trail is one of the most spectacular hikes in Georgia. This trail is moderate in climb, yet secluded in the Cohutta Wilderness and challenging enough to keep crowds away. Two things to note about ...

    6.2 miles 550 ft gain

  • Mountain Biking Bear Creek

    Bear Creek is a southern favorite amongst the mountain biking community. There are many variations and add-ons to make this ride more challenging, but the classic up and back from the parking lot at the base of Bear Creek is one of the most rewar...