Tallulah Falls and Tallulah Gorge, with Videos

Tallulah Gorge and Tallulah Gorge State Park are located in northeast Georgia, near the town of Tallulah Falls. The gorge is one of the deepest in the eastern United States, at a depth of 1,200 feet. It’s over two miles long and was carved by the Tallulah River.

Tallulah Gorge was once the most visited vacation spot in the Southeast. Visitors still flock to see the series of waterfalls with names like Bridal Veil, Hurricane, Oceana, Tempesta, and Ladore. It’s not surprising that TallulahFalls is often referred to as “Niagara of the South.”

History

Native Americans named the gorge and falls Tallulah, which actually has no translation. After the gorge was discovered by pioneers, word quickly spread. Most of the first visitors came from the University of Georgia, which was founded in 1785.

As interest in the gorge and falls increased, a railroad was built in 1882 to bring visitors. TallulahFalls became a boom town, with seventeen hotels, restaurants, and bars lining the dirt streets. In 1886, tightrope walker Professor Leon walked across the gorge on a cable as many tourists looked on.

As Atlanta expanded, the need for electricity for the city grew. Georgia Power focused on the TallulahRiver and planned to build a power dam in the gorge. This would cut off the water from the falls. A huge environmental battle ensued – one of the largest in U.S. history.

Georgia Power won the battle, and the dam was completed in 1912-1913. Power generation began in 1914. The water that once fed the falls had stopped flowing, and along with that, the tourists stopped coming.

In an attempt to draw tourists back to Tallulah Gorge, Karl Wallenda of the famous Flying Wallendas was invited to walk a tightrope across the gorge. He accepted the invitation and in 1970, he successfully accomplished the feat. In 1971, part of the movie Deliverance was filmed here. These two events increased interest for only a short period.

In 1992, Georgia Governor Zell Miller worked with Georgia Power to create a state park at Tallulah Gorge. The company and the state worked together to see the park to fruition, and Georgia Power increased the water flow to the TallulahRiver.

Activities at TallulahGorgeState Park

Visitors to the park can walk the rim trails. These are easy to navigate and are fairly level. The lookout points provide spectacular views! They always make me feel as if I’m being sucked down into the gorge, however – I have a terrible fear of heights. Railings along the rim trails provide safety.

For the more adventurous, permits for hiking to the gorge’s floor are available, via the Hurricane Falls Staircase. This is a strenuous hike, and you need to be in good shape to accomplish this. There are also more than twenty miles of trails for mountain biking, and a paved bicycle trail that’s almost two miles long. Rock climbing and rappelling are also offered, with a permit. Guided hikes take visitors to Inspiration Point, Devils Pulpit, and Needles Eye. Another guided hike takes visitors to the bottom of the dam to view Witch’s Head Rock.

One of the most memorable activities in the park is to slide down Bridal Veil Falls and into the pool below. The rock surface is fairly smooth, but it’s still best to wear an old swimsuit!

The 63-acre lake has a beach and provides swimming opportunities. There are also tennis courts, along with tables in the park for picnicking.

Whitewater rafting is popular on the TallulahRiver, as are kayaking, canoeing, and trout fishing. Deer hunting is also available during the legal season.

For those wishing to camp, there’s a pioneer campground and 50 campsites with hook-ups for RVs and camper trailers.

Tallulah Gorge wildlife and flora

Wildlife in the Tallulah Gorge area include whitetail deer, wild boar, black bear, wild turkey, and numerous small mammals. Puma sightings have also been reported. Birds include vultures, swallows, hawks, phoebes, and the rare Peregrine falcon.

Many species of amphibians and reptiles also call the park home, including the venomous copperhead snake and the rare seepage salamander.

Rare plant species like the persistent trillium and the Carolina hemlock can also be seen in the park.

Tallulah Gorge lodging

Accommodations near Tallulah Gorge include mountain cabins, hotels, and motels. Most are located in Clayton, which is nine miles from Tallulah Gorge. These include Quality Inns and Suites, Days Inn, Dillard House, America’s Best Value Inn, Regal Inn, OldClaytonInn, and Country Hearth Inn.

Several bed and breakfasts are also nearby, located in Clayton, Clarksville, Rabun Gap, Helen, and Toccoa. Bed and breakfast inns in the area include Glen-Ella Springs Inn in Clarkesville, Beechwood Inn in Clayton, York House in Rabun Gap, Simmons-Bond Inn in Toccoa, and Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn in Helen.

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Comments 30 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

How incredibly beautiful.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Good morning, Bpop!


kowality profile image

kowality 6 years ago from Everywhere

Interesting hub Habee. This reminds of Silver Creek Falls just outside of Silverton Oregon.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

You make me want to visit there!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Looks and sounds well worth a visit.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for sharing such a lovely spot. It is beautiful.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Wow, this is beautiful, I'm going to have to make sure that I visit this place the next time I'm in Georgia. Thanks for sharing :)


Michael Shane profile image

Michael Shane 6 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

Great hub Habee! I'll have to check it out sometime! Reminds me a little of "Little River Canyon" in Bama Land!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Cool, Johnny! Good to see ya!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Oh, Sheila, it is a gorgeous gorge! lol


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

It is, Ethel. Come on over!!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

HH, I've loved it since I was a kid!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Money G, you won't regret it!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Michael, it's not that far from Helen. Next time you make a trip to Helen, pop on over!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Great post... and a great spot, too!!!!!!


JenDobson27 profile image

JenDobson27 6 years ago

That looks absolutely beautiful! I'd love to visit there sometime.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I'll bet you've been there, Chris!


mbwalz profile image

mbwalz 6 years ago from Maine

That is really beautiful! I bet it's very refreshing to swim there in the Summer! Thanks for the mini-vacation hub!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Totally beautiful - wish I was there! Tallulah Falls, take me away. Beautiful job of writing too.


covenantguy profile image

covenantguy 6 years ago from New Zealand

Hey makes me want to go there! My friends took me to Stone Mountain and I would like to live in Georgia one day!

Other place I've been is:http://hubpages.com/hub/Our-Boca-Raton-Resort-stay


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

puma sightings I like that habee, I miss Philippines now, so many falls, and the images here are beautiful, it is summer soon, Maita


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Come on down, Jen!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Hey Habee- thanks for the Six Gun Qx.. I've updated the post to include it!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

MBWALZ, the only problem is that all that mountain water is freezing cold!!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Well, Audrey, you and Bob should come to GA for a visit. You can stay with us!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Cguy, GA is awesome! I love living here!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Oh, Maita, I kow youo miss it! Sorry. Sending you a cyber hug!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Great, Chris! I'm going to go read it right now!


AndreaGerak profile image

AndreaGerak 6 years ago from Stockholm/Budapest

Beautiful place, thanks for showing it to us!


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks for reading it, andrea!

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