Discover Fun and Adventure at Cloudland Canyon State Park

Cloudland Canyon State Park, once known as Sittons Gulch, is one of the prettiest of Georgia’s state parks, and a beautiful Georgia canyon. It’s located in the state’s Northwest corner about half an hour from Chattanooga, TN in Rising Fawn, Ga.

Cloudland Canyon State Park waterfallCloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn, Ga.

Cloudland Canyon State Park is a perfect day trip from Atlanta, or if you’d like to stay over-night, there are regular camp and RV sites, as well as backcountry camping. My boys really liked the walk-in sites. It was far enough from the car that you felt in the woods, yet not so far that it was a pain to haul your gear to the site. In 2013 the park added 10 new yurts for semi-camping fun. Here’s a bit more on what to expect at Cloudland Canyon State Park, and the area around Rising Fawn, Ga.

Rock formations at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Ga.Cloudland Canyon Hiking

Hiking the rim of Cloudland Canyon and exploring the rock outcrops was a fun family activity for my crew. The two waterfalls, Hemlock and Cherokee are located down in the canyon. If you only have time for one, I thought Hemlock was the more scenic, although both are beautiful. There are 600 steps down to the falls, which isn’t too bad, but remember, that means there are 600 steps back UP to the top, so pace yourself and little ones.

camping at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Ga.Cloudland Canyon Camping

My boys loved camping in the walk-in camping area. Although you have to carry gear to the campsite, it wasn’t far from the parking lot and once set up, we liked the woods completely around us rather than sleeping close to the car. We camped on site 12 but site 16 overlooks a creek and looked like an even better choice. Site selection for the walk-in camping at Cloudland is first-come, first-serve, so get there early to secure a specific location.  Cottages and yurts at Cloudland State Park are also available on-site.

There is a trail from the walk-in sites to the West Rim hiking. It’s a pretty walk. At one point we crossed Daniel Creek and my youngest suggested this was a perfect place to play some Pooh Sticks. If you are unfamiliar with the Winnie-the-Pooh story, Pooh and his friends drop sticks on one side of the bridge and then race to the other to see which one comes out first. We’ve had many a fun game of Pooh Sticks on various bridges including this one at Cloudland Canyon.

Caving with the Georgia Girl Guides at Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn, Ga.Things to do at Cloudland Canyon State Park

There is a playground, disc golf and even tennis courts available at Cloudland Canyon – although the tennis courts weren’t in great shape during our visit.  If you’re looking for more adventure, there are caves at Cloudland Canyon. Maps to Sittons Cave are available at the Ranger’s office if you want to go on your own, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know what you are doing, it’s very easy to get turned around in a dark winding cave. For the novice, consider a guided walking tour of nearby Ruby Falls

Cloudland Canyon is close to Lookout Mountain Hang GlidingIf you’d rather take to the sky instead of crawling underground, try hang gliding. Lookout Mountain hang gliding, located a few minutes outside the Cloudland Canyon gate is the only hang gliding outfit between Florida and North Carolina. My 7 year-old enjoyed it so much, he wanted to go up again as soon as his feet hit the ground.

Rock CityCloudland Canyon is a short half hour drive to downtown Chattanooga, TN and a great base for a Chattanooga vacation. On the way to Chattanooga, stop at the famous Rock City Gardens which is about half way between Cloudland Canyon, Ga. and Chattanooga, TN. 

A family portrait at Hemlock Falls, Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn, Ga.What: Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn, Ga.
When: Something new throughout the year
Cost: $5 parking fee

Where to Stay Near Cloudland Canyon

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Discover Fun and Adventure at Cloudland Canyon State Park
Sue Rodman | Co-Founder

Sue came to Atlanta after finishing the Walt Disney World College Program where she was a tour guide then guest relations hostess (and no she did not moonlight as Snow White). Sue spent 25 years in PR before adding freelance travel writing to her resume. Prior to 365 Atlanta Traveler, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue for eight years, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. Her favorite place to visit is anywhere with her husband and three sons. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories. @SueRodman