30' lower falls
60' upper falls
Beauty Scale: 4- 7 respectively
(1-worth seeing-10 awesome)
Facilities:observation deck with benches
Closest town: Blairsville, Georgia
Directions from Dahlonega
To reach these falls go north on US19 21.5 miles to Neels gap. Go another 1.7 miles to Helton Creek Rd. on the right. Follow Helton Creek Rd. 2.3 miles to a Forest Service parking area on the right. Be careful as this is a single lane residential road. at 7/10th of a mile it turns to gravel and forestry service.
Directions from Helen
The scenic route to Helton Creek Falls is from Helen. Take GA. 348 (Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway). At the town of Hood, go west. Follow this unnamed road. It fords two rivers and becomes Helton Creek Road. Continue down to the parking lot on left.
Directions from Blairsville
Take US 19 south - 11 miles out pass Vogel State Park on the right go another 1.1 miles to Helton Creek Road on your left. You'll see the parking area to the right at a total of 2.3 miles from the highway.
The land of a thousand waterfalls" is what the Cherokee called this land in North Georgia and Helton Creek in the Chattahoochee National Forests, has two of the best waterfalls around. The hiking trail is a bit root bound and the wooded steps are showing wear but anyone who can walk, by taking their time, and watching their step, can make the short treks to these beautiful waterfalls with very little effort. The turn off to Helton Creek Road is just 1.1 mile from Vogel State Park, so making a day around the park and this waterfall is a wonderful fulfilling family outing.
From the small parking lot on Helton Creek Road the trail is well marked by a sign to the right (west) of the parking area. Enter the woods on a gentle descending trail to a mountain cove, then to the creek bed. The trail to the both falls is about 200 yards and not very strenuous. It is just 200 steps ( according to my Pedometer) where the trail splits to go left for the lower waterfall, the falls are immediately visible, down a fairly steep and well-used set of stairs.(25 steps down ). To see the upper waterfall, return to the main trail, climbing the stairs, then cross a wet-weather branch while heading upstream. (about 75 steps total ) that leads to the upper waterfall and observation deck with benches.
The lower falls drops over a 30' ledge, tumbling to a pool below. There is a nice flat rock area for a picnic, or to stretch out on the rocks with a nice swimming hole. I will say that during the height of summer I doubt much sunlight makes it through the canopy except maybe at high noon so if you plan to swim you may want to bring a jacket for the walk back. If you bring your dog on this hike this is the only safe place to allow them to swim, otherwise keep them leashed, this is the waterfall i saw a dog take a tumble off the top a few years back, not a pretty site, please keep your pet safe.
The second upper falls is a tall, full waterfall that drops at least 60 feet. These falls are especially beautiful after a good rainfall. The observation deck give you a great view.
Even with signs posting fines if caught, people still ignore the signs and walk out to the falls. Those that do display a sense of stupidity and selfishness, as not only is there a chance of being hurt but it destroys the natural flora and fauna of the area and may one day force the closing of these beautiful displays of nature. Please respect our parks!
A great hike for any time of the year. Check out the rhododendron display here in mid-summer.