A wonderful day trip would be to visit the Toccoa Waterfalls. Toccoa is approximately an hour's drive north from Athens. This spectacular waterfall is nestled on the campus of Toccoa Falls College a christian undergraduate school. The lower part of the stream flows through the thousand acres of the wooded campus from the base of the 186 foot high waterfall.
Toccoa Waterfalls is a very large tourist attraction. For the convenience of the handicap the small 100 yard path is completely handicap accessible. As you are walking along the 100 yard path, you will see many interesting things. If you need to rest or would like to just sit and relax you may do so on a beautiful stone bench. The path is lined with beautiful rhododendrons and for the photographer enthusiast there are many different angles you can photograph the waterfalls that is easily accessible.
Before you capture the beautiful view of the waterfalls, on the left side of the path is a large plaque. The plaque is there for the memory of the thirty nine people who lost their lives and for all the people that were injured. On November 6, 1977 the Kelly Barnes Dam broke and the 40 acre lake impounded the lower part of the campus causing this horrible accident. Today, there is no evidence that the tragedy happened except for the memorable plaque.
Viewing the waterfalls for the first time is truly breath taken. Not only is watching the waterfall exciting, but the surrounding area is unbelievably beautiful. The waterfall is 186 feet high which is as high as Niagara Falls. It is the tallest free falling waterfall in the Eastern United States. There are huge rocks at the base of the falls that are very slippery from the mist. That is a very popular space to photograph since the waterfall is behind you. Just remember to use caution when climbing or standing on the rocks.
You will enter the falls through the Gate Cottage Gift Shop. The hours they are open is 8:30 a.m. until sundown. There is a small admission fee of 50 cents for children and senior citizens and $1 for adults. As you are walking through the gift shop you will see many souvenirs, furniture made by local craftsmen, village candles and many other gifts.
Your day trip to Toccoa Waterfalls will be a wonderful adventure , one that will fill a memory book with no problem.