Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tallulah Gorge & Waterfalls - Tallulah Falls, Georgia

Tallulah Gorge from the North Rim
One of the most spectacular and historic sites in Georgia is the beautiful Tallulah Gorge in the mountains north of Atlanta.
Up to 1,000 feet deep in places, the gorge is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia. Roughly two miles long, it has seven waterfalls at the bottom, several of which can be seen from the overlooks along the rim. Trails lead to the bottom from the visitor center at Tallulah Gorge State Park, the entrance to which is off U.S. 441 in Tallulah Falls.

An interesting footnote is that the trail system is named for Helen Dortch Longstreet, wife of Confederate General James Longstreet. She was a pioneer in the effort to preserve the canyon.

One of the more interesting legends surrounding the canyon is that it is haunted by the ghost of a Cherokee warrior. As early as 1876, stories of the apparition appeared in newspapers across the country, including the Chicago Herald:

Waterfall at Tallulah Gorge
...Suddenly I saw a man rise to his feet with a very serious look, presenting his deadly rifle at me. As I turned I shouted, 'take care of yourself, Joe!' I struck a bee line for the hotel. The sharp report of a pistol followed my good legs. I cried, I felt the ball hit; I felt the blood run down my back; but I had no time to tarry. I met Mr. Young in the yard, and after a hearty laugh he told me it was the ghost of the Indian that Bailey had killed, and I was not the first one that flown from there.

Other legends surround the canyon as well and it has a rich history, both natural and cultural. The area was one of the great resorts of the late 19th century, when trains brought visitors up from Atlanta.

If you would like to learn more about Tallulah Gorge, its waterfalls and its history, please visit

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