|Trail Length: 0.6 miles||Type of trail: Loop|
|County: Rabun County, GA||Our rating: Moderate|
|Features: waterfalls, picnicking, historic, camping||Your rating:|
|Usage: Light||Added on: October 18, 2005|
|Last hiked: October 08, 2005||Updated on: December 20, 2010|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Rabun County, GA
Warwoman Dell has a history. The small Forest Service park was the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in the 1930's that focused on reforesting the surrounding areas and building parks with camping areas like Warwoman Dell. But the history of the dell extends well past the CCC. People like to argue for which "Warwoman" the dell is named after. Two women became famous for being Warwomen in Georgia. First was Nancy Hart, a Revolutionary War era woman who may have fought at the Battle of Kettle Creek with her husband and sons. Second is Nancy Ward, a "beloved woman" of the Cherokee Nation also known as Warwoman. She was very powerful in the Cherokee clan rule, for she was the last Warwoman in the East. When the Cherokee chiefs voted to go to war, it could only happen if the Warwoman approved.
Within Warwoman Dell is a short nature trail loop that takes you to some of the highlights in the park, including a small portion of the roadbed of the railroad that John C. Calhoun wanted to build from Charleston, South Carolina to Cincinnati, Ohio before the The Civil War, although work stopped on the track well before the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter (Charleston). Then, in the 1930's, the CCC built a camp here. No remains of the camp buildings exist (they were modular wooden structures and were transported elsewhere to be used as barracks during World War II). A series of stone structures, identified as trout hatcheries by a sign in the park is the only remnants of the CCC at Warwoman Dell.
Two distinct trails mark the hike to Becky Branch Falls. Becky Branch runs through Warwoman Dell, under a bridge just past the first parking lot. The climb to Warwoman Dell Road is on the Bartram Trail, just past the trout hatchery on the right. A marker notes the entrance to the trail. The sharp climb to the road is eased by a couple of well-done switchbacks, but these may be difficult if you have a fear of heights. If they are problematic you may not want to continue because the drop both the Bartram Trail and Becky Branch Falls Trail is worse.
Once on the road you have a choice: climb the Becky Branch Falls Trail, almost directly in front of you across the road, or walk down the road to the frequently obscured entrance to the Bartram Trail on the other side of the stream. It is easily located a few steps past the culvert at the deep end of a small cove. Becky Branch Trail is a dead climb to the falls, which is the way we normally go, but the Bartram Trail has a couple of switchbacks that make the climb easier. This narrative is told as a loop hiking the Becky Branch Trail first.
When you enter the forest the gentle gurgle of the stream takes over, creating a pleasant backdrop to the short hike up an old logging road. The mountainsides are covered with a typical north Georgia hardwood mix including some white oak and hickory while the valley is filled with rhododendron. About halfway the trail bears left and narrows as Becky Branch rises to the trail. The noise of the waterfall drowns out all other noise as the trail turns right and drops to a wooden bridge that also serves as an excellent viewing platform for these bi-level falls.
Continue across the bridge to return on the Bartram Trail. Turn right on this wide-well done trail that winds through Rabun County in north Georgia for 37 miles. When you come out on Warwoman Dell Road turn left and watch for a historic marker on the left marking the Bartram Trail entrance to Warwoman Dell park.
Your guide to hiking and walking trails in the state of Georgia
Battle of Kettle Creek
Civilian Conservation Corps
John C. Calhoun
The Civil War