Florida Man on the Run

Adventures in Camping at Tallulah Gorge

Share with your friends!

What better way to connect with nature than throwing up a tent in the middle of it? Camping at Tallulah Gorge was the perfect little escape located in an absolutely amazing location. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found camping to be far more enjoyable than when I was a kid. In fact, when planning my trip along the Pacific Coast Highway, I even seriously considered just camping the entire way up the coast. Camping at Tallulah Gorge is by far the best way to make the most of your time at the gorge and its surrounding environs. Read on to make the most of your trip to the Gorge.

When to Visit Tallulah Gorge

When to visit is always one of the top questions in planning a trip. Travel at the wrong time and your trip can quickly become unpleasant for any number of reasons. Camping trips often revolve around two separate questions: the weather and visitor volume. For camping at Tallulah Gorge, you’ll want to visit either March-May or September-November. The heat in the summer can making camping unpleasant, plus school being out means more visitors. If you visit closer to winter, you’ll encounter some chill temperatures at night so be prepared for the cold when you sleep.

Another bonus to these parts of the year involve the water release schedules. The beginning of the gorge features a dam which limits the flow of water into the gorge and the falls. Nearly each weekend in April-May and September-November features increased water releases. The first and last releases are whitewater releases where you can test your skills on the rapids, or simply watch others do so from the rim. The remaining weekend are aesthetic releases which have increased flow that makes the waterfalls look better from the rim.

The trip I had planned was originally on the second whitewater weekend in April 2019. However, inclement weather over that weekend pushed our camping at Tallulah Gorge back a few days. Although we missed the whitewater release, the additional water from two days of torrential rain made the waterfalls absolutely roaring. I highly recommend visiting during one of these water release weekends.

Camping at Tallulah Gorge

Tallulah Gorge State Park operates its own campground year-round. Camping at public campgrounds are almost always the best value. The rates in April 2019 were par for the course at $32 a night. I felt like that was a pretty fair value. The two closest private campgrounds are both more expensive and both require driving to the State Park and paying the day use fee.

Like many modern campgrounds, Tallulah Gorge is largely geared towards RV accommodations. This includes electric and water hookups at all sites, with a number of pull through spots. It also results in the campground being very open, so if you value privacy while camping it probably won’t be here. There are two separate restroom and shower facilities, which means you don’t have to walk very far to reach these at the end of the day.

Get this great panoramic view of Tallulah Lake when you go camping at Tallulah Gorge
Camping at Tallulah Gorge leads to a quick walk to Tallulah Lake

The entire park is directly accessible from the campground. You can access the North/South Rim Trails after a quick walk. This trail also allows you to cross under the highway and reach the day use beach. This day use area sits right on Tallulah Lake which is formed by the dam. By having such quick access to the trails, picnic spots, and swimming the campground has fun all around.

Guide to the Trails

Waterfalls and the trails to view them are by far the biggest attractions at Tallulah Gorge. With easy access if you are camping, you can do at least one trail each day. The trails at Tallulah Gorge come in a few different difficultly levels. Your hiking experience will play a big role in which trails you will want to seek out while your camping at Tallulah Gorge State Park.

The views are one of the biggest reasons to go camping at Tallulah Gorge
Looking down Tallulah Gorge from Outlook #6. Hurricane Falls and the suspension bridge

The North/South Rim Trails provide the best views for those not ready for a strenuous hike. These trails run along the upper rim of the gorge and provide ten different outlooks over the gorge. Portions of the trail around the Interpretive Center are handicap accessible. The remainder of these trails is flat and an absolutely pleasant walk. The best outlook of the gorge is #6, which has a beautiful open lawn and covered pavillion for a picnic lunch. The outlook also looks down into the length of the gorge, providing the best view of Tallulah Gorge.

There are a lot of great picnic spots you can find on your camping trip to talluah gorge
Where better to stop for a picnic lunch on your hike?

Those seeking out a more intense hike into the gorge, should take the Hurricane Falls Trail. Featuring a suspension bridge over Hurricane Falls, this trail takes you into the heart of the gorge. The trail also requires you to climb over 650 steps, so be prepared for the exertion required for the amazing view of Hurricane Falls. An additional 200 stairs allows you to reach the bottom of Hurricane Falls if you wish to get a second view. The Hurricane Falls Trail is connected to the North/South Rim Trails which forms a continuous loop trail.

Suspension bridge 80 feet over Hurricane Falls

If you have the time and ability, you can continue your hike on the South Rim Trail into Sliding Rock Trail. Requiring a permit, this is a 45° trail over rocks and boulders to the gorge floor at Bridal Veil Falls. It gives the access to the only swimming spot in the gorge, but the effort to reach it is quite difficult.

Exploring Beyond Tallulah Gorge

The area around Tallulah Gorge offers an abundance of trails and other sites to see. Just north of the Day Use area is the access point to the Shortline Trail. This trail is fully paved and follows the Tallulah River north of the lake. During our trip we only ran into a single other couple, meaning this was the most peaceful trail we did. The trail also features a suspension bridge over the river and has a couple nice views of the river to stop and enjoy lunch.

The best spot, however, comes after the trail officially ends and you are walking along Terrora Circle. Just beyond the bridge to the right is a small off trail which leads down under the bridge. There is an unnamed set of rapids/waterfall here. This little spot was one of my favorite spots and you can walk out onto the rocks in the river here. It is by far the easiest way to stand next to a waterfall near Tallulah Gorge.

Can’t get much closer to a waterfall than this hidden spot!

Minnehaha Falls is a hidden gem that is about a 25 minute drive from the campground. The drive takes you along Lake Rabun and the exorbitantly expensive homes found there. Once you’ve reached the dirt road don’t worry, the trail to Minnehaha Falls isn’t far away. Be aware, the beginning part of the trail is steep stairs, but once you’re past that its smooth sailing. The trail is only a 1/4 mile in length, but has the best payoff of any trail in the area. I felt extremely fortunate that I choose to make this our trip away from the park. It’s hard to put how awesome Minnehaha Falls were, so I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Can’t get much closer to a waterfall than this hidden spot!

North Georgia’s Best Basecamp

Camping at Tallulah Gorge is absolutely the best way to visit. Having easy access to the trails, means your days can run on your own pace. There is something for every skill level and if you come on the right weekends you can even brave the waters of the gorge yourself. If you’re looking for a place to get away for a while, Tallulah Gorge hard to beat. It’ll serve as the perfect base to explore the natural wonders around North Georgia, including the best waterfalls in North Georgia.

If you’re looking for more on my adventures in hiking, check out my explorations around Brevard, NC. For those living out west, my time hiking among the redwoods needed two posts (Part 1, Part 2) to cover all the fun! Read this far and decided that these hikes didn’t have enough beer then check out my Asheville Brewery Tour! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram or Facebook to journey along with me live!

A look at Hurricane Falls from the suspension bridge

Don’t Forget to Pin by Using the Image Below!

Share with your friends!

Continue Exploring With These Posts

7 Responses

  1. Hurricane Falls looks beautiful. We don’t have many falls in central Florida, so this might be a fun trip to take in the fall. With our little pop-up, we can extend the camping season, and we hope to have more time then. Love your blog, by the way. REALLY useful information in your posts.

  2. This looks amazing – I am a sucker for a water fall and a gorge – I just explored Mount Beauty Gorge the other day which was a lot of fun. Looks like I need to make my way to North Georgia!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Don't Miss A single Update

Join my newsletter now to make sure you never miss an update and have access to exclusive discounts on merch and more!