Explore a Waterfall
With ample rainfall and craggy rock-strewn rivers and streams, waterfalls abound in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Western North Carolina is home to dozens, if not hundreds of waterfalls. Not only will you find Leatherwood Falls right here in the Fires Creek area, but numerous others are within a short drive. Your waterfall adventure might have you finding falls along the Appalachian Trail, or falls you can walk behind, or view from a swinging footbridge high above. Here are just some of the many wonderful waterfalls that you’ll discover here in our little corner of the mountains.
Right here in our own backyard, Leatherwood Falls is located in the Fires Creek area. In addition to the waterfall, you'll find a picnic area, a short loop trail and of course, Fires Creek. The moderate flow of the creek makes it perfect for the kids to go tubing. Pack a picnic and head out for a day of simple family fun.
Visit upper and lower DeSoto Falls which, according to legend, is the site where a piece of armor was found thought to be from the expedition of Hernando de Soto. The trails follow the creek, wandering through a beautiful forest of rhododendron and wildflowers. Located in DeSoto State Park just north of Helen, GA. Short, kid-friendly trails with moderate elevation gain.
Big Laurel Falls
Spilling over a craggy rock outcrop in the Nantahala Forest, the headwaters of the Nantahala River cascade over Big Laurel Falls in a lush, green creek valley near the Appalachian Trail at Standing Indian Mountain. Spanning only a half mile in length, this easy, kid-friendly follows several boulder-filled creeks as they tumble and churn through a lush forest. Combine a visit to Big Laurel Falls with a short hike to Mooney Falls, located along the same Forest Service road.
Anna Ruby Falls
Anna Ruby Falls is a pair of beautiful waterfalls, cascading through a beautiful slice of lush, green forest. Hike along a paved trail with moderate change in elevation to these spectacular falls, which fall over large, moss-covered boulders before tumbling into the pools below. It’s a kid-friendly, stroller-friendly and dog-friendly hike that's perfect for a visit in any season. Located north of Helen, GA.
Amicalola Falls is nestled in North Georgia’s mossy, waterfall-filled Chattahoochee National Forest, set in the rolling, vibrant-green southern Appalachian Mountains. Amicalola is the tallest waterfall in Georgia, spilling down a towering bluff, falling 720 feet into a mossy, boulder-filled forest. It’s the highest cascading falls east of the Mississippi River.
Less than a mile from Bridal Veil Falls, Dry Falls drops 80 feet, 40 feet of that distance is free fall. The neat thing about this falls is that an easy, paved path leads down from the parking lot, taking you inside the recessed ledge behind the roaring and sometimes drenching waters for a view from the other side.
Helton Creek Falls
Helton Creek Falls is a set of two waterfalls, sliding down through a beautiful, hemlock-filled creek valley. The trail to these gorgeous waterfalls isn’t a long hike – in fact, the trail’s extremely short distance qualifies it as more of a walk in the woods (with a short moderate climb). This double waterfall’s beauty makes it a fantastic, easy family-friendly day hike.
Panther Falls & Angel Falls
Near the historic lakeside town of Lakemont, GA, the Angel Falls Trail explores two tumbling waterfalls in a beautiful creek valley-- Angle Falls and Panther Falls. At less than two miles round-trip, the trail is a fantastic family-friendly hike. Explore the falls and then continue on for a visit to the antique shops of Dillard, GA. Complete a circle day trip by heading up to Franklin, NC for a visit to several terrific local museums before heading back to Clay County and your home away from home.
Whitewater Falls is the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. The falls plunge an amazing 411 feet! And don't miss South Carolina's Lower Whitewater Falls, which drop another 400 feet. In the cool, moist shade of steep slopes and rock cliffs, wildflowers and salamanders abound. This wild land is also a perfect haven for a rich array of ferns, mosses, and fungi. Enjoy the beauty of berries and blooms throughout the seasons.
High Shoals Falls
Two of Georgia’s most beautiful waterfalls, on one single trail, and on a 2.5-mile hike, round trip: this is one extraordinary adventure. The trail travels through a lush, mossy creek valley to one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in North Georgia. And on the way, the hike visits the equally beautiful (but smaller) Blue Hole Falls, a single-drop waterfall with a deep, turquoise pool below.
"Grace is finding a waterfall when you were only looking for a stream."