17+ Amazingly Dreamy Swimming Holes in North Georgia (Waterfalls, Too!)

You can go to the neighborhood pool or hit the community splash ground, but nothing says summer like playing in Mother Nature’s natural waterscapes.

Here are 17+ swimming holes in Georgia, which include waterfalls, creeks, streams, and swimming areas that your family can enjoy during the heat of Georgia’s summer.

Let’s dive in!

Waterfall Swimming Holes

17+ Amazingly Dreamy Swimming Holes in North Georgia (Waterfalls, Too!)
Panther Creek Falls
  • Watson Mill Bridge State Park. This place is known more for the natural water slides than the swimming holes, but it is SO MUCH fun that I couldn’t leave it out (see the video below). It’s great for kids and adults. Slide on your bum…or bring a floaty for the waves to the right.
  • Denton Branch Falls.  It’s a short walk from the parking area to the falls. You can swim in a small pool and wade in the creek. It’s a bit shaded here, so opt for the warmest of days.
17+ Amazingly Dreamy Swimming Holes in North Georgia (Waterfalls, Too!)
  • High Shoals Falls. This is the falls in Dallas, GA – not the one in Helen (although that might work too; I just have not yet been myself).  A short walk to the falls and a swimming hole. You can play in the creek and even climb to the creek feeding the falls. Read More: Discover High Shoals Falls Dallas Ga
  • Falls on Waters Creek, also known as Dicks Creek Falls. You can play at the top and the bottom of the falls. The falls are right next to the parking lot in a secluded area. Be extra safe here because there is no cell service and you are far far far from any houses or businesses.
  • Panther Creek Falls. This one takes a long hike, but it’s worth it. I recommend an overnight to make it super special. 3.5 miles in gets you to a sandy beach, waterfall, and plenty of room to swim. The falls are within the Panther Creek Recreation Area. (Photo above.)
  • Hurricane Shoals Park. This park is located about 30 minutes north of Athens. Bring a tube and slide down the shoals here, or just hang out in the water. You’ll find picnic tables, bathrooms, and a playground too. Admission is $5 per vehicle on weekends and holidays. Cash only.

Heading out on a South Carolina adventure this summer? If you love swimming holes and want more, here’s a great list of Swimming Holes near Greenville, SC. Pack a lunch and make it an awesome day trip adventure!

Creeks, Streams, and River Swimming Holes

17+ Amazingly Dreamy Swimming Holes in North Georgia (Waterfalls, Too!)
Amicalola River Trail
  • Amicalola River Trail. Slide the rocks, wade in the water, and spend an entire day relaxing. GORP pass needed.
  • Blanket’s Creek. It’s known primarily for mountain biking, but hikers are welcome. Follow the easy trail to the far left along the creek. It’s clean and shaded and tons of fun for kids.
  • Gober Beach. An unassuming trail off a back road in Ballground/Canton leads to a gorgeous swimming hole on the Etowah River, pictured above. There is parking, as this is a common put-in/pull-out space for kayakers and tubers. Our boys and pup love the rocky beach area, flowing stream and waist-deep pools.

    Directions to Gober Beach: From Exit 24 on I‐575 north of Canton, go south on Airport Road 0.5 mile to Ga. 5. Turn left on Ga. 5 and proceed 1 mile to East Cherokee Drive on right. Turn right and proceed 0.8 mile to river and launch area on left just before the small bridge.
  • Poole’s Mill. Slide the rocks, play in the creek and have a great time! There are restrooms and a playground on site.
  • Raven Cliff Falls. You can’t play in the falls here, and the hike might be too far for some kiddos. Have no fear. Shortly after beginning the hike a gorgeous stream shows itself, with running water, bridges, resting spots and plenty of play spaces.
  • Talking Rock Park. Wade in the river and take it slow. My kids love using large rocks to change the path of the water (always careful to put them back). There is plenty of picnic space, restrooms and a playground.

A Few More Gems…

17+ Amazingly Dreamy Swimming Holes in North Georgia (Waterfalls, Too!)

The following are places on my bucket list. We haven’t been yet, so I can’t testify to them personally. I’ve included links and notes from my research.

  • Blue Hole Falls and High Shoals Falls. Small but deep fed from a blue hole near Helen. Need a GORP pass. Great for kids. Atlanta Trails has the scoop on hiking High Shoals Trail to the falls at the link.
  • Wildcat Creek. Rock sliding and swimming hole near a secluded and primitive campground. This area is currently (May 2024) closed to vehicles, but traveling by foot is still welcome.
  • Holly Creek. First stop on a longer trail, Emery Creek. CCC swimming hole and waterfall.
  • Mill Creek Falls. You’ll get to these falls by parking at Hickey Gap Campground. Walk downstream on a 1.5 mile loop, passing several waterfalls. The third cascade is where you’ll find the secret rope swing.
  • Sope Creek. There is a national site promoting Sope Creek as a swimming hole. We do not recommend it.

Disclaimer: These worked for our family. Only you are the best judge as to whether or not it is right for your family. Whatever you do, just be safe. Watch for snakes, be careful on slippery rocks, put life jackets on your very young ones, and be respectful of Mother Nature.

Georgia Swimming Holes FAQ

Are there any clear springs in Georgia?

Magnolia Springs State Park is known for its clear springs, which flow at 7 million gallons per day. You can walk on the boardwalk to look for alligators, turtles, and more. (So…no swimming!)

Can you swim in the water in Georgia?

There is no shortage of swimming holes in North Georgia, which is great for when the weather gets warm. You’ll want to be careful in South Georgia, though. Alligators like to hang out in some of the bodies of water down there.

Where is Georgia’s “Secret Beach”?

Little St. Simons Island is considered Georgia’s “secret beach.” We have an entire article about our stay at this amazing resort! Read More: Little St Simons Island: Tips, Tricks and Tidbits


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17+ Amazingly Dreamy Swimming Holes in North Georgia (Waterfalls, Too!)