Best time to visit Georgia, USA

High Shoals Falls & Blue Hole Falls in Georgia, USA

A short hike to two stunning waterfalls in a green forest near Helen, Georgia

Best time: all year round

High Shoals Falls & Blue Hole Falls

High Shoals Falls & Blue Hole Falls trail is one of the most popular destinations in North Georgia, since it's very scenic and can be easily accessed. It is located in Chattahoochee National Forest, between Hiawassee and Helen, Georgia, about a two-hour drive from Atlanta. Visitors walk through a picturesque creek valley covered by green moss, before viewing one of the largest waterfalls in the state. First hikers reach the Blue Hole Falls, a smaller waterfall with a deep, blue-green pool, and then continues up to the High Shoals Falls, totally worth the effort.

High Shoals Falls Trail is a 4-km (2.5-mi) loop. The trail is quite flat with some sections of stairs and is rated as moderate. It can be rather crowded in the summer months. The trail is generally open year-round, but sometimes it is closed due to flooding, so check its status before you plan to come.

High Shoals Falls is surrounded by picturesque cliffs and blooming rhododendron in spring. It features an observation deck and a boardwalk with a view of river cascades. The rushing water is especially intense after rain, making a strong impression.

Practical info

What is the ideal time frame for visiting High Shoals Falls & Blue Hole Falls in Georgia?

Although High Shoals Falls & Blue Hole Falls trail is open throughout the year, the perfect time to plan a visit is within the months of May to September. This period provides a mild climate, and greener foliage. During other seasons, the trail, slippery, muddy, or inaccessible, and the water, too cold for comfort. So, visitors should check the status of the trail before planning to visit and gear up appropriately, for instance, sturdy boots depending on the weather. Show more

What is the duration of the High Shoals Falls Trail hike?

The distance covered during the hike of the High Shoals Falls & Blue Hole Falls trail is approximately 2.5 miles (4km), and this would take around three hours, depending on the stops, pace, and visitors' fitness level. Most of the journey is flat, but some areas have steep elevation gain, rocks, and stairs. Visitors should take ample water, snacks, and, more importantly, a camera as the path presents numerous awe-inspiring views. Show more

What level of difficulty does the trail present, and can an amateur hike through it?

High Shoals Falls trail is ideal for most visitors, even beginners with average fitness levels. Although rated as a moderate hike because of steep elevation gain, uneven terrain, and other challenges, it is relatively a short hike. The trail is about 2.5 miles long, which takes around three hours to complete without rushing. Visitors should wear comfortable hiking boots and avoid wearing sandals and flip-flops. Show more

Are there any restroom facilities available, or picnic tables on the High Shoals Falls Trail?

Restroom facilities and picnic tables along the High Shoals Falls trail are unavailable. It is wise for visitors to prepare adequately before choosing to hike the trail. On-site, just near the trailhead, is a small park with benches and picnic tables. However, it can get crowded, especially during peak season. Maintaining the cleanliness of the area through responsible waste disposal should be a priority for the visitors. Show more

Is it safe for visitors to swim in the Blue Hole pool at Blue Hole Falls?

Visitors MUST refrain from swimming in the Blue Hole pool at Blue Hole Falls. The pool is deep, with strong currents and several hidden rocks. Its depth presents a significant risk to swimmers, and visitors should take heed of the warning signs, avoid entering the pool, and instead enjoy the view, take photos, or dip their feet in shallow waters along the riverbank. The local authorities and forest services prioritize safety and conservation of the forest resources. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near High Shoals Falls & Blue Hole Falls (Map)

Last updated: