Located in central Georgia, High Falls is the most impressive waterfall in the Georgia Piedmont. Located on the Towaliga River, this water feature is an unusual sight for area this far south. This short leg-stretcher is a good option, if you're travelling I-75. In addition, if you're looking for a longer hike, you can try some of the other trails in the park to add a few miles. This hike occurred on Thursday, June 25th, 2015. My plan was to do the quick walk to the falls and back from the parking area.
R/T Length of Trail: 0.5 Miles
Duration of Hike: 0:30
Type of Hike: Out and Back
Difficulty Rating: 1 out of 10
Pros: Easy leg-stretcher for long-distance travelers
Cons: Easy access attracts numerous swimmers despite the No Swimming signs
Points of Interest: High Falls - 7 stars
Trail Blaze Color(s): Falls Trail - Orange Diamonds
Best Season(s) to Hike: Year-round
Beginning Point: High Falls Trailhead
Directions: From Jackson, GA: Take GA Route 36 South for 8.5 miles. Then, take ramp onto I-75 South. Follow I-75 South for 2.7 miles, and then, take Exit 198 for High Falls Road. Turn left onto High Falls Road, and follow it for 1.7 miles. The entrance to the park is on the left right after a bridge over the Towaliga River.
This is a short hike, but don't let this deter you from doing it. It is very easy to do this hike, if you're in the area, and the reward is excellent, both for how far south this is and for how short the hike is. The short length of the hike does attract lots of people, so try to go on a weekday.
The hike starts at the falls trailhead. The trails starts on the other side of High Falls Road across from the parking area. The trail descends gently past a kiosk and a warning sign, and it continues down a set of stone and wooden steps. At the lower end of the staircase, you will reach a vantage point at the top of High Falls. Just afterwards, reach a fenced area at a rock outcrop with an excellent side view of High Falls. Beyond this rock outcrop, continue somewhat steeply down to a beach-like spot at the base of High Falls at 0.25 miles. Despite the fact that no swimming is allowed here, people continue to break the rule - don't be one of them! Depending on the water level, you may be able to get to the middle of the river without getting your feet wet, as the best view of High Falls is here. I would suggest wading in in any case,because it is likely to be shallow. Even though the best view is here, you can continue a bit further downstream along the trail to an area if rapids below the main falls. There is a more distant panorama of the falls here. The trail continues further along the Towaliga River and eventually loops back to the trailhead, but for me, this was the turnaround point. I had little time to continue, as I was on a long-distance trip that day and just did this hike as a quick leg-stretcher. However, if you are seeking to add some mileage, you can do the whole loop. Otherwise,if you do the hike the way I did it, you will return to the parking area at 0.5 miles. Also, I would suggest walking along the road to the middle of the road bridge over the Towaliga River. there is an excellent view of the gorge downstream here, as well as a view of the High Falls Lake dam upstream.
Falls Loop - 1.5 Miles
Falls Loop and Historic Powerhouse Trail - 2.5 Miles
Falls Loop, Historic Powerhouse Trail, and Tranquil Trail - 4.5 Miles
Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon. There are various short interpretive hike options here that explore various Indian mounds located near the Ocmulgee River. This park is around 40 minutes from the hike described in this post, so it might be a challenge to fit it into the same day as this. However, it is the best bonus stop in the area, and might be worth a visit, if you've driven several hours to get to the area.
Other Hiking Websites
Year 1: 540.0 Miles
Year 2: 552.3 Miles
Year 3: 518.4 Miles
Year 4: 482.4 Miles
Year 5: 122.3 Miles