Raven Cliff Falls


Ravens Cliff Falls is a wonder to behold, and the hike-in is almost equally as stunning. The path begins as a wide road near the junction of Dodd and Bear Den Creek. Trout fishing abounds here, and it is unusual to see any of the available fishing areas along the creeks empty on a weekend, even in the middle of winter. The first 100 yards of the path is essentially a service road for these spots. The trail closely follows Dodd Creek up to the falls. On the path, several additional waterfalls add to the pleasure of this trek.

After the first waterfall, a change in the trees is obvious. The forest is dominated by hardwoods. Short cascades and triplets of whitewater produce a relaxing gurgle during a significant portion of the hike. This path can be slippery after a rain and is rarely more than 50 feet from the creek, and this eastern-facing cove has an abundance of wildlife.

The approach to the Cliffs is the highlight of the trip. A quick climb and loud noise impart the message of the approaching waterfall. The water rushes through a split in the rocks and splashes down in cascades to the bottom. Typical of high forest falls, water flow is heavy only in the spring, but somehow the way the cliff is shaped makes these falls seem strong most of the year. A short path leads to the top of the falls.

Directions to the falls: Take Hwy 515 to Hiawassee, then take GA 75 south toward Helen. Turn right on GA Hwy 356 and go 2.3 miles to the Richard Russell Scenic Byway. Turn right and go to Mile Marker 3. The trailhead is where Dukes Creek Runs under the scenic highway. Parking is along the road.