Tallulah Gorge

I’ve been meaning to get out to Tallulah Gorge for six thousand years now. (That’s what I love about this blog. It makes me do all the things I’ve been “meaning” to do!) As a city dweller in Atlanta, it is easy to just find all the entertainment you need without ever leaving I-285, but sometimes, you just need to feel the majesty of nature.

Tallulah Gorge sign - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

Speaking of majesty of nature, Tallulah has that in abundance. Just the thought of a mini Grand Canyon in Georgia made me bouncy and excited. (Granted, I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon –yet– but I imagined this gorge would give me a little glimpse.) Adventure and natural wonder beckoned, so I grabbed my shit, typed “Tallulah Gorge, Georgia” into my GPS, and after a measly 1.5 hour drive north of the city, we arrived ready to check it out.

Tallulah Gorge State Park was created in 1993, and the word Tallulah is thought to mean “loud waters” in Cherokee. Considered one of the seven natural wonders of Georgia, Tallulah Gorge is a thousand-foot chasm into which six (6) waterfalls flow. You can hike several trails around the rim, and even into the canyon (if you posses one of the 100 permits they issue each day), and there are several prime spots at which you can look out and absorb the gorge.

There is plenty to see: the gorge is two miles long, filled with the river, the waterfalls, and surrounded by more than 2,700 acres of natural land.

Trail - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dwellerv

We got there pretty early in the day, hoping to snag one of those coveted permits to hike down into the gorge, but it had rained the night before and, because the rocks were slippery, the park was not issuing any permits. Aapparently the hike is rather strenuous on its own, so you don’t want to add slippery rocks to the mix.

A little disappointing, but the view was spectacular anyway!

Tallulah Gorge image 2 - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

Don’t worry, I will be going again just so I can see this and the other waterfalls up close! Be on the lookout for a follow-up post. I want to hike into the gorge for sure; until then, this is as close as I got:

Me - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller
One of the main attractions to Tallulah Gorge is the opportunity to walk across it via a wooden suspension bridge that hangs 80 feet over the river by cable.

Back in 1970, a 65-year-old man named Karl Wallenda walked across it on a high-wire. Now, see, in my opinion, he was doing a lil too much. But that’s OK, he had the skills to pull it off, and that is a really amazing feat, especially at that age. But me, I was content just to walk my tail across the bridge.

Ah, but before you get there, young Jedi, you must descend several hundred steps. Literally.
Stairs - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

Going down the steps was easy, and the view was definitely worth it:

Suspension bridge - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

Tallulah Gorge image 3 - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller
View of the gorge below, from the suspension bridge

Tallulah Gorge image 4 - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

Going back up the steps was significantly less fun. Good lord.

Steps - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller
Tallulah Gorge image 5 - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller
Friends  - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

We had a great time at Tallulah… but it would’ve been a whole different adventure if we could’ve hiked down into the gorge. Ah well, next time.

On another note, while we were all the way up in North Georgia, we decided to make a pit stop to explore Minnehaha Falls, which is nearby. Next time you’re up in Rabun County, be sure to check out this 60-ft stunner… BUT also be sure to drive a Jeep of some kind.

Road to Minnehaha - Tallulah Gorge - The City DwellerRoad to Minnehaha Falls

OK, so the road leading up to Minnehaha could definitely be worse. But it was a wee bit treacherous for my tiny Yaris; at one point, when we were inching down a road that felt like the surface of the moon, we lost the GPS signal and both T and I muttered “fuuuuck” at the same time.

Road signs - Tallulah Gorge - The City DwellerPeople actually live out here; these are signs to residences.

Lake - Tallulah Gorge - The City DwellerAnd this gorgeous lake appears out of nowhere, with houses and boats alongside it.

Minnehaha sign - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller
This carving on a random staircase is the only –the only– indication that you have arrived at Minnehaha Falls. Don’t drive past it!

Minnehaha stairs - Tallulah Gorge - The City DwellerAnother view of the staircase.

The hike is incredibly easy, and barely lasts four minutes. And then you arrive…

Minnehaha Falls - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

…at the falls!

Me at Minnehaha Falls - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller
Sunbathing - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

I definitely encourage you to make a trip to North Georgia and check out the natural wonders. On a gorgeous, sunshiney day, it’s pretty darn close to heaven on earth.

Speaking of, I’ll end with this beautiful pic I snapped of wildflowers in an obliging field! I love love love Springtime!

Wildflowers - Tallulah Gorge - The City Dweller

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