Raven Cliff Falls Georgia — not to be confused with the one in South Carolina — is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Helen. It was on my bucket list back when my two boys were just toddlers, and I wasn’t quite sure if they would be able to handle it. But handle it they did, and it quickly became one of my favorite hikes in the North Georgia mountains.
The trail to Raven Cliff Falls is a moderate 5-mile hike, full of fun, awesome views, and a really unique waterfall. This family-friendly hike is a must-do waterfall hike in Georgia.
Ready to learn more? Here’s what you need to know to hike Raven Cliff Falls in Georgia.
RAVEN CLIFF FALLS GEORGIA
Raven Cliff Falls in Helen, GA is a cool waterfall hike full of fun for hikers of all ages. This hike is 5 miles round trip and it takes you to Raven Cliff Falls, where you will see water flow through a split in the face of a 40-foot-tall rock outcropping before flowing into Dodd Creek.
The Raven Cliff Wilderness is full of beautiful trees, moss, and wildflowers in the spring and summer. The Raven Cliff Falls trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the White County area, because not only does it lead you to an amazing waterfall, but it follows a trout stream along the way.
To get to Raven Cliff Falls from Helen, take GA 75 N from Helen for 1.5 miles. Turn left on Alt 75, and travel 2.5 miles to the Russell Scenic Highway, turn right and travel 2.8 miles to the trailhead and parking area. There is a $5 per person fee at the parking lot (cash only), or it’s free with your Golden Age Passport.
Read More: THE 39+ BEST THINGS TO DO IN HELEN GA FOR ALPINE FUN
HIKING TO RAVEN CLIFF FALLS WITH TODDLERS
I mentioned I’d been wanting to do this hike, but I was a little nervous to do it with toddlers by myself, so I waited until my husband could join us. We were able to visit in winter, and although we didn’t have wildflowers, we did have amazing views since the trees were bare.
For the most part, the hike felt like a flat walk, with maybe a shallow incline. The paths were mostly clear, with a few areas of root congestion. With the river on the left as you ascend, you pass waterfall after waterfall after waterfall. Early on we passed a side trail that took you to a campsite and a swimming hole that pups would love in the summertime. I could not get over the beauty of this forest…then I remembered that this is the same forest I fell in love with last February as we hiked Dukes Creek and stayed in a cabin at Smithgall Woods.
It is only the very last part of the trail that gave us pause. About 1/4 to 1/8 a mile before the “official” end of the trail, you will come to the bottom falls of Raven Cliff. With a steady foot you’ll be able to make your way over and sit atop the rock that highlights the waterfall.
You’ll have a vertical climb to reach the next fall…about 1/3 of the way up this mountainside is the second fall, barely visible through a break in the rock. It is here that you see the middle falls from the vantage of its most popular photos. We were able to make it this far…even the 2-year-old walked himself (while we held his hand).
Only the dedicated and adventurous will make it to the third falls. If you want to continue to the top, you’ll climb a steep rock mountain side…about 100 feet in elevation over about 1/8 a mile. While I was contemplating the climb alone, we spoke with another family there. The dad told me that it was very rough (and he looked quite able). He did not recommend it, so I took heed and stopped the adventure here.
This is a magnificent hike that you will not want to miss. Except for the last 1/8 mile of the climb, I would call it easy. It was far easier than Blood Mountain or Indian Seats. Even if you, like me, don’t make it to the highest falls, you will not be disappointed with this hike.
While you’re in the area, try the Dukes Creek Falls Trail as well. As always, make sure to stay on the marked trail and leave no trace!
MORE INFORMATON FOR YOUR TRIP TO NORTH GEORGIA
- YOUR NORTH GEORGIA VACATION
- ANNA RUBY FALLS: A First Timer’s Guide To Hiking Beautiful Anna Ruby Falls
- WATERFALLS: 33+ Best Waterfalls In Georgia You’ve Just Got To See
- HELTON CREEK FALLS: Helton Creek Falls: Georgia’s Most Family-Friendly Waterfall
- HELEN CABINS: 17 Blissful Cabins In Helen GA That Are Calling Your Name
- SAUTEE NACOOCHEE: Best Things To Do During Your Romantic Getaway
WHERE TO STAY NEAR RAVEN CLIFF FALLS
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