Waterfalls Where You Can Swim in North Georgia

For a scenic and refreshing way to spend a hot day, venture to these scenic North Georgia waterfalls where you can splash around in the water.

North Georgia Waterfall Swimming

North Georgia Waterfall Swimming

These natural waterfall swimming holes provide a great way to cool off among some of the most scenic places in North Ga! Learn more about these local treasures and plan to visit these Georgia hiking trails waterfalls while enjoying your summer ventures in the mountains.

 

North Georgia Waterfall Swimming

North Georgia is fortunate to have a nice collection of beautiful waterfalls to visit, and many of them even have scenic pools at their base that make the perfect location for a summertime dip in the water.

 

Blue Hole Falls and High Shoals Falls near Hiawassee

The Blue Hole Falls and High Shoals Falls are located between Helen and Hiawassee, and both can be accessed from the same trailhead. The hike is not too long, but it does involve a moderate level of difficulty due to the return climb back to the trailhead.

Take the 1.0-mile hike to Blue Hole Falls (pictured above) to view a 25-foot cliff of cascading water that falls into a classic-style pool. Thrill-seekers may enjoy testing out the rope swing.

Follow the same trail for another 0.4 miles to High Shoals Falls, where you can enjoy 50-foot waterfalls from a viewing platform or cool off in the pool below.

Dogs on leashes are welcome.

 

Minnehaha Falls near Lake Rabun

Minnehaha Falls offers visitors a short hike to spectacular waterfalls! Located near Lake Rabun in Chattahoochee National Forest, the approach requires a 4-mile drive down a dirt road, so give yourself plenty of time for the drive. Once parked, the short hike to these falls rewards visitors with views of water cascading 60 feet! There is room to walk around and wade at the base of the waterfalls, but there is not really any “pool” for a full swim.

Dogs on leashes are welcome. Find this location and more on the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #778.

  • Cost: FREE
  • Length of roundtrip hike:  ~ 0.4 miles
  • TripAdvisor: Minnehaha Falls is rated 5.0 with 175+ reviews
    • Ranked #1 for things to do in Lakemont

 

Hemlock Falls near Moccasin Creek State Park

Hemlock Falls is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest on Moccasin Creek in the Tallulah Ranger District. Park at the Hemlock Falls trailhead for free, or park across the street at Moccasin Creek State Park for a $5 daily parking fee (annual passes are also available).

The trail to Hemlock Falls is a fairly easy hike that follows a rushing creek and goes past several small waterfalls. Enjoy the scenic trail that ends at a waterfall with a pool area that is large enough for a swim.

Dogs on leashes are welcome. Find this location and more on the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map #778.

 

Edge of the World Trail near Dawsonville

Depending on who you ask, this trail may be called a few different names including Edge of the World or the Amicalola River Trail. No matter what you call it, this trail in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area provides a great place to spend an afternoon among nature. The waterfalls here feature less of a drop than other waterfall swim locations, but there is lots of room to enjoy the lush scenery from the cool comfort of the water.

This ADA-compliant trail is a great place to stroll along the boardwalk and hike along the river until you find the perfect spot to swim, slide on the rocks, or enjoy a picnic.

Dogs on leashes are welcome.

  • Cost: all guests ages 16+ must possess a valid hunting license, fishing license, or Georgia Lands Pass
    • These must be purchased in advance – licenses/passes are not available on-site
    • Hunting and fishing licenses will cost less than the lands pass and may be purchased by people who do not intend to hunt or fish
  • Length of loop hike: ~ 2.5 miles
  • Call: +1 (770) 535-5700
  • Address: 7000 GA-53, Dawsonville, GA
  • Website: georgiawildlife.com/dawson-forest-wma
  • TripAdvisor: Dawson Forest WMA is rated 5.0

 

Helton Creek Falls near Helen

One of the most stunning waterfall swims in North Georgia is at Helton Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests. The double waterfalls are accessed from a short hike after a 2-mile drive down a one-lane dirt road. Expect to cross a small creek or two on your drive toward the parking area.

Take the short 0.3-mile hike to the falls and cool off with a swim in either the pool under the upper falls (pictured above) or try the sliding rock at the lower falls. There is an observation deck to view the upper falls.

Leashed dogs are welcome. Free / no charge to visit.

Check the Helton Creek Falls page for information about closures due to weather or other events. Note that as of June 2022, the falls and trails are temporarily closed for maintenance. Check the USFS website or Facebook page for status updates.

