With summer in full swing and the Athens population dwindled down for the summer, a day trip out of town is in order, and what better outing than to one of Georgia’s many waterfalls. We compiled a list of sites and parks to help you find the picture perfect spots in front of the cascading water of the Peach State’s natural wonders.
Distance from Athens: 1 hour and 40 minutes (78.6 miles)
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge and Unicoi State Park and Lodge house the state’s tallest waterfall, standing at 729 feet. The falls is a hotspot for tourists and locals and is even called one of “Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia.” Because the falls are at the central area of the park, there are many scenic trails to choose from. The park also offers packages for zip lining for more adventurous visitors.
Distance from Athens: 1 hour and 33 minutes (74.9 miles)
Price: $5 for entry
A 2-mile hike stands between you and a pair of waterfalls whose namesake is the Spanish explorer and conqueror, Hernando de Soto. Legend has it the waterfalls housed a piece of armor from the explorer’s expedition in the 1500s. Whether you want to come for the history or the view of the twin falls, the forest filled with scattered creeks and trees for shade makes for a perfect summer day.
Distance from Athens: 1 hour and 30 minutes (70 miles)
Price: $5 for entry
The cascading waterfall is located outside one of Georgia’s well-known tourist towns. The trail taking visitors to the falls is a 5-mile hike through the North Georgia mountains. For those who want to make the trek, consider making a stop in the quaint little gold mining town during the trip up north.
Location: Toccoa Falls
Distance from Athens: 1 hour and 8 minutes (52.4 miles)
Price: Children 6 and under are free, adults are $2
Standing at 186-feet tall, Toccoa Falls is the crowning jewel of Toccoa Falls College. For those not fond of hiking, the trail leading to the site is only a short 100-yard walk. Meaning for those who are less athletic, a shorter trek to an Instagram-worthy view of the falls.
Distance from Athens: 1 hour and 35 minutes (69.6 miles)
The twin waterfalls flow on the outskirts of Helen, Georgia, another Peach State tourist stop. The trail to the falls is another short hike for visitors to gaze at the water pouring from York and Curtis Creeks. With one of the falls standing at 150 feet and the other at 50 feet, the short hike provides the perfect quick day trip from Athens.