Featuring one of the most impressive canyons in the eastern United States, Tallulah Gorge State Park is a must-visit for all RV lovers looking to enjoy a mountain getaway. Consisting of over 2,700 acres, the park was established in 1993, but visitors have flocked to the area since the late 1800s to see Georgia's natural beauty.
The main attraction for visitors to the park is the gorge, which is 1,000 feet deep and has eight stunning waterfalls. Stretching for two miles from the Tallulah Lake Dam to Lake Tugaloo, the gorge has many recreational opportunities available. It is perfect for visitors looking for a quick photo opportunity from one of the many viewpoints along the gorge rim, or those who want to venture to the bottom and get your feet wet. You can also go swimming in Lake Tallulah, hiking, or rock climbing within the park.
Tallulah Gorge State Park is quite unique in that some activities depend on the scheduled water release into the gorge. Water flows are controlled, which means sometimes there will be class IV-V river rapids and a stunning bedrock hiking path on others. The main visitor attraction is the breathtaking 200-foot suspension bridge leading to a viewing platform at Hurricane Falls. Full access to the gorge floor requires a mixture of planning, and good luck as only 100 permits are issued each day on a first-come, first-served basis. The gorge is also closed for planned water releases and whenever the forecast hints at rain.
Tallulah George State Park has one campground with 50 sites suitable for RVs up to 50 feet in length. The campground is near the park’s interpretive center, and all sites are also equipped with water and electrical hookups. The park is open all year round with peak season running from April until October.
Navigating to Tallulah Gorge State Park in your RV is very straightforward due to its location right off the US 441 Highway. This is the only road that will take you to the park, and although it is curvy, there are no significant hills or challenges to getting to the park.
You should stock up on supplies before you get to the Tallulah Falls area, as there are no grocery stores in this small town. On the way up the mountain from the south, you can stop at Clarksville (around 14 miles away), Cornelia (around 22 miles away), or Clayton (around 11 miles away) if you are driving from the north. Athens is the closest major city to the park and is 65 miles south.
All rigs that are 50 feet in length or under will have no trouble driving in and out of Tallulah Gorge State Park, but there is one hairpin corner in the campground to maneuver around. The park should still be accessible during the winter months, but if you are concerned about the weather conditions, you can call ahead to the park office.
For those visiting the park for the day, there are plenty of parking options for you to choose from, including at the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center and the Terrora Day-Use Area.
Terrora Campground at Tallulah Gorge State Park is the place to stay if you want to set up camp in your RV. There are 50 RV-friendly sites for you to choose from, all of which are equipped with water and electric hookups that offer both 30- and 50-amp service. Two host sites also include sewer connections as well.
You will be able to choose between back-in and pull-through sites, the latter of which are suitable for rigs up to 50 feet in length. Most of the campground is shaded from the sun thanks to its location in a forested area. Each campsite comes equipped with a picnic table, fire ring, and a paved area.
Most of the sites will have to be leveled, so keep that in mind before booking a site. If you have a larger rig these sites will be close together and may feel a bit cramped if you need to extend multiple slide-outs to settle in. There is no Wi-Fi provided, but cell coverage is good for most providers. Sites are available for up to 14 days, and reservations are recommended before your arrival.
You will be able to stay at any of the unreserved sites if you arrive and they are not already taken. This may be risky to do during the peak season since the campground can get quite busy, but during the winter months first-come, first-served camping should be achievable.
For those staying at one of the tent-only sites, they are also available if they aren't reserved, but since there are only a handful of these sites it will be harder to secure a spot without a reservation.
If you aren't traveling in your RV but still plan on visiting Tallulah Gorge State Park there are some great tent camping options for you to enjoy. There are three backcountry camping sites suitable for up to 15 people, all of which are hike-in only. Each site contains an Adirondack shelter to escape the elements but there are no other amenities available.
Visiting with a larger group? The Pioneer Campsite is perfect for traveling groups for up to 25 people who don't mind being away from the standard amenities that the main campsite offers. There is also one Adirondack shelter that is suitable for up to three large tents. All of the tent camping options at Tallulah Gorge State Park can be reserved up to 13 months in advance.
Line up early for one of 100 access passes to the Gorge, issued by the visitor center each day. Entering the gorge should be on your must-see list during your to the park, but you will have to secure a free pass that is limited to 100 people a day. In order to get to the gorge, you will have to trek down the long stairs to the Hurricane Falls Bridge and keep going all the way to the bottom. Follow the rocks along the edge of the gorge for around a quarter of a mile to Bridal Vale Falls. Good footwear is mandatory since this route is wet, slippery, steep and difficult.
Another great hike to do is the Hurricane Falls Trail Loop. Accessible from the campground via the Tallulah Gorge Rim Trail, you will descend 310 steps to the suspension bridge and then a further 220 steps down to the must-see Hurricane Falls viewing platform. This loop is around two miles in length and is quite challenging due to containing as many steps as a 40 story building. Because of this, it is recommended that only experienced hikers attempt it.
The easiest place to go swimming at Tallulah Gorge State Park is at the Tallulah Lake. Located a short walk from the campground at the Terrora Day Use Area is a sandy beach on the banks of Tallulah Lake. The area is roped off to protect swimmers from watercraft on the lake but the beach is not patrolled by a lifeguard. You can also go swimming at the Gorge, but this requires lining up early for a pass and hiking Bridal Veil Falls.
Looking to learn more about the local flora and fauna? The Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center is well worth stopping by during your visit to the park. The Interpretive Center features an award-winning film highlighting the historical, cultural, and natural significance of the Tallulah Falls Gorge. You will also be able to learn the history of the area, including the founding of a nearby Victorian Resort and the construction of a major railroad, which used to bring tourists from all over the region. There are also restrooms, a gift shop, and a classroom space for visitors to enjoy.
The unique geology of Tallulah Gorge makes it an exciting destination for traditional-style rock climbing. Difficult, multi-pitch routes like Digital Delight and Mescaline Daydream will keep you entertained all day long. Bring lots of chalk and anchors - the quartzite is exceptionally tough and slippery. Late fall and early spring are ideal, but you’ll have to carefully schedule around water releases. Summer sun hits the climbing routes head-on. The park issues 20 climbing passes a day, however, it is rare for the rock climbing passes to be sold out.
Kayaking enthusiasts have been braving the rapids at Tallulah for many years and during your visit, you will also get the chance to take them on. It’s 592 stairs down to the kayak launch area, so make sure your legs are ready for a workout. The rapids here require experience since they contain class IV and V rapids. Paddlers will be rewarded with one and a half miles of flat-water across Tugalo Lake on the way to the pull-out. Water releases are in April and November and are well attended