The Scoop – Getaways: Tallulah Gorge State Park
By Jennifer McKee | Photos Courtesy of Lee Reese/Shutterstock and SnoochTV/Shutterstock
Known for its spectacular scenery and challenging hikes, the Tallulah Gorge State Park will take your breath away. The gorge, 67 miles north of Athens, is two miles long and 1,000 feet deep and was carved millions of years ago as the Savannah River flowed through a soft rock bed that is now a wall of sheer granite cliffs.
The gorge’s network of trails offer access to multiple scenic overlooks, mountain biking trails and the Wallenda Tower, remnants of the high wire left behind by daredevil Karl Wallenda when he crossed the gorge on tightrope in 1970. As with any state park visit, it’s best to begin your journey at the Interpretive Center—some trails require you to obtain a free permit, and you can also view cultural and historic exhibits.
Trails range from moderate to extremely difficult; be sure to stay hydrated and wear closed-toe shoes or boots.
Inspiration Point, accessed on the North Rim Trail (moderate), is considered the best southern view into the gorge. Here, gorge depth is 900 feet, and Oceana Falls is directly below. Also visible on this trail are Bridal Veil Falls, L’Eau d’Or Falls, the Hawthorne Cascade and Pool and the Tallulah Falls Dam.
Together with the South Rim Trail (also moderate), the North Rim connects up for a three-mile loop that takes approximately two hours to hike. Highlights of the South Rim Trail include Hurricane Falls, the Caledonia Cascade and the Devil’s Pulpit outcropping.
Swimming in the 63-acre lake with a sand beach, picnicking in the pavilion and camping on one of the more than 50 available tent, trailer and RV campsites are also popular activities. For more information, call the park at 706.754.7981, visit https://gastateparks.org/tallulahgorge or connect on social media @georgiastateparks