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veering off the path...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
...when traveling south on I-85 to start our 'tour of GA waterfalls'. I don't even have an actual list yet, but can put checkmarks by two of the well known and easily accessed ones in north Georgia. And don't you know that the best part of making the 'to-do' list is the satisfaction of getting to mark things off that have been accomplished?

I went with my peeps into the forest at Amicalola Park to spend the night at the exceedingly cold Len Foote Hike Inn a year ago back in the fall, and saw the waterfall there. I was driving up from Decatur to meet them, and arrived a bit early, so had time to poke around. Surely there are others in the park, but this one was visible from a great distance as you drove up the road into a parking area, as well as easily viewed from a path that allowed for good photos from the top. 

Beautiful view as you looked down into the park, in the bright sunshine, as the morning fog cleared. Seeing the surrounding valley and off into the distant hills, as it was late autumn, and the trees were bare, enhancing the view. But as you can imagine, the falls/any falls are more impressive when viewed from the pool at the bottom, when you get the full effect of the crashing water as it tumbles over rocks and down the creek.

There is an actual 'list' of must-see waterfalls in north Georgia, that can be accomplished in a weekend, though your brain is probably mush when you get back home. And your posterior numb from all the sitting and driving along curving, twisting, remote mountain highways. I am a big fan of state parks, and think most of the falls are in preserved protected areas owned and maintained by My Taxpayer Dollars At Work. But there are a number of these properties I have not visited, mostly in the northern part of the state. Which, as you might imagine, is where the falling water, cascading over mountain ledges, dropping hundreds of feet into crystal clear rocky bottomed creeks, could be found.

We went to the Toccoa Falls yesterday. Thanks to a DOT road map, GPS and an enhanced smart phone. Surprisingly, it is not owned or maintained by the state, though I would consider it a State Treasure. It is on property of Toccoa College, so I assume owned by the college. We entered through a: (you guessed it) gift shop (you won't be getting a 99 cent postcard). And paid $2 to go through the back door onto a graveled path leading up a slight incline to the base of the falls. Easily accessed by the short trail, well maintained, and remarkably graffiti free, not a shred of trash in sight. Amazingly clear little creek running away from the pool at the bottom of the falls. Worth a side trip to see.

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