August 5th 2020…Today we enjoyed a wonderful adventure meandering the back roads, taking in the peaceful scenery of North Carolina and Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
We drove the winding road from Cashiers to Highlands (NC) and then headed south into Georgia…our first destination: Tallulah Gorge State Park in Georgia. The drive from Highlands to Tallulah Gorge took roughly and hour, passing through pastoral farmland and framed by rolling hills. The Chattooga River ambled roadside.
We arrived at Tallulah Gorge just before noon. Tallulah Gorge is one of the largest canyons in the Eastern US. Renowned for its majestic scenery, it is two miles long and nearly 1000 feet deep, Tallulah Gorge has attracted tourists since the early 19th century. A series of five separate waterfalls cascade down the rugged stone canyon – providing breathtaking views from several lookout points.
We started our visit at the Tallulah Gorge Interpretive Center…The center has three levels of exhibits tracing the geological and cultural history of the land and people of the region…from the Native American influence to the 19th century which ushered in a resort industry around Tallulah Gorge .
My mom and I particularly enjoyed the exhibits about the varied flora and fauna and native species in the region. Because of variation in shade, sunlight and moisture caused by the steep topography, several unique ecosystems exist in and around the canyon. Tallulah Gorge is home to the endangered Persistent Trillium, a delicate white flower,that grows in this river basin and only few other parts of South Carolina and Georgia.
After spending forty-five minutes in the interpretive center, we hiked a short distance to several prominent gorge overlooks. It started to rain during our hike, but we were able to witness the grandeur and thundering waterfall of ‘L’Eau d’Or,’ French for ‘Water of Gold.’
The canyon’s sheer depth and unique coloring of grays and burnt umber, amid a sea of trees, only emphasizes the magic of the falls. We were able to take several pictures before the constant steady rain and distant lightning forced us to head back to the visitor center.
I definitely want to trek to Tallulah Gorge and explore the many hiking trails and recreational opportunities the park has to offer. For more information…