Website:Fall Creek Falls State Park
Things to do: A three-hour drive (traffic depending) from Atlanta, this large state park covers 26,000 acres and none of it disappoints. Whether you are into hiking, bike riding or lazily swimming in the creek, this park has plenty to offer.
*Fall Creek Falls from lookout point
Waterfalls: The park offers four different waterfalls that can be accessed either from a lookout point above or by hiking to the foot and the pools below. The park allows swimming at the base of all the falls, so any hike can be rewarded with a dip if the weather is right. Its namesake waterfall, Fall Creek Falls, is 256 feet high and is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi and can be viewed from atop with a very short walk to a lookout from the parking lot, or from the pool below with a bit more of an adventurous ½ mile hike to the bottom.
*Fall Creek Falls pool
Depending on the amount of recent rain, the water may fall directly into the pool or land on the rocks just above the waterline as evident in the photo above.
*Cane Creek Falls pool
Cane Creek Falls also offers a lookout to view the falls from above or you can walk down Cane Creek from George Hole to view the top of the falls from the water. But the real splendor is to go view the falls from below and take a swim in the large inviting pool at the bottom.
*The Cable trail from Cane Creek Falls pool
I must warn you, the hike down to the bottom is difficult and requires some skills to navigate the rugged terrain. There is a cable that was placed on the path some time ago to provide some support but be wary if you have physical issues or small children. We did the hike with our three kids ages 6 (twins) and 9 and there were spots where they needed to be lifted up to or lifted down from a ledge.
*Suspension bridge over the cascades
Additionally, along Cane Creek are the Cascades which are situated between George Hole (a popular swimming spot) and Cane Creek Falls. A great way to see the Cascades from above is to walk out on the suspension bridge that crosses over the creek right at the beginning of the cascades.
*View of the cascades from below
You can also see the top from a lookout or it is a short hike to see the cascades from below.
Lastly there is Piney Falls which is a bit further of a hike and is situated down the road from Fall Creek Falls.
*Tubing down Cane Creek
If it’s a hot day that you are visiting the park, I highly recommend jumping into the creek at George Hole and relax in the cool water or even take a jump off one of the cliffs. We even bought a couple of innertubes and took a slow float down the creek to the Cascades. Depending on the water level adults may find themselves walking a bit so be sure and bring your water shoes as the rocks are sharp at the bottom. The kids should be able to float the whole way and even though the rapids aren’t big they were perfect for our kids. Once you get to the Cascades it’s a short walk back from the nature center to George Hole where you began.
Other activities: The park offers 56 miles of hiking trails as well as 24 miles of mountain biking trails if you would prefer more exercise than the shorter hikes to and from the falls. There is also a canopy ropes course and rock climbing opportunities as well. If slower is your speed then there is fishing and boating in the lake, an olympic-sized pool and there is even a golf course in the park.
If you need groceries or ice the camp store is well stocked with everything from steaks to candy to vegetables to preserves. And most things in between. They even sell beer!
Campground Review: The campground consists of 222 sites that are spread out across five loops. Some sites are more suitable for tents than trailers so do your research before reserving. Also, not all sites have sewage so if that is a must for you be sure to confirm. The five loops (A-E) are all a bit different from tree cover to size of the sites so feel free to view our youtube videos that we made with a tour of each loop to decide which loop works best for you. Originally we were booked in loop C but the site was not large enough for our 27” trailer and did not provide any shade so we upgraded to a paved site in loop D.
If you don’t have a trailer or RV and don’t want to sleep in a tent, the park also rents out cabins and can accommodate large groups as well.
Every loop has wifi (but no cable) for those of you unable or unwilling to completely go off of the grid. And the signal was quite strong where we were (loop D) but you are limited to a certain among of usage per visit to help regulate streaming.
The comfort stations (bathhouses) are well kept and are cleaned daily and the trash is picked up from your site daily as well. The staff is extremely helpful and even though we were there during a holiday week at peak capacity, they always made every effort to make us feel welcome.
I highly recommend a visit and stay at Fall Creek Falls. There is a reason it is the most visited state park in Tennessee.