Amazing Natural Wonders In Around North Georgia

Posted by Tom Telford on Mon, Aug 19, 2013

Georgia is full of natural beauty and wonders. As you travel through the north Georgia mountains you can step into picturesque places that will take your breath away.

Here we share the magnificent natural wonders in Georgia awaiting you!

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock

1. Tallulah Falls and Gorge

Another popular spot for visitors to Helen, Tallulah Gorge State Park, is home to one of the most spectacular canyons in all of the south. This park offers brilliant views and lots of activities for visitors. With its Native American name, Tallulah has been a tourist destination for hundreds of years. Some scenes from the movie "Deliverance" were filmed here

Back in 1913, as the city of Atlanta was expanding, Georgia Power took an interest in this waterfall and completed a dam to conserve its power. Although this changed the purpose of the falls, the beauty was preserved.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Five waterfalls make up this beauty; Ladore, Tempesta, Hurricane, Oceana, and Bridal Veil. To see the splendor of these falls, there a few options. You can hike the rim trails to reach various overlooks along the way. 

At 1,000 feet deep, the perilous gorge has been impressive enough to have been crossed two times by high-wire acrobats (once in 1886 and most recently in 1970). But, don't worry, you don't have to be a tightrope walker to cross the gorge. Today, you are welcome to trek across the canyon by way of a suspension bridge which sways 80 feet above the base of the gorge.

If you are seeking adventure, show up early, and get a Gorge Floor Access permit. There are only 100 permits issued daily. These permits are given on a first come, first serve basis, before 3 P.M. This strenuous trek will take you down 531 stairs to the gorge floor where you can cross the river, climb the boulders, or go for a swim.

There is a small daily fee to see the beauty inside Tallulah Gorge State Park, With camping and RV fees minimal, you won't break your wallet.

2. Amicalola Falls

When you head to Amicalola Falls get ready to be captivated, as it is the highest waterfall in Georgia (and the highest cascading falls east of the Mississippi). This stunning waterfall cascades down for 729 feet. Its name Amicalola Falls describes it best, which in Cherokee means "tumbling waters." 

This astounding natural wonder is located in the north Georgia mountains only 45 miles west of Helen. There are a few ways to see this waterfall. For anyone with physical limitations, there is a spot located on the trail below that offers magnificent views. This area is wheelchair accessible.

For a closer look and a bit more exertion, you can make your way up 604 stairs to reach the overlook at the top of the waterfall. This is also an excellent choice for those looking to get an extra punch on their Canyon Climber's Club Card. Along the way, you can rest and take photos at the first landing located at the 175 stair marker. However you choose to view this magnificent waterfall, you will be glad you did.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock

3. Mount Yonah

There can be no doubt about the fact that the scenery in northern Georgia is absolutely breathtaking. One of the best ways to get amazing views is by hiking in the mountains, and Mt. Yonah is an extremely popular spot for both locals and visitors alike.

The trailhead is located a mere 6 miles southwest of the city of Helen, making it easy for vacationers to access. You'll find that trails are open year-round and that dogs are welcome to join you on your hike.

For those who are not used to hiking in the mountains or might be less active, we advise sticking with the beginner's trail. That path is relatively level, easy to walk along, and goes all the way to the top of the mountain, where you will get the best panoramic views of the hills and valleys. For more of a challenge, though, try your hand at the 2.3-mile long Yonah Mountain Hiking Trail. 

Although this particular trail isn't unusually long, it is quite steep which gets your blood pumping. But even though it is more challenging than the beginner's trail, you are rewarded with miles and miles of incredible sights as you climb higher up the peak. The entire path is lined with scenic overlooks of the world below. Be sure to bring your camera with to capture some shots of the spectacular Georgia countryside.

Regardless of which trail you take, you will find several rocks you can climb at the summit. Seasoned rock climbers might choose to practice climbing and repelling off the 200-foot granite rock face, where others might stop to pose for a photo on one of the many ledges.

4. Anna Ruby Falls

Situated in the scenic and beautiful Unicoi State Park, you will find Anna Ruby Falls. This beautiful natural wonder is a sight to behold and is extremely popular, as it is actually a twin fall. The two cascades are formed at a fork where Curtis Creek and York Creek separate. After falling 153 feet and 50 feet, respectively, the two streams join together and become Smith Creek. This eventually feeds the majestic Unicoi Lake.

Getting to Anna Ruby Falls is easy enough. Visitors can expect to hike on a simple, paved half-mile trail before reaching the two viewing decks for the falls. The trail is handicap accessible, so anyone is free to make the trek to the dual cascades. You'll be able to enjoy the fantastic sight from either platform, which is at the perfect vantage point for taking pictures. 

For those who would like to experience more of the area around Anna Ruby Falls and get a bit more exercise, there are more options. By choosing to hike along the 4.6 mile Smith Creek Trail, you can take in the sights and sounds of Unicoi State Park, all the way to the base of the cascades. You'll get the chance to explore the natural beauty of the park and obtain some different views of the falls.

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5. The Chattahoochee River

The Chattahoochee River, which runs right through the center of Helen, is truly the heart of the charming Alpine village. Not only are the waters cool and beautiful, but they also enable visitors to experience a wide range of water-related activities

One of the most popular things that vacationers like to do on the "Hooch" is go tubing. When it's warm outside, there's nothing more inviting than an afternoon of splashing in the river as you float along with family and friends in an inter-tube. 

Another great option is to go canoeing or kayaking. For a more peaceful day on the river, groups can set out on a quiet area to canoe, enjoy the sights, and make memories. More adventurous groups, on the other hand, may choose to visit some class 2 or 3 rapids by kayak.

