Height: 186 feet
Trail Type: Gravel
Hike Distance: 100 yards
Toccoa Falls is located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College in the town of Toccoa Falls (it’s kind of a big deal around there). The public is welcome to visit the falls, but you have to pay a couple of dollars to see it. You don’t really expect to see a waterfall here, especially one of this magnitude, but all of a sudden, there it is – a huge freefall over a brown rock ledge that slopes inward, allowing the stream to freely crash into a pool at the bottom. There are several huge boulders at the base to climb out on and sit, but if you bring a bathing suit (or don’t mind getting your pants wet) you can easily get right up next to the falls.
In 1977, the dam above Toccoa Falls burst after a week of nonstop rain. In a matter of minutes, 176 million gallons of water surged through the campus of Toccoa Falls College, killing 39 people, all of whom were college personnel who lived near the creek in the path of the tsunami. The dam was not rebuilt.
From the intersection of US 123 and GA highway 17A in Toccoa, head north on GA 17A for 1.6 miles and turn left onto Kincaid Drive. After a half-mile, bear left onto Forrest Drive and park at the end of the road.
Enter the Gate Cottage, which acts as the bookstore and gift shop for the college, pay the fee, and walk out the back door. The short gravel trail leads directly to the base of the falls.