If you drive a hour and half north from Athens you will reach a wonderful place for a day trip called Tallulah Gorge State Park. Tallulah Gorge State Park is known as one of seven Natural Wonders of Georgia. For this day trip you will need a good pair of walking shoes, carry extra water and a packed lunch. The park is opened from 8 a.m. until dark and there is a $5 parking fee.
Tallulah Gorge is one of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern United States. The gorge is two miles long and a thousand feet deep. You will see six different waterfalls: The Eau d'Or, Tempesta, Hurricane, Oceana, Bridal Veil and Lovers Leap. These waterfalls range from ninety six feet to sixteen feet. Many people refer to Tallulah waterfall as the Niagara of the South. The gorge is as popular today as it was in the past.
Karl Wallenda a famous tightrope walker walked across the gorge. One of the towers used by Wallenda still remains on the property. There are many different trails for you to enjoy. If you want to be adventurous, you can walk down a stairway that feels like a thousand steps to the suspension bridge. The suspension bridge sways eighty feet above the rocky bottom of the gorge. You will not mind the walk down the steps at all once you are on the bridge. As you are standing in the middle of this suspension bridge and look out at the canyon, the view is amazing. The scene in front of you is a photographers paradise. As you are walking back up the stairway there are plenty of benches to sit and rest for awhile.
As you are walking along the trails you will see a lot of beautiful mountain laurel flowers. There are also several species that are protected such as the persistent trillium, a beautiful wildflower with pale green to dark reddish-purple stems with a whorl of three spreading leaves. You may also see a monkey face orchid and green salamander which are also protected species. Walking the trails is quiet and relaxing. There are many different overlooks each one you stop at will give you a different perspective of the canyon.
At Tallulah Gorge State Park if you want to camp that is available. There will be a small fee but the area accommodates 50 spaces. There is also a gift shop that offers snacks, walking sticks and many souvenir items. Taking a day trip to Tallulah Gorge will be an adventure you will never forget.