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Emery Creek Falls

Intermediate

Trail

5.9 mile 9.5 kilometer loop
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 690' 210 m
Descent: -689' -210 m
High: 1,674' 510 m
Low: 1,016' 310 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (3°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Hike to several beautiful waterfalls on this popular trail nestled in the Lower Cohutta Mountains.

Susan Burkley Brock

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Overview

This out-and-back hike heads along Holly Creek and Emery Creek passing several waterfall on the way to the highlight of the hike—Emery Falls. Along the way, you'll likely get your feet wet, as the trail crosses the creek about ten times on the way there (plus you have to return). There are plenty of photo and picnicking spots to enjoy along the way.

Need to Know

Parking is limited, and this trail gets busy especially when the weather is warmer and nice.

Description

Starting on the Emery Creek Trail #97 on the south end off Holly Creek Road (FS 18) you'll hike along Emery Creek. From the trailhead, you'll start high above the creek on a very rooty and rocky stretch up to the confluence of Emery and Holly Creeks. Fortunately, this is the most challenging part of the hike. It's a popular section of trail, so you'll probably meet people walking along here as folks like to hang out in the rapids, pools, and small cascades.

Once past the Holly Creek confluence, the trail will get much quieter. The trail climbs gently through a mixed hemlock and hardwood forest alongside the creek. About 1.4 miles in, the trail widens into an old road bed which you'll follow for about a tenth of a mile. The trail will climb up to the left (do not go straight and cross the creek).

You'll cross the creek and turn on a short spur trail to access the base of the first waterfall. Skirt up and around it to see the second falls directly above. Both of these falls have nice pools for dipping your feet on a hot day, and both make for great picnicking. There is a campsite at the top of the first falls, but it's easy to get chilly here, so bring a layer to put on if you plan on hanging out!

Head back to the main trail and continue up, a bit more steeply. It's not far to three more waterfalls, and soon you'll hear a roar through the rhododendron and see glimpses of whitewater and a definite falls below. Getting a closer look requires scrambling down the bank, but it's well worth the effort. These falls drop 15, 40, and 15 feet, and each has a nice plunge pool.

Return the way you came to get back to the main trailhead. Feel free to stop and play in the rapids along the way!

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Check-Ins

Apr 18, 2020
RANDI Palmer
Jan 1, 2020
Jack B
Muddy, Inaccessible creek crossing at 4th location 3.3mi — 3h 40m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1

in Windy Gap

#1226

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  5.0 from 1 vote
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Hike Rankings

#1

in Windy Gap

#23

in Georgia

#1,226

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446 Since Nov 12, 2019
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Photos

This is the "Upper" Emery Creek Falls, just a short distance past the "Lower" falls. It is not as popular as the "Lower" falls, and harder to climb down to, but still it is pretty cool.
Mar 6, 2020 near Chatsworth, GA
Lower Emery Creek Falls.
Feb 17, 2019 near Chatsworth, GA
Approaching a creek crossing.
Feb 17, 2019 near Chatsworth, GA
One of many creek crossings!
Feb 17, 2019 near Chatsworth, GA
Emery Creek above the Holly Creek confluence.
Feb 17, 2019 near Chatsworth, GA
Rock garden
May 12, 2019 near Chatsworth, GA

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