Who would have guessed that Georgia had a 1,000 foot gorge with a waterfall! Living in Florida, we often travel to Georgia. We usually drive to cities like Atlanta, Helen, and Savannah. When our family was on a southeastern U.S. road trip, I tried to research top hikes in the area. On our way towards Greenville, I found Tallulah Gorge State Park in northeastern Georgia. To date (1/19), it has been the toughest hike my two kids have done! Here is my review on hiking Tallulah Gorge with kids.
Tallulah Gorge State Park
The hike we did in Tallulah Gorge was called Hurricane Falls Loop. It was 2 1/4 miles round trip, yet very steep. I had a feeling this hike was going to be difficult for the kids, as it was rated moderate to strenuous on many websites! But onward we went.
Before each hike, I make sure to mentally prepare the kids (8 and 6 at the time) and let them know how many miles the hike will be, and the type of scenery we are going to see. I always try to show Google images or actual YouTube videos of people hiking the same trail to get them excited, but also to prepare them for what’s ahead.
They didn’t understand the actual scope of what we were going to be doing until we actually arrived, looked down into Tallulah Gorge, and explained to them that we were going to hike all the way to the bottom to see the waterfall. That’s when their eyes popped out of their heads! I reassured them that the hike would be fun and that we would feel a sense of wonder and accomplishment once we reached the bottom (it didn’t help too much though, to be honest).
We began the hike just outside the visitor’s center and followed the signs for Hurricane Falls Loop. There are many viewpoints as you begin your descent into the gorge. The trail is very well marked, and varies between pavement, mulch, boardwalks, a suspension bridge, and an eternal set of stairs!
There are 750 steps to get to the suspension bridge across Tallulah gorge! As usual, the “going down” part is not too hard. My son soon started to realize that each step we climbed down, meant we were going to have to climb back up on the way out. This is where Part 1 of the whining began!
Luckily it soon faded as the suspension bridge was a novelty. Both children enjoyed walking over the bridge and looking down at the river below. They were amazed at how high up we were, yet still inside the gorge surrounded by cliffs. Another 450 steps down, and we made it to the bottom!
The view at the bottom of Tallulah Gorge was stunning! We stayed down at the base for a few minutes admiring the beauty of Hurricane Falls, and realizing how small we were in comparison.
Then, the climb back up… Whining Part 2! As I mentioned before, I knew this was going to happen. We made sure to stop and take some breathers, multiple times along the way (for everyone’s sake). Luckily, there were benches at some of the landings. We made sure to use them, and even had a water break and snack break to keep our troops from melting down.
Although the way up was definitely longer and more strenuous than the way down, I would happily do this hike again! It is definitely considered a difficult hike, but one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Georgia. Hiking Tallulah Falls with kids is very possible (even with younger ones). If you are in northern Georgia/South Carolina area, check this place out!
Tallulah Falls Georgia
Tallulah Falls is not very popular with tourists, as most people will visit the Smoky Mountains a couple of hours north. Check out these Five Breathtaking U.S. State and National Parks that you may have overlooked. If you are looking for other ideas to do before or after this hike, you could visit Greenville or Columbia in South Carolina. To read about the rest of the stops on this trip, check out my post – Southeast Road Trip.
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