Hike to Hurricane Falls, Tallulah Gorge SP
Georgia › Tallulah Gorge Parking Area
Added by Matthew Koehnemann
This hike offers incredible views of beautiful waterfalls roaring through a 1,000ft deep gorge. The hike consists of a grouping of stairs that take you down to Hurricane Falls which is located at the bottom of the gorge. Half way to the bottom, the hike crosses the gorge on a suspension providing a different perspective.
The trail is located in Tallulah Gorge State Park which is about 1 ½ hours northeast of Atlanta, off of Highway 441. There is a $5 per car entry fee into the park and they prefer the use of cash. From there, follow the signs to the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center, where there is parking and plenty of good information about the park.
Behind the Interpretive Center, start out west on the North Rim trail, which takes you to several astonishing overlooks revealing the depths of the gorge with a view of one of the park's waterfalls (L’Eau d’Or Falls) that rush through the bottom.
To the backs of the visitors enjoying the view from the main overlook of the gorge and L’Eau d’Or Falls, there is a set of stairs; this is the trailhead for Hurricane Falls. There are 310 stairs from the trailhead to a suspension bridge that crosses the gorge about half way down. The suspension bridge offers a spectacular perspective of the gorge.
Once across the suspension bridge and on the southern side of the gorge, there are more stairs. The stairs that are to the right head up to the South Rim of the gorge, while the stairs to the left descend another 221 steps to a platform in front of Hurricane Falls. The view at the base of the falls is breathtaking…but not as breathtaking as the 500+ stairs you have to take back up to the North Rim! There are plenty of platforms to stop and rest along the descent and ascent if needed.
- Comfortable Shoes
- Light Jacket (can sometimes get chilly at the bottom)
- Extra Quadriceps for the 500+ stair climb back up to the North Rim
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Very crowded and touristy.
The gorge is a cool place, but if you were looking to be immersed in nature this is not the place. Also, to go all the way to the gorge floor you need to have a hiking permit, which is only given out to the first 100 people per day, so get there early. Found a quiet place on the backside of the southern rim trail to chill without going into an area requiring a permit. It's impossible to claim ignorance because there are so many warning signs. It won't be your typical backcountry adventure, but still a unique place to check out for a day.
Cool hike but not quite incredible
This hike to Hurricane falls is one of the coolest you can do in Georgia. Between the suspension bridge and the deep gorge and its waterfalls, this truly is a unique hike. However, unless you have a permit to get all the way down to the floor of the gorge, you might be disappointed by the view of Hurricane falls. The observation platform is small and often times packed with people and you only get a side view of the falls, which is not quite as impressive as a frontal view from the gorge floor. Also, basically the entire trail is stairs so if you are looking for a bit more rugged wilderness trail, this is not it. The stairs are probably a good thing, considering the steepness of the ravine, but for a person who wants complete immersion in nature, this might not be your trail. The crowds do not help this matter either. Get there early! To leave on a positive note, one other good thing about this trail is that even though it is fairly short, it is a good workout and can easily be extended in length with a combination of the North and/or South rim trails.
Breathtaking, yet harrowing experience
just wanted to add a few things to the list that may be helpful to future hikers: ziploc bags or other waterproof bags, whistle, rope and carabiner. There's a good chance you and your gear will get wet so if you have a phone or camera, you'll want them to be in a water-tight container. An accessible whistle in case you need help; 3 short blows is a universal signal that you need help. A rope with a carabiner that can be secured around a tree might also come in handy if someone has slipped or fallen. I am speaking from experience. It was an awesome experience, yet more than we had bargained for. I will be more prepared next time I go.
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