Tallulah Falls, GA: Tallulah Gorge State Park

After the Final Four was over and the dads were dropped back at the airport Tuesday, we started driving north en route to a stopover in Pigeon Forge before heading home to Maryland (we didn't do anything in PF this time except eat dinner, but we are taking a long trip to Pigeon Forge and the Smokeys in July, so hold tight for a long series on that). We wanted to go hiking to see some waterfalls, and Eric found this place that sounded crazy awesome - you can hike to the bottom of the gorge on certain days when they have the dam closed up (i.e. not open with water gushing through).

Tallulah Gorge State Park is really close to Atlanta and would be perfect for a day trip or an overnight camping trip; it took us around an hour and 45 minutes to get to from the airport (at 7:30 am).

It is gorge-ous. (You knew I was going to go there.) To get down to the gorge for hiking, you go across a suspension bridge, and then down almost 600 stairs. Yes, you then will have to climb back up all these stairs after you are done hiking. It actually wasn't too bad, but Eric and I are in fairly good shape so you have been warned.

I also wound up climbing all those stairs with soaking wet jeans. Why, you ask? Well, to get across the river you climb through the river.

And the path to get across the river looks like this:

I don't think I could have gotten across without Eric's help. (Notice that I said I'm in decent shape, but mentioned nothing about my upper body strength, height, or slippery-rock-climbing skills. All of those can be answered with "none". All of those things would have been really helpful.) On the way across the first time, we were very successful and did not get wet besides our feet (take your shoes off!). The way back, I slipped on some mossy rock underneath and went down. Luckily I only got a little scraped up and somehow the water didn't reach my pockets where my phone was.

Doing this crazy stunt is entirely worth it. Do you see these views???

We also witnessed a family with a bunch of little girls doing this. They were all much better at scaling the rocks than we were. I don't know how because they were so small! I had such a hard time getting from rock to rock because I'm so short (Eric had considerably less of a hard time than I did; most of his hard time was helping me). I guess kids aren't really scared of stuff. I am totally scared of falling in the water and being swept away. It was not slow-moving water around those rocks.

Obviously you can only do this hike on the days when the dam is not open. They also only release 100 permits to do it per day. The ranger told us that on the weekends in the summer, these are completely gone within the hour of opening. So either go during the week or get there really early on the weekend if you want to do this. It was amazing and I would do it again!

Have you ever done a hike that looks terrifying? Or where you had to cross a river to get to the other side? Or discovered nature was even more beautiful than you could imagine?
Tallulah Falls, GA: Tallulah Gorge State Park Tallulah Falls, GA: Tallulah Gorge State Park Reviewed by Maria on 9:00:00 AM Rating: 5

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