What this is all about

I like to hike, and I belong to a womens hiking group called "TrailDames" - one of our hikes took us to a waterfall just over the border in South Carolina. This got me interested in finding waterfalls nearby and earlier this year I found a website with directions and photos of waterfalls in North Georgia at (see links for TrailDames & North Georgia Waterfalls below)

I now also belong to another womens hiking group called Off the Grid. Both OTG and Traildames are on Meetup.

Mr. Anthony's site has lovely photos of well over 100 waterfalls in North Georgia and I got interested in seeing them. As the weather got hotter through the summer I concentrated on shorter hikes to falls, and falls that were visible from the road. Then, as it started to get cooler again, I started doing longer hikes. It turned out to be far more fun than I expected it to be, and to my surprise - when I added them up - I had been to over 100 myself!

So I decided to make a record of them and of what it's like to visit them, in case anyone else is interested in seeing them too. I will be adding photos and directions, trail conditions, etc. in the future. As I "redo" falls I will update the page that already exists for them, instead of creating a new page every time. Keeping with the format of this blog site, I will put new information at the top of each existing page.

I won't be putting road mileages on the directions, I strongly urge you to compare my directions to a good map so you can see the distances for yourself. I'm not very good at guessing distances, so if I can find a trail length I will use that. If I'm guessing, I'll put a question mark so you'll know!

My apologies for the "watermarks" on the photos, but I have had...and know other people who have had...photos stolen off the net. The watermarks are to ensure that they can't be reused without being identified as mine.

I got a good GPS unit and I'll slowly be putting GPS coordinates for the falls, when I can. If I can get close to the falls the GPS will be for the falls. Otherwise, it will be for where you can see them most easily.

Nov 2012: I got a new PC and now that I can actually get things done (!) I'm going to rearrange the way the falls are listed. I'm going to list them separately, instead of grouping them by the day I saw them. The only ones I'll group are the ones that are on the same creek, or very close - like on the same road.

I've completed rearranging the posts. Hopefully this will help make the falls easier to find. I also found my count was WAY off, so I've updated the total too.

Jan 2013 - I just got a video camera, so I'll be adding short videos of the falls as I am able to get back to them. They might be a bit shakey at first, but hopefully I'll get better as I get used to using it!

Total Falls

Total waterfalls as of 9/7/2014: 497
Total videos as of 9/7/2014: 164

Monday, September 8, 2014

Spoonauger Falls - SC (2 falls)

9/7/2014 - got up fairly early (for a Sunday!) and drove just across the Chatooga River to do the short hike to Spoonauger Falls on Spoonauger Creek.  The trail is described as easy to moderate, which is about right.  It starts out very easy, nearly level...but when you cross Spoonauger Creek, the bank down to the creek is low and easy, but the opposite bank is higher and nearly straight up.  You have to step carefully on roots and rocks sticking out of the bank.  Then you turn uphill on the trail to the base of the falls.  There is a metal verticle sign that says "Spnauger Falls"

At the first switchback there is a short trail to a small falls.  Then the trail switchbacks 3 or 4 times to Spoonauger Falls.  The trail is steep, but not too difficult and right before the end there is a seep that had the trail mushy and wet, but there were rocks to step on.

I don't know how this falls got its name, but in case you're wondering...a "spoon auger" (aka: spoon drill) looks like this:

Chairmaker's Spoon Bit Set 471129
(from: http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/chairmakersspoonbitset.aspx)

They can actually have several shapes, including a pointed oval shaped (more like an eating spoon, but a lot sharper!) but I couldn't find a good picture of one of those.

GPS: 34.97502°N 83.11118°W (lower falls)

video

Spoonauger Falls
GPS: 34.97476°N 83.11019°W

video

Directions and Information: from Clayton, Ga
  • east on Warwoman Road
  • south on GA 28
  • north on Burrells Ford Rd (this gravel road is easy to miss, if you get to the river you've missed it)
  • continue until road crosses Chattooga River
  • park at sign on left for the Chattooga River Trail



Anna Ruby Falls (3 falls)

9/5/2014 - my knees are doing a lot better with the physical therapy I'm doing, and the weather is not QUITE as hot as it's been...so I took advantage of being off and went to Anna Ruby Falls.  Along the way, I also got a roadside falls on Smith Creek that I had known about but not had a chance to get before.

8/22/2010 - Anna Ruby Falls is one of the "big 3" showpiece waterfalls of North Georgia - along with Amicalola Falls and Dukes Creek Falls.  Like Dukes Creek Falls it is a double falls at the confluence of two creeks.  And, again like Dukes Creek Falls, there is one big, spectacular waterfall and another lovely, but smaller one.

These falls are at the convergence of Curtis Creek and York Creek, which together form Smith 
Creek

Falls on Smith Creek
GPS: 34.75306°N 83.71166°W



video

Anna Ruby Falls
GPS: 34.76348°N 83.71217°W



video



Directions and Information: can be found at http://www.unicoistatepark.org/anna-ruby-falls.html

Note: the falls are accessed from inside Unicoi State Park, but are not part of the park.  There is a fee, and if you have a State Park pass it will not be any good.

Mooney Falls - NC

8/30/2014 - since Mooney Falls is close to the trail to Big Laurel Falls, I drove up to this one too.  It is distantly visible from the road and a little further up the road, there is a trail to the base, which I ws told is steep.  I was too tired to try it, so I just got what I could from the road.

The book I used for directions says there is a sign for Mooney Falls, but I did not see it.

GPS: 35.02802°N 83.49816°W (roadside view)
GPS: 35.02892°N 83.49769°W (trailhead)

video

Directions and Information: from Franklin, NC
  • west on US 64
  • south on W.Old Murphy Rd
  • at Wallace Gap, south on FS 67 (sign for Standing Indian Campground)
  • at the fork at entrance to the campground, continue to the left on the FS road
  • drive past the trailhead for Big Laurel Falls, for about 3/4 mile

Big Laurel Falls - NC

8/30/2014 - took a drive up southwest of Franklin, NC to the area above Standing Indian Campground.  Hiked the trail to Big Laurel Falls.  The book I was using rated this as easy, but I would call it more like moderate.  It starts out easy, but once it starts up the mountain it goes steadily uphill in "bumps" - longish uphills, then short down-hills, then uphill-downhill again.  Maybe 3 or 4 such "bumps."  My GPS made it 1/2 mile from the trailhead sign to the falls...but it felt like 2 miles!

GPS: 35.01823°N 83.50652°W


video

Directions and Information: from Franklin, NC
  • west on US 64
  • south on W.Old Murphy Rd
  • at Wallace Gap, south on FS 67 (sign for Standing Indian Campground)
  • at the fork at entrance to the campground, continue to the left on the FS road
  • park at trailhead for Big Laurel Falls - there is a good big sign at the start


Mossy Creek falls

8/22/2014 - got bored sitting around the house after work and after looking around on the map, I found a state area labled "Mossy Creek State Park" - but when I checked the state parks website, there was no such park.  So I took a drive out to see it.  Turns out it's not a state park, but a small state owned area that is a put-in for canoes and kayaks where Mossy Creek flows into the Chattahoochee River in White County.

I did see several trail heads, but as far as I can tell they all are short and lead either to the creek or the river.  I followed one that went out from the top of the parking area and found a small falls.

GPS: 34.49639°N 83.67393°W

video

Directions and Information: from Gainesville, GA
  • north on I985/GA 365
  • west on GA 52
  • north on Skitts Mountain Rd
  • south in Skitts Mountain Dr
  • bear left on Home Place Rd (sign might say Rattler Dr, the map shows both names)
  • follow to parking area at the end of the gravel road