Besides waterfalls…

The scenery at Cloudland Canyon State Park is amazing.  Most people remember the fantastic mountain views through the gorge and out into the distance.  The waterfalls are beautiful and peaceful but what else is there?  Well, for one thing, there is a beautiful variety of mountain streams and glades of tress that make you feel like you’re somewhere far away from civilization.

This spot is just a little downstream from Cherokee Falls but the moss-covered boulders and the contrast between the dark shadows and bright light made me feel like I was lost in a primeval forest.  It’s nice to lose yourself in a quiet little pocket of nature even if it really is only a few steps away from the busy world we fight through each day.

Cloudland Canyon State Park
Rising Fawn, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
31mm @ f/18 – 1/4 sec – ISO 200

Cherokee Falls

The closer of the two falls (1/2 mile hike) on the Waterfalls Trail at Canyonland Canyon State Park is Cherokee Falls.  Although this one is a bit smaller than Hemlock Falls, it is more accessible.  The rocks are a bit slippery but many people venture out in and around the base of the falls here.  I personally, like this one better of the two.  Maybe it’s because the boulders are a little smaller and you get a less obstructed view of the water at the bottom.  I guess it doesn’t make much difference if you stay up on the observation deck but, I like this one none the less.

Cloudland Canyon State Park
Rising Fawn, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
31mm @ f/18 – 1/4 sec – ISO 200

Hemlock Falls

One of Cloudland Canyon State Park’s biggest attractions is the Waterfalls Trail, a 1 mile hike that includes a 600 step, 400 foot descent to get to the two main falls.  The further one down the trail is Hemlock Falls, shown here.  You can hear the falling water from the top of the trail and it echoes off the mountainsides as you walk down.  Rushing water flows through the gorge making beautiful scenery all the way down.

Hemlock Falls is a 90 foot drop of  Sitton’s Gulch stream into a boulder-filled pool.  There is a nice observation deck where you get a good view of the falls but to get down to the spot where I took my image, you have to scramble over slippery rocks and boulders.  It’s not all that bad a climb but certainly not a well-groomed path.

Cloudland Canyon State Park
Rising Fawn, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/18 – 1 sec – ISO 100

Cloudland Canyon Overlook

Joyce and I finally got our Canyon Climbers Club cards filled in!  We drove up to Cloudland Canyon State Park and hiked the stairs down to see the two waterfalls that are major attractions for the park.  We had visited this park once before last Spring but at that time, we were not aware of the Canyon Climbers program and failed to get our cards punched.  After having done some of the parks more than once over the last 2 years, we finally got it finished.  Now we can send in for our official t-shirts – Woo hoo!

This view is from the Main Overlook located behind the Interpretive Center.  It was a bit hazy when we arrived but the view from Lookout Mountain was great.  It is really amazing to experience the beauty of the North Georgia mountains.  I’m going to have to start working on 4-seasons views of these areas to see the changes that happen.  Hopefully, we will get a chance to return in the Autumn and see what it looks like in fall colors.

More pictures to come soon.

Cloudland Canyon State Park
Rising Fawn, Georgia, USA

4-frame panorama merged in Adobe Lightroom
Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/16 – 1/15 sec – ISO 125

Across the Gorge

A view of the suspension bridge that crosses Tallulah Gorge from the North to the South rim.  This structure hangs 80 feet above the floor of the gorge and gives you a great view up and down the valley.  It is definitely one of those bridges that will sway when people cross it.  If you walk alone over the span it’s easy to control the swinging but when others are passing by, it can quickly get into seasickness territory.

For our visit last weekend, this was the end-point of our descent.  After stopping here, we crossed to the South side and then walked back up the stairs.  The climb was not what I would call easy but it was certainly worth it!  I would love to go back and get a pass to go down to the floor but that’s something we would want to plan as a whole day trip.

I’m sure there are lots of great photo opportunities to view the gorge from the bottom up and to get in close to the falls.  Need to put this on my calendar for when the weather cools off a bit.

Tallulah Gorge State Park
Tallulah Falls, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/11 – 1/60 sec – ISO 200

Black Rock Lake

Who knew there was a lake in Black Rock Mountain State Park?  If we hadn’t happened across a Park Ranger, I don’t think we would have even heard of it.  The man-made lake, constructed in 1974, is off of Taylor’s Chapel Road which is the intersection that you get to right before the big sign for the park.

Tallulah August-6766
The turn for Taylor’s Chapel Road is right before this sign.

If you turn right at this intersection onto Taylor’s Chapel Road, you can follow the dirt road out to where the lake is.  This is really a peaceful spot which does not appear to get many visitors.  The parking lot will only take a handful of cars so, don’t plan any big events here!

From what I read, the lake is stocked with trout and you can fish here as long as you have a valid Georgia fishing license.  There is also a small waterfall which I didn’t actually get to see.  The falls are on Greasy Creek but you must have to take a trail that isn’t well marked to get to them.  I found Greasy Creek and it had some cascading water which I incorrectly though was the “falls”.  I guess we need to make another trip so I can see the real thing.

Black Rock Lake
Black Rock Mountain State Park
Mountain City, Georgia, USA

2-frame panorama merged in Adobe Lightroom
Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
16mm @ f/8 – 1/250 sec – ISO 200

Tallulah Gorge

This is a view of the Tallulah Gorge downstream from the  Oceana Falls overlook.  That is Joyce at the overlook on the left by the observation binoculars.  This is the point where Karl Wallenda made a tightrope walk across from the South Rim in 1970.  The remnants of the tower used for this walk are still at the site.

After visiting this spot (Outlook #1) we made the hike down to the suspension bridge so that we could get our Canyon Climbers Club cards punched and earn the official t-shirt.  One more park to go (Cloudland Canyon) to get all the holes punched!  We actually have hiked all 4 of them but didn’t know about the card when we started.

In spite of the fact that it was about 10° cooler in the mountains than it was in Roswell, it was still pretty hot and the walk back up those steps was pretty strenuous!  Even so, this was a pleasant visit and we really enjoyed being up in the mountains.  Will have to plan a drive up to Cloudland Canyon soon so we can finish out our t-shirt applications.

Tallulah Gorge State Park
Tallulah Falls, Georgia, USA

Nikon D7100
Tamron SP 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
300mm @ f/6.3 – 1/80 sec – ISO 400