For a fun way to enjoy the water of the Chattahoochee River, try rafting. If you're nervous about rafting because you've never done it before, this river is an excellent place for your first trip. Most of the time, the water is relatively calm, and you can focus on fully appreciating the beautiful natural environment of the Georgia mountains.

And, there's always fishing. Trout is plentiful in the river, and the fish is delicious to eat. With sizeable trout and limited fishing regulations on your hook type and bait use, many consider this area of the Chattahoochee River one of the best fishing spots in Georgia.

The river has something to offer everyone.

The Chattahoochee River, which runs right through the center of Helen, is truly the heart of the charming Alpine village. Not only are the waters cool and beautiful, but they also enable visitors to experience a wide range of water-related activities.

Summit_of_Stone_Mountain,_Kennesaw_Mountain_in_BackgroundImage courtesy of Lonesome Crow - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

6. Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain, although not technically in the north Georgia mountains, is one of the most popular natural wonders in Georgia. Stone Mountain is located in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, only an hour-and-a-half from Helen.

This mountain is the world's most enormous exposed mass of granite and is full of history. It was first used as a ceremonial place for Native Americans, namely the Cherokees. This was before the signing of the 1821 Treaty of Indian Springs when Stone Mountain became a settlement for European Americans. Then, in the 1850's as the mountain became more well known, it transformed into a tourist resort. 

Today, the mountain welcomes millions of visitors annually, and an entire adventure park is built around it. It hosts the Geyser Tower, the Skyhike, the Summit Skyride, and a scenic railroad. You can enjoy all of this plus much more for the cost of a daily pass. 

If you prefer, you can escape the crowds and pay low parking fee. This gives you access to numerous hiking trails around the mountain, which are excellent for the beginner and experienced hiker. Also, children can enjoy the playground, picnic areas, the Quarry Exhibit, and the Education Center. If you stay into the evening hours, you will witness the brilliant display of the Lasershow Spectacular.

7. Providence Canyon

Although it's a bit south of the Helen, making a day trip to Providence Canyon State Park is definitely worth the time and effort. In fact, the park is home to some of Georgia's most photographed landscapes because of it's magnificent colorful soil and landscape within the canyons.

The most unique thing about the canyon is that its floor is perpetually wet. It is actually an exposed water table, and it creates a beautiful pattern in the sand known as a "braided stream." No wonder it's one of Georgia's seven natural wonders! Canyon climbers can also get a punch in their card by hiking the loop trail and voyage into scenic canyon five.

cloudland-canyon-unsplashImage courtesy of Will Swann on Unsplash 

8. Cloudland Canyon

Although not considered one of Georgia's natural wonders, Cloudland Canyon State Park is the last stop for any canyon climbers out there. This park is nestled on the edge of Lookout Mountain, just west of Amicalola Falls.

The rugged gorge within the park features over six miles of hiking trails. Included in these trails is the one-mile waterfalls trail which requires hikers to hoof it up a 600-step staircase and back down again to get their club card punched. During times of low water, the falls become small; however, the scenery in the park is considered some of the best in the state, making it well worth the trip.

9. Rocktown

As its name implies, Rocktown is a collection of sandstone boulders, most of which are 30 to 40-feet high. The site, located in extreme northwest Georgia, is popular with rock climbers.

10. The Largest Marble Vein

Pickens County, located just north of Atlanta, is the site of one of the largest marble veins in the world. Marble from this four-mile long vein was used to build the majority of marble buildings and monuments in Washington DC.

unicoi-lake-shutterstock_213595255Image courtesy of Shutterstock - Unicoi Lake

11. Unicoi State Park

There are several state parks in Georgia that you can visit during your vacation. Two of them, Unicoi State Park and Smithgall Woods State Park, are easily reached from Georgia mountain cabin rentals.

Unicoi State Park, located near Helen, is a beautiful place where you’ll have many things to do. Make plans to enjoy a full day at the park. Start with a hike to Anna Ruby Falls (mentioned earlier), which is only a half of a mile walk. This waterfall is a breathtaking sight, thanks to the two creeks that come together to form the unique waterfall.

After that, eat a picnic lunch in a cove that provides picnic tables at Smith Lake. Then you can swim and fish the day away before going back to the warmth of your cabin.

12. Smithgall Woods State Park

Another state park to visit is Smithgall Woods State Park. If you like to ride a bicycle through nature, you’ll especially appreciate the 23 miles of trails at the park. However, if you prefer to stay on your two feet, these trails are equally suitable for hiking. For a more informative hiking experience, you can sign up for a guided tour at the park.

Wrapping It Up

Whether you choose to see one of these natural wonders or all of them, you will be glad you made the trip. Pack up your family and head into the north Georgia mountains for picturesque views and memories that are sure to last a lifetime. Have you witnessed the beauty of any of Georgia's natural wonders before?

There's so much to do and see when you stay at one of the Georgia mountain cabin rentals. It's truly a great way to have a vacation that allows you and your travel partners to live, eat, and breathe Mother Nature.

Tranquility-Cedar-Creek-Cabin-Rentals-Helen-Georgia-top-bannerImage courtesy of Cedar Creek Cabin Rentals - Tranquility One

Oops, We Left One Other Georgia Wonder Off The List!

It's Cedar Creek Cabin Rentals of course!  

Cedar Creek Cabin Rentals is the ideal luxury cabin rental destination for couples, families, and friends. Let us help you discover the magic of the north Georgia Mountains!

Click here to check out our cabins. 

 

Topics: North Georgia, Nature, The Outdoors, Waterfalls, Hiking & Trails, History & The Arts
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