Best North Georgia Mountain Hikes: High Shoals Falls Trail

Waterfall cascading down into a swimming hole and surrounded by lush, dense forest.Looking for a place to get away from it all and cool off from the blazing summer heat? The North Georgia mountains have you covered (literally, with plenty of shade) and abundant opportunities to cool down in the meandering creeks and majestic waterfalls. So pack your water sandals or your hiking boots and head out to one of our favorite hikes: High Shoals Falls. (And if this hike isn’t what you’re looking for, take a peek at our hiking series: Smith Creek Trail, Mount Yonah Trail, Raven Cliff Falls, Panther Creek Trail).


High Shoals Falls Trail is just north of Helen via the Unicoi Turnpike in the beautiful Chattahoochee National Forest. Follow the turnpike from Helen until you come upon Indian Grave Gap Road (Also called Forest Service Road 283) and make a right. The trailhead is less than a mile down the road. Be aware that, depending on conditions, some low ground-clearance vehicles may have trouble on this road.


The hike is 2.4 miles round trip and follows the creek for a large portion of the journey. The path is heavily shaded by the surrounding dense, mossy forest and offers breathtaking views of the creek valley. Follow switchbacks as you descend further into the forest and closer to the cascading waterfall. At about 1.2 miles you’ll arrive at High Shoals Falls. There is a platform to take pictures from and plenty of space to stop, enjoy some snacks, and take in the spectacular view. If the summer heat is slowing you down, this is great chance to swim in the waterhole below the falls. Use caution, however, as mossy rocks and fast-moving water pose risks. Do not swim or play near the waterfall itself. When you’re ready to head back, just follow the path the same way you came. Note that this portion will ascend in elevation by over 500 feet, so make sure to plan for the second half of the trip to be more strenuous.

Spectacular Sights

There truly is nothing like hiking in the North Georgia mountains. The lush, mossy, dense forest, coupled with the sparkling waterfalls peppered throughout the region, makes for a truly remarkable backdrop for your mountain getaway. A stay at Lucille’s means you also have access to on-site spa services to help alleviate any aches and pains caused by hiking. And our delicious gourmet breakfast will have you recharged and ready to go on your next adventure! Book a stay with us today and see our gorgeous mountains and waterfalls for yourself!

Foggy view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the back deck of Lucille's.