Often, it is disappointing that some most photogenic waterfalls are located on private land. In some isolated cases, the owners are generous enough to allow the public to visit, but unfortunately, the majority of the time, such waterfalls are strictly off-limits. Timpson Creek Falls is one of those private waterfalls, but visitors are in luck: the property boundary stretches directly across the waterfall, and it is easy to view and photograph the falls from public land immediately downstream, avoiding any trespassing. This single-drop 40-foot waterfall is quite a beauty. This hike occurred on Saturday, March 4th, 2017. My plan was to hike a well-established old forest road, sometimes referred to as the Timpson Creek Trail, out and back to Timpson Creek Falls from Forest Road 162 (Timpson Creek Road).
R/T Length of Trail: 1.5 Miles
Duration of Hike: 1:00
Type of Hike: Out and Back
Difficulty Rating: 2 out of 10
Total Elevation Gain: 200 Feet
Pros: Very easy hike mostly along forest road
Cons: Potentially deep ford of Timpson Creek
Points of Interest: Timpson Creek Falls - 8 stars
Trail Blaze Colors: None
Best Seasons to Hike: Spring, Summer
Beginning Point: Timpson Creek Road Trailhead
Directions from Clayton, GA: From the intersection of US 23/441 and US 76 West in downtown Clayton, follow US 76 West (Savannah Street) for 4.9 miles, and then, turn right onto Loop 76 Road. In 0.1 miles, turn right onto unpaved Timpson Creek Road (FS 162). This road is in acceptable condition, but it passes through an area of tornado damage, where the road gets narrow and where brush next to the road may scrape your car a bit. 1.1 miles from Loop 76 Road, reach a small wide area in the road. Park on the right side of the road here; a faint path heads down to the creek and to Timpson Creek Falls.
Click here for more information and to download this trail map to view in Garmin Basecamp.
Timpson Creek Falls is one of those waterfalls that is beautiful, easy to reach, but for mysterious reasons is off the grid. One reason for this may be the potential for trespassing on private land. However, if you pay attention to and follow my directions closely, you will stay entirely on public land on this hike.
Begin the hike at the aforementioned point on Timpson Creek Road, about 1.1 miles from the south entrance to the road. From the small pullout, a faint path leads down to Timpson Creek. At the creek, bear left and ford Timpson Creek. During the drought conditions that were present on this day, the ford was only knee-deep at the the deepest point. However, Timpson Creek is a large creek, and during normal winter and spring water levels, the crossing will be deeper. On the other side of Timpson Creek, pick up a wide and well-used old forest road that follows the east side of Timpson Creek. Simply follow this forest road, which stays nearly level or rises slightly. There is one blowdown closer to the beginning, but for the most part, the forest road is maintained well. There are some views of Timpson Creek throughout the hike, but generally, the road stays well above the creek. At 0.6 miles, the road makes a gradual bend to the east just as the creek does the same. Then, at 0.7 miles, reach a well-used steep path leaving to the left down to the creek. A big roar is audible in the creek down below - you're hearing Timpson Creek Falls. Please do not continue on the forest road, as it enters private land shortly thereafter; instead, turn left onto the path that leads to the falls. The path is steep but manageable. In about 200 feet, reach the bottom near the creek. Turn right here, and following the obvious route, reach Timpson Creek Falls at 0.75 miles.
Timpson Creek Falls is a beauty! The waterfall is about 40 feet high and the creek falls down in a single drop into a beautiful rhododendron-lined pool. There are good views of the falls from the side and from the front. While the waterfall is on private land, the boundary crosses the falls, so the viewing area in front of and on the south side of the falls is on public land. Do not wander any further, however, and do not cross the creek, as the north side is entirely private. From Timpson Creek Falls, simply retrace your steps back to the trailhead. The climb back up to the forest road is tough but short, and once you catch your breath at the top, the rest of the hike is a breeze. You will conclude the hike at 1.5 miles.
0.0 - Timpson Creek Road
0.75 - Timpson Creek Falls
1.5 - Timpson Creek Road
Several short waterfall hikes are available nearby. Two of them are to Angelica Falls on Plumorchard Creek and to two waterfalls on Moccasin Creek. In fact, I did both of these hikes in addition to Timpson Creek Falls on the same day.
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