Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Helton Creek Falls

Just a mile south of Vogel State Park on Hwy. 19/129, there is a small green and white sign pointing to Helton Creek Falls. If you see it, turn. These are some of the prettiest and most easily accessed falls in the North Georgia Mountains. Helton Creek Rd. is a gravel road that leaves the highway at the road sign and eventually winds it's way over to the Richard Russell Scenic Highway near Hogpen Gap. The parking area for the falls is about .7 miles from the turn off from Hwy. 19/129 and it's easy to spot. A well maintained trail leaves the parking area and gives you the option of taking stairs to either the lower falls (pictured below) or the main, upper falls shown above. The total length of the trail is about 300 yards-very easy-but the area around the lower falls can be a little slick and dangerous.
The stairs to the upper falls will take you to a wooden observation deck that gives you a great view. A lot of folks leave the deck to cool off in the pool below the falls-there are signs warning against this however, and there is some damage to the flora in the area from foot traffic. The photos in this article where taken with pretty low water conditions in September. I'm sure you can imagine how impressive the falls are when freshly charged with some good rains!

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