New trails
Rottenwood Creek Trail
Noonday Creek Trail, Woodstock
Big Creek Greenway Alpharetta Section 2
More new trails...
Recently updated
Eyes on Wildlife Trail
AT Woody Gap to Neels Gap
Dockery Lake Trail
More changed trails... Quick links
The Appalachian Trail
Trails with waterfalls
Scenic Trails
Trails by City
Trails by County
Trails by Name
Find a trail
Trail Groups
About North Georgia

Go hiking with Backpacker Magazine
Backpacker Magazine

Search Georgia


Duluth Massage

Tumbling Waters Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 1.7 miles Type of trail: In and out
County: Gilmer County, GA Our rating: E
Features: waterfalls, lake, historic Your rating:
Usage: Light Added on: July 14, 2000
Last hiked: July 14, 2010 Updated on: December 03, 2010
About these ratings
Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Gilmer County, GA

Directions to Tumbling Waters Trail

This trail climbs to Tumbling Waters, where it crosses the creek. The other side contains numerous trails that offer a look into the history of the area around Carters Lake.

Tumbling Waters
Falling about 75 feet in a series of cascades, Tails Creek flows to Carters Lake
Before we walk a trail, we check for other material about the hike. Whether the information is from the Forest Service, the Corps of Engineers, a local CVB, or one of the great books on hiking in the north Georgia mountains, there is almost always detailed information about a footpath. However, on this trail, none of the printed material covers the historical interest of this treadway that is painfully apparent to even amateur history buffs.

Entering at the marked trailhead in the boat ramp parking area, the treadway wraps around a ridge, about halfway between the lake and the top of the ridge on a steep hillside. The wide footpath crosses two small bridges (over normally dry creeks) on the approach to Tails Creek, then crosses it on a bridge about fifty feet above the falls. Before the bridge a side path leads to an overlook up the mountain.

After the bridge the trail splits and the entire peninsula can be explored on foot. To reach the second overlook, climb the stairs, then circle around, following the now well-marked path. On the left is a foot and a half deep square indentation where the millwheel for sawmill turned. The trail turns right and enters the a deep, V-shaped cut in the earth, the sluice for the sawmill. An early 20th century logging road crosses the sluice at a 45 degree angle about half-way up to the falls.

Shortly after the logging road the path leaves the sluice. The overlook is ahead on the right down a short, steep flight of stairs. Tails Creek tumbles to Carters Lake in a series of cascades. These short bursts of water create a lot of noise, even in times of drought. From the falls paths allow you to explore the peninsula down to the lake.

As we looked at the mill, I told my wife we needed to find an old road at the ridge, probably near the entrance to the park. On returning to the start of the paved road we not only found the old road but a trail tree to boot. The trail is obvious at .2 miles, (especially in the winter) from the start of the pavement to the left, and the trail tree is directly across the road (right-hand side as you enter the park).


Pages related to Tumbling Waters Trail
Tumbling Waters Trail
Directions to Tumbling Waters Trail
Add a link to Tumbling Waters Trail

Georgia Hikes
Your guide to hiking and walking trails in the state of Georgia

Georgia Trails
Georgia Trails Index
Add link from your web site to Tumbling Waters Trail