 

North GA Waterfall Swimming Tips

The information above is intended to help you choose a great destination to enjoy a North Georgia waterfall swim. You are encouraged to read current reviews of these attractions to help you understand what to expect while both traveling to the destination and when you arrive.

 

Plan Ahead

The waterfalls are some of the most beautiful attractions that North Georgia offers, but they generally do not provide any amenities. Keep a few things in mind when you visit.

  • Cell phone service may not be available
    • Download maps in advance or purchase printed maps to carry with you
    • Make someone else aware of your travel plans in case of emergencies
  • Use extreme caution near wet rocks and fast-moving water
    • Swim at your own risk – there are no lifeguards or safety equipment in these natural spaces
    • Assess water levels and currents before getting into areas with moving water
    • Wet rocks are very slippery – water shoes may help with traction and protect feet from sharp objects in the water
    • Consider using a hiking stick to help with stability in the water (and to help navigate steep and uneven trails)
  • There are no modern facilities on site
    • Use the bathroom before your trip
    • Take water and snacks with you
    • Bring sun protection, towels, first aid, and other items to ensure your comfort
  • Entrance roads are rugged and parking spots are limited
    • Arrive early for the best chance to secure a good parking spot (especially during peak dates)
    • Low clearance vehicles may have a difficult time with drives that include water crossings over creeks
  • Practice good trail etiquette
    • Stay on the marked trails for your safety and to preserve the natural areas
    • Pack out all your items and take your trash out with you when you leave

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Georgia Hiking Trails Waterfalls

Georgia Hiking Trails Waterfalls

 

Find more great water activities in North Georgia including Boat Rentals, River Tubing, and White Water Rafting. Stay safe and have a wonderful time!

16 Responses

  1. Albie Derbyshire says:

    I love your website! The waterfall pics are beautiful and the articles are really helpful. I live in California but next time I come to Georgia I will definitely consult your website for places to go. I also will come back and read more of your articles just for the fun of it as I love hiking. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Albie says:

    I love your website! The waterfall pics are beautiful and the articles are really helpful. I live in California but next time I come to Georgia I will definitely consult your website for places to go. I also will come back and read more of your articles just for the fun of it as I love hiking. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Terence says:

    The photos of the waterfalls in your post are absolutely beautiful! I would love to go and visit these wonderful gems of nature and experience their wonders up in person. I had watched over a ton of nature shows that feature waterfalls over the years but never in my life have visited one.

    Waterfalls are definitely breathtaking, and anyone who gets the chance to witness them up in person will know that it can be an unforgettable experience.

    Great article! 

    • Alyce says:

      Thanks Terence! It’s always so relaxing for me to be able to enjoy the natural beauty of a waterfall. I hope you can visit soon and enjoy these scenic North Georgia treasures!

  4. Disco619 says:

    One of my favorite past times is hiking out to waterfalls.  This page really speaks to my kind of adventure.  I have been to many waterfalls around the area and into western NC, but I have not visited any of these places.  They all look great and I can’t wait to plan an adventure to the area.

    Living in the low country of South Carolina these destinations will be an easy weekend trip, with a great payoff.  Thank you for the information on location and the specific details on the hikes and the final destinations.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Disco619! I’m glad you found some new destinations to encourage your sense of adventure! The SC low country area is an easy drive to North Georgia and will provide a dramatic change of scenery. Enjoy your trip!!

  5. Kayamba says:

    This is a great article, very informative and well laid out. How I wish I could come right away.

  6. Deborah says:

    Oh How I love waterfalls they are so beautiful. I live here in Ga and I did not know about some of these but I do plan to go. I enjoy camping and fishing and waterfall sightseeing.Thank you showing us these places it is very nice. It is relaxing just to watch the waterfalls and listen to them is so peaceful. I am looking forward to coming back to visit 

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Deborah, I’m so happy to share these local gems with you. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and the refreshing waters at these gorgeous North GA waterfalls!

  7. Deborah says:

    I love this site and I left you another comment on something else.

  8. pasindu dimanka says:

    Thank you very much for this valuable detailed post about North Georgia waterfall swimming. I ask a lot to travel. Especially go to see the waterfall. I have visited many waterfalls, but I haven’t been to North Georgia yet. Seeing your post made me want to go right now. I like Helton Creek Falls very much among these waterfalls. I definitely plan to go and find this treasure. Keep posting valuable posts like this.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi pasindu, I know you’ll love Helton Creek Falls, but keep in mind that right now, the trail and the falls are closed while repairs are being made to the trail. Hopefully, things will open up again any day now, but please be aware that you should check the status of the trail before beginning your trip. Enjoy!

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