Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge- Top of Tempesta FallsOn my way back from Unicoi State Park yesterday, I stopped in Tallulah Gorge State Park, just south of Clayton, Georgia. What an amazing place. This park is what wild Linville Gorge would be if it was a state park.

First, I went into the huge interpretive center. Three floors of exhibits, stuffed animals and photographs. I didn’t think anyone stuffed bears and birds any more. The desk volunteer was very knowledgeable and suggested a 3.5 mile hike on the North and South Rim Trails around the Gorge.

Tallulah Gorge - stairsThe loop includes 1,052 steps – going down and back up 1,052 steps. I was more impressed about what it took to build these wooden and metal steps than what it takes to walk them. On this loop, I passed 10 overlooks into the gorge, many showcasing pools, waterfalls and cascades. To cross the river, you walk on the side of the road above the dam one way and on a suspension bridge the other way. They call it a suspension bridge but it is solid and does not sway.

Georgia state parks are very well maintained. But why is this state park so full of amenities not usually found in other parks? Because it is partly funded and operated by Georgia Power Co. through a public-private partnership.

The loop may be the most popular hike but it is not the only one. You can walk into the gorge which is what I’ll do the next time I go there. Amazing!

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