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.  

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • 1L Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Small trash bag
  • Hat (Optional)
  • Sunglasses (Optional)
  • Bathing suit (Optional)
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RT Distance 1.3 Miles
Elevation Gain 160 Feet
Activities Photography, Running, Swimming, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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