If you’d like to view two waterfalls, and take a peaceful walk through the woods, pull off at DeSoto Falls. DeSoto Falls Scenic Area is located on US Highway 19, about 14 miles north of Dahlonega, Georgia, and 22 miles south of Blairsville.
As soon as you set out from the trailhead at De Soto Falls, you have a choice: a shorter path (1/4 mile) leads to the lower falls, while a longer path (3/4 mile) leads to the upper falls. I chose to head towards the lower falls.
The lower falls were merely a trickle during my visit–something I’m sure would change after a heavy rain. Reaching the falls is relatively easy, although this is about as close as you can get. Unfortunately, there’s no place to stand where some tree limbs aren’t partially blocking the view.
I briefly considered taking the longer trail as well, but decided against it, since it was starting to get late in the day. From what I’ve heard, the upper falls are taller and more impressive. I’ve also read that there is a third set of falls, but the access trail has been closed. I can’t confirm that, since I only visited the lower falls.
No matter which trail you take, you’ll enjoy scenes like this. It’s easy to lose yourself in the woods here, without actually getting lost.
Don’t forget to look straight up, and take in the dense foliage above.
By the late afternoon, light was streaming into the forest only in a few patches.
Note: This trip was first published in 2006.