Directions: From Blairsville Georgia south of Blairsville via U.S. 19/129 enter the Desoto Falls scenic area
FromCleveland Take US 129 north from Cleveland 15 miles. enter the Desoto Falls scenic area
From Dahlonega Hwy. 19 north from Dahlonega for about 18 miles
DeSoto Falls was named for the Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto because a piece of armor attributed to his expedition was supposedly found in the area. Located in rugged mountains with awesome views. Elevations in this 650-acre area vary between 2,000 and 3,400 feet. Visitors can hike to view three waterfalls.Upon entering the woods at 750' you'll cross a footbridge over Frogtown creek. Cross to the west side of the creek. The trail to the middle and upper falls is on the right while the lower fall's trail is on the left. Of the three falls in the area the middle falls is the best. Spilling in four tiers over granite ledges, the falls fade into the overhanging trees and mountainside.
The lower falls trail is quick and easy and returns to the trail head. The upper falls (seen above) are the actual DeSoto Falls and are about a mile and a half, total trip. The ascent is easy, rolling up and down, broken by long flat stretches in deep wood groves. Occasionally the visible creek makes a soothing gurgle and the falls themselves are worth the trip. Just before you reach these falls you cross a bridge, then turn into the side cove containing the falls. A brief ascent takes you to the observation deck.
All three falls are on tributaries to Frogtown Creek. The name Frogtown originated from the Cherokee myth about a great frog, Walasi, who guarded Blood Mountain,one of the Cherokee's holy places. The name Walasi-yi literally means "Place of the Great Frog." The gap above the falls was known as Frogtown Gap until the Appalachian Trail was built intersecting the old Indian path, it then became known as Neel's Gap thereafter.
Fall size: 40'
Beauty Scale: (1-worth seeing-10 awesome) 4-6
Activities: Camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking.
Facilities: Parking, restrooms, observation decks, Desoto Falls Recreation Area has toilets and drinking water available. Each site is equipped with a picnic table, tent pad and grill.
Fees: Area is open from late April until late November. A fee is required for camping and day use parking. This area is open 24 hours a day for campers useState fishing license and trout stamp required for fishing
Closest town: Blairsville, Georgia
For more information:
U.S. Forest Service,
Brasstown Ranger District,
1881 GA Highway 515, Blairsville, GA 30512.
Phone (706) 745-6928.