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Long Creek Falls


Long Creek Falls Trail is an almost 2 mile round trip trek that offers an easy-to-moderate climb along the combined Appalachian/Benton MacKaye and Duncan Ridge Trails to a beautiful waterfall that flows fully even in the middle of the summer. For through hikers the falls are only a short distance from the main trail making this side trip well worth the few minutes (and steps) to the falls.

The footpath begins a gradual rise in elevation along Long Creek. This creek, along with Chester Creek and Stovall Creek join at Three Forks to form Noontootla Creek, a tributary of the Toccoa River. The trail passes through a wide plain of grass, ascending gradually with the creek nearby. A few feet in is a sign indicating that Long Creek Falls is 1 mile. Shortly after the sign is a break, sharpened stumps intended to prevent motorized vehicles, mountain bikes and horses from accessing the hiking path.

The path follows Long Creek throughout the journey to the falls, only once moving away from the creek a short distance into a cove to cross an unnamed, frequently dry stream that empties into the creek. The path is a favorite amoung day hikers because it does parallel Long Creek; the flowing stream lends a comforting sound to the hike. As the path climbs the drop to the stream reaches 80 feet at one point and cascades along the way are so loud that they can mislead a hiker into thinking they have reached the falls.

Just before the Duncan Ridge and Benton MacKaye Trail leave the Appalachian Trail, the path to Long Creek Falls is marked by a trail sign. A few steps leads you to these wide, almost always full falls. The sound can be overwhelming, especially after a rain. Long Creek tumbles over some small rocks, then widens over a single large rock, fanning out and dropping to a clear, shallow pond beneath the falls.

Directions to the falls ~ take Aska Road south until it dead-ends into Newport Road, turn right and continue down Newport. At the end of Newport, turn left onto Doublehead Gap Road, which becomes a dirt road and then take FS 42 9 miles in to the other side of FS 58.Just past a church and cemetery the road narrows, then splits into three separate roads. Turn right onto FS 58 and travel 5.4 miles to a widening in the road. This is Three Forks.