Helton Creek Falls


The land of a thousand waterfalls is what the Cherokee called this land in North Georgia, and Helton Creek in the Chattahoochee National Forests has two of the best waterfalls around. The hiking trail is a bit root, and the wooded steps are showing wear, but anyone who can walk, by taking their time and watching their step, can make the short treks to these beautiful waterfalls with very little effort. The turn-off to Helton Creek Road is just 1.1 miles from Vogel State Park, so making a day around the park and this waterfall is a wonderful fulfilling family outing.

From the small parking lot on Helton Creek Road, the trail is well-marked by a sign to the right (west) of the parking area. Enter the woods on a gentle descending trail to a mountain cove, then to the creek bed. The trail to both the falls is about 200 yards and not very strenuous. It is just 200 steps where the trail splits to go left for the lower waterfall; the falls are immediately visible, down a fairly steep and well-used set of stairs. To see the upper waterfall, return to the main trail, climb the stairs, then cross a wet-weather branch while heading upstream that leads to the upper waterfall and observation deck with benches.

The lower falls drop over a 30' ledge, tumbling to a pool below. There is a nice flat rock area for a picnic or to stretch out on the rocks with a nice swimming hole. The second upper fall is a tall, full waterfall that drops at least 60 feet. These falls are especially beautiful after a good rainfall. The observation deck gives you a great view.

Directions - From Blue Ridge, take Hwy 515 north to Blairsville. In Blairsville, take US 19/129 south about 11 miles. Turn left onto Helton Creek Road, the first road past the entrance to Vogel State Park. Go 2.2 miles; the road turns to gravel. There will be a small parking lot on the right in a curve, and the trail is marked.