So, a couple of weeks ago I was up in the Helen, GA area for a tubing adventure. This week we headed back up to North Georgia with my son’s youth group and a few other church members for a hike to Raven Cliff Falls in White County, GA.
Raven Cliff Falls Trail is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest, is 4.8 miles round trip and has an estimated climbing time of about 3 hours. It’s fairly family friendly for most of the trail (the end is another story!) …a few hills and rocky areas to climb but nothing our kids couldn’t handle by themselves. (my kids are 9 and 11 but I saw kids much younger than that on the trail as well). The picture on the left is from Wikipedia…none of my photos could possibly do justice to the shear beauty of this area. The Dodd Creek flows along the entire trail and is what creates this beautiful waterfall. Even with the dry summer we have had there was a beautiful cascade of water flowing over these rocks. It is actually located inside a very deep crevice between two giant cliffs.
Our group of 20 had a fairly moderate pace and we just had to stop frequently and admire the scenery along the way. There are several primitive campsites along the trail….just enough cleared land for a tent or two, some gear, and a few chairs along side the ready made rock fire pits. Keep in mind, I say primitive…no facilities, no electric, no nothing. If you don’t care for backwoods hiking, this is not the place to pitch your tent!
This is the view from the trail about midway to the base of the falls. The path is fairly easy and the sound of the water burbling along is quite relaxing. There were quite a few other hikers on the trail with us and everyone was amazingly friendly. There are a number of spots where the trail narrows to only 1 person’s width wide so be prepared to park yourself off trail every once in a while to let others go by!
This is the ‘almost’ end of the trail. There is a nice flat area with a small waterfall and lots of flat rocks for eating lunch on. You will have an amazing view of the cliffs shown in the picture below…
The picture above shows you the cliffs that this area is named for. Truly spectacular! I took this sitting on one of the rocks in the picture above while eating my lunch. Peanut butter and jelly never tasted so good!
To get to the top of the cliff is tricky but doable if you are feeling adventurous. I wasn’t! My husband went up, along with a few others from our group but it was tough going. There is a very steep trail up the right side of the cliff but it is severely washed out. You will be climbing tree roots and doing a lot of praying! There is another path to the left of the mountain that we THINK might make it to the top eventually but it, too, is very overgrown and not in very good shape. I definitely recommend that the park department get out here and do some trail maintenance!
If you go a little bit further up from our lunch spot you will be able to see the outcropping that houses the actual Raven Cliff Falls. There is a nice pool of very COLD water at the base that the kids had fun playing it. The climb to this portion of the cliffs wasn’t too hard but it was as far up as I was going!
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Most of the time we just hung out and enjoyed the beautiful day! My son spent some time wittling after he was done wading and splashing in the river.
Overall, this was a great hike. The 4.8 miles passed very quickly and other than the last short stretch up the the actual cliffs, it was very family friendly. Didn’t see too much wildlife other than a squirrel but with the amount of noise our group was making I’m not surprised!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.