Your little sprouts up for some leaf peeping? Make a major splash and take the family to one of these beautiful waterfall trails. They are all short enough for even the littlest legs and will really “wet” their appetite to explore nature’s wonders.
Helton Creek Falls
A great hike for kids, Helton Creek Falls is a trail a little less than half of mile long featuring a double waterfall. Just north of Helen or Dahlonega, this hike is a perfect complement to a quick family day trip. Click here for your guide to a gold mine of family fun in Dahlonega, or here for your guide to a “Bavarian” good time in Helen.
Find It: From Dahlonega, take Highway 129 to Turners Corners and turn left. Continue past Neel’s Gap to Helton Creek Road on the right. Once on Helton Creek Road follow it for just over two miles. The parking lot is on the right. Or, the more scenic route to Helton Creek Falls is from Helen. Take GA. 348 (Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway), and 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.
At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. The trail is a bit longer at 2.1 miles, and you need to watch the little ones on the steep staircase beside the waterfall. The climb is worth it as at 1 mile you’ll reach a bridge with spectacular views of the Appalachian Mountains to the south. Bring a picnic to enjoy at the end of your hike. There is also a playground to burn any excess energy that the little ones may have left before loading back up for home.
Find It: 418 Amicalola Falls Lodge Road, Dawsonville
Desoto Falls Trail
Bring a sack lunch (there are even grills) and enjoy this double water fall hike at Desoto Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest. This trail is a great hike for the little ones at an easy 2 miles long. Teach the tots a history lesson along the way as it was here that archeologists found a plate of armor that was thought to be from an explorer from the 1500s. The kiddos will love Desoto Falls Trail one of Georgia’s most popular waterfall hikes.
Find It: From Dahlonega travel north on US 19 for 13.5 miles to Turners Corner. At this intersection, turn left and proceed on US 129 for 4.2 miles. Shortly after the Walasi-yi Center is a left turn for the park.
Marble Mine Trail
The Marble Mine waterfall hike is only 1.7 miles long roundtrip and is full of fascinating sights to delight budding naturalists. The trail leads to a large abandoned mine entrance in Floyd State Park where the wee ones will enjoy peering into the undeveloped mine. Scattered white marble figments line the trail, which are fragments of the old mine. Don’t forget to catch the reflections of the surrounding forest and fall colors in the water of the park’s lake—a picture perfect moment. If you are looking for more fun in the area, check out the Etowah Indian Mounds.
Find It: From Rome, take I-75 exit 306 (GA 140) west for 16.0 miles. Turn left at Sloppy Floyd Lake Road. Travel 3.4 miles, past the lake and the park office to the Marble Mine Trail entrance on the left. Park and return to the trailhead to begin the hike.