Monday, March 2, 2009

Georgia's Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge State Park, 2641 acres, features one of the most spectacular gorges in the eastern United States, the two-mile-long Tallulah Gorge which is almost 1000 feet deep. Several miles of trails include the rim trails with jaw-dropping overlooks at the river below and its five waterfalls. You can also obtain a free permit to hike down to the gorge floor and cross the suspension bridge which sways 80 feet above the water. The rim trails are wood chip surface, except for a section composed of 600 recycled car tires.

Here's a view from the downriver lookout, demonstrating the depth and beauty of the canyon. Oceana Falls is in the lower part of the picture. Unfortunately, it was late afternoon and the sun angle and deep shadows impede the clarity of the photo...

Here's a closeup of Oceana Falls, a favorite of whitewater kayakers and canoeists who challenge the river several times a year when water is not being diverted to the power plant. Don't miss the movie in the Interpretive Center that shows the paddlers at play in the waterfalls. In 1970, the famous aerialist Karl Wallenda walked a tightrope across the gorge, stopping twice to perform headstands. The tower that supported one side of the tightrope is still laying near its concrete pad.

Closer to the dam is Tempesta Falls and Hawthorne Cascade and Pool. A trail with 1099 stairs takes the more adventurous to the river.

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