Tallulah Falls, Georgia

Above image acquired from: http://www.tallulahfallsgeorgia.org/images/sign.jpg
Above image acquired from: http://railga.com/oddend/tallubridge.html

Where is Tallulah Falls, GA?


Located on Highway 441/23, an hour and a half drive Northeast of Atlanta, the town of Tallulah Falls is named after the six waterfalls that cascade down, for over a mile, through the Tallulah Gorge. The meaning of the word Tallulah is unknown. However, researchers believe the word could be Cherokee meaning "leaping water," or Creek meaning "town."

What is it like there?

Above image acquired from: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/sites/default/fil

The area that comprises Tallulah Falls is mainly encompassed by forest with the Tallulah River, over thousands of years, slowly carving out a 1,000 ft. deep and over two mile long gorge. With a population under 200, the area is mostly natural landscape.

Above image acquired from: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/ffc/gapcpn7.gif

How do people and the environment interact?

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Tallulah Lake, in Tallulah Falls, was created from the construction of a dam by Georgia Power in 1912. The water from the lake is diverted through pipes tunneled through the mountains to a nearby hydroelectric plant.

Outdoor recreational activities are abundant in Tallulah Falls. Water from the dam at Tallulah Lake is periodically released for kayaking and aesthetic purposes. There are several hiking trails that follows the Old Tallulah Falls Railroad bed away from the steep gorge terrain. However, braving the hike to the Tallulah Gorge floor takes you over a suspension bridge and views of six waterfalls. Mountain bike trails, rock climbing, camping and fishing are all recreational activities found in Tallulah Falls.

What patterns of movement impact this place?

Above image acquired from: http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/images/tfrrtrestle2

The area of Tallulah Falls was first inhabited by the Cherokee Indians, who called the falls Ugunyi. The first European settlers arrived in the early 1800's, and named the nearly mile-long falls Tallulah. Unlike the European settlers, the Cherokees feared and avoided the falls. As settlers grew enamored with the falls, transportation was necessary to allow visitors to marvel at its beauty. In 1882, an extension of the railroad allowed tourists from Atlanta to visit the falls and gorge. The railroad ushered curious visitors into the area until 1961, when the railroad was closed due to lack of funding.


Although the train no longer exists, Highway 441/23 provides vehicular traffic to transport people and goods across the gorge and river. Every year tourists arrive by car or bus to enjoy all the views and activities Tallulah Falls has to offer. With the nearest cities around 12 miles away, Clayton, in Rabun County and Clarkesville, in Habersham County, provide goods and services not found in the small tourist town of Tallulah Falls.

In what region is this place found? Into what regions is this place divided?

Tallulah Falls is located in the Blue Ridge physiographic region of Georgia.


However, in terms of cultural tourism,  Tallulah Falls is located in the Northeast Georgia Mountains.


Comment Stream

3 years ago

Jessica, the waterfalls at Tallulah Gorge are one of my favorite places! Have you ever hiked into the gorge? My boyfriend and I got to this summer for the first time (they've normally reached 100 people by the time I get there!). It was beautiful and a very steep hike back up!

3 years ago

Katelin, I lived in Tallulah Falls on the river for a time. I have been almost everywhere in Tallulah Falls, except hiking into the gorge. I have a fear of heights and have not braved the steps to the bottom. Even if I reached the bottom, I don't think I would have the courage to walk across the bridge. So, I commend you on braving the trekk! However, I have been to the western end of the gorge, down a forest service trail in a jeep. The road is steep and gulled out, but it leads to Lake Tugaloo, which is a border between Georgia and South Carolina. South Carolina has a paved road, with boat trailer parking, for people to use the lake as recreation, but Georgia only has an un-maintained dirt road with a primitive campsite offered as recreation. Although, from either side, Lake Tugaloo is beautiful to see with the natural landscape surrounding it.

3 years ago

Oh that sounds beautiful! I'll have to check it out. I love exploring nature, so I'm always looking for new hiking trails or lakes to visit! It is a little unnerving to walking down all those steps at the gorge. I have a fear of heights as well, but it is so worth it! I'll go with you if you ever decide to brave your fear!!