Raven Cliffs Trail to Dodd Creek Falls


As you’re driving along the Richard B. Russell Scenic Byway (Georgia Route 348), you’ll come across several great hiking opportunities.  The most popular is likely the Raven Cliffs Trail, a 5-mile round-trip to a waterfall that pours through a narrow crack in a rock wall.  I didn’t make it all the way to the end of the trail, but I did go far enough to visit one of the prettiest waterfalls I’ve ever photographed: Dodd Creek Falls, about 1.5 miles in.

Let’s start at the beginning…

… at this dirt road, just off Route 348.

There’s a trailhead here…

… and it’s easy to spot the start of the Raven Cliffs Trail.  Plunge into the woods…

… and you’ll find a well-maintained and easy-to-follow path that follows Dodd Creek.  Some of the trail is flat, but parts of it require an uphill climb.

Watch for some fun fungus along the way…

… and create a few cairns with river rocks, along the banks of Dodd Creek.

It’s a peaceful, relaxing walk through the woods, densely forested, but with a few wide-open spots like this one.

You’ll pass some small, picturesque rapids, but the big attraction is still ahead!

About a mile and a half into the hike, I came upon Dodd Creek Falls.  What an impressive waterfall!

The waterfall has a tall upper cascade, followed by some smaller drops and tumbles down a rocky slide.

There are plenty of different ways to photograph it — just bring a tripod and wander around for a while.  You will have to climb down a slope from the main trail, but the path is rather obvious and only a little difficult.

Since it was getting late in the day, and the forest was already growing shadowy and feeling lonely, I decided not to hike on to Raven Cliffs.  From the photos I’ve seen, I don’t think Raven Cliffs Falls can be easily photographed.  It also helped to know that I had already shot one great waterfall on this hike.

By the time I returned to the parking lot, it was empty, except for my car.  If I had continued on to Raven Cliffs, I would have been all alone.

You’ll find the Raven Cliffs trailhead along Highway 348, about 3.6 miles from the Route 75A turnoff.

Another nearby waterfall is Dukes Creek Falls. You’ll see the trailhead for the Dukes Creek Trail shortly before Raven Cliffs. Dukes Creek Falls requires a 1.9 mile round-trip down, then back up, a set of switchbacks.

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