Raven Cliff Falls Trail

Raven Cliff Falls Trail - FallsTrail: Raven Cliff Falls Trail – Chattahoochee National Forest

Directions: From downtown Atlanta, take 400 North and merge onto Long Branch Road / GA-115.  Turn Right onto GA-115/ GA-52.  Turn Left onto US-129N / GA-11 / GA-75 N.  Turn Right onto GA-75-Alt.  Turn Left onto GA-348 / Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway.  The parking area to the trailhead will be on your left in about 2 miles.  It is about 1 mile north of the Dukes Creek Falls trail entrance.

General Information:

Terrain: This is an easy trail with short steep areas that follows along Dodd Creek.

Distance: Approximately 5 miles roundtrip.  It is an out and back trail.  The trailhead is located across the road from the parking lot.

Family Oriented: Yes, great trail for kids.

Dogs Allowed: Yes, must be on a leash.  You must clean up after your animal.

Hiking Fees: There is no hiking fee.

Raven Cliff Falls Trail - BridgeAbout: This is one of the great waterfall trails of Georgia.  It is located inside Raven Cliffs Wilderness which is part of the Chattahoochee National Forest.  The trail follows along and crosses Dodd Creek in multiple locations.  It rises approximately 1,000 feet in elevation from the trail head to the cliff face.  It is a beautiful trail lined with Rhododendrons, many hardwoods, flowers and mountain Laurel.  The trail is a favorite of trout fisherman.   There are multiple camp sites all along the trail, the first one being within a few hundred feet of the trailhead.   You can follow the trail up in front and on top of the cliff.

With its easy accessibility and campsites, this is can be a crowded trail during the weekends in the spring and early fall.  Because the trail follows alongside the creek, you can hear and see many small cascades along the way.  Before reaching the cliff face, there are some larger cascades/waterfalls.  Raven Falls actually is located inside a fissure in the massive cliff wall.  The waterfall crashes into the inside of the crack and falls into a small pool.  It then continues onto two other drops.  The cliff face is over 60 feet tall and is sheer, truly spectacular the way it protrudes from the mountain face.

Raven Cliff Falls Trail - Dodd CreekThe Hike: We arrived at the parking lot at around 9:30 on a crisp, early November morning.  It was in the lower 40s with a high of around 64 for the day, perfect hiking weather.  Because we arrived on a Sunday, the parking lot was about a third full.  This is because there are about seven designated campsite location along the trail.

We found the trailhead just on the other side of the parking lot entrance.  There were two bridges to cross over a small brook.  Almost immediately after hiking over the first rise, we spotted the first campsite.  There were people already breaking down their equipment.

Upon crossing the third bridge, we walked through the second campsite area.  It was also full with three tents, eight or nine people and two dogs.  After passing it, we finally felt like we were leaving civilization.  The creek drowned out all sounds from the campsites and the highway, very peaceful.  It was overcast when we parked, but the sky started to clear.

Most of the trees had already lost their leaves.  With this trail, I think it is a plus.  The leaves during most of the year will hide some of the creek’s beauty.

Raven Cliff Falls Trail - CascadeFollowing the creek up, we passed by a wonderful boisterous waterfall.  This one is really hard to see with the trees full of leaves.  There are many locations where we crossed the creek or small wet-water feeder streams.  All of these crossings either have a wooden bridge or stepping stones, making it easy for families.

We reached the falls, but before we could see them, we could hear them.  Their sound echoed through the area.  The cliff face was amazing.  That is the first thing you see, then you see the bottom of the falls.  In order to see the part of the falls in the cleft of the rock face, you have to walk up the trail further.

The falls were beautiful.  Since we were there during the fall, the water flow was not very large, but still substantial.  It is said that the waterfall is larger and more spectacular during the spring.

We had lunch in front of the cliff face, basking in the cool breeze from the falls.

The hike back was just as wonderful.  We did see a rainbow trout lazily swimming in the creek.

Raven Cliff Falls Trail - Falls2Tips:

  • The trail can be slippery after a rainstorm.
  • The day we arrived, there were three Boy Scout troops camping and hiking on the trail.  This is a busy trail on weekends, so be prepared to be patient when people are passing.
  • Repelling down the cliff face is now illegal.
  • Keep a close eye on smaller children, there are areas of the trail that have steep drop offs and large rocks and boulders.  Also, the end of the trail is steep when hiking up to see the crevice part of the waterfall.
Want to see more pictures of the hike? Go to Hiking Revealed at Facebook.

Hoping your next hike is Relaxing, Safe and Inspiring,

Russell

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.