Friday, August 29, 2008
Horsetrough Falls in North Georgia
I often get asked about waterfalls to visit in the north Georgia mountains. My answer usually depends on how much effort I feel the person asking wants to take in finding the falls. Amicalola Falls, Anna Ruby Falls and Dukes Creek Falls are all splendid and easy to get to-so those generally top my list...but I also like to include my personal favorite, Horsetrough Falls.
Located near the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River about 12 miles north of Helen (by road-a little closer as the crow flies), Horsetrough Falls carries Horsetrough Creek down a series of rocky cascades on it's way to join the fledgling Chattahoochee about 200 yards below the falls. The setting at the base of the falls is cathedral-like due to the density of the forest in the summertime, which allows the sun to only break through completely in the opening created by the tumbling creek.
Horsetrough Falls can be accessed through the Upper Chattahoochee Campground, which is located on FS44, a gravel track that runs from Unicoi Gap to just north of Robertstown. For the more adventurous I would suggest approaching from Robertstown. To travel this route, take GA Hwy 75 north from Helen to alt 75 (left just past the flea market). As soon as you cross over the bridge take an immediate right onto Poplar Stump Rd. This road follows the Chattahoochee for about a mile before the pavement ends and it becomes FS44. FS44 is well maintained gravel. Follow FS44 to Low Gap Creek then follow the signs to the Upper Chattahoochee Campground. The 800' trail to the falls begins at the very back of the campground. An alternate route is to take GA 75 north of Helen approx. 8 miles to Unicoi Gap, then turn left onto FS44. Upper Chattahoochee Campground is 5 miles away from this point.
The trip is well worth it no matter which route you take-and this is also a beautiful drive in the fall when the leaves change, which won't be long now.