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Less than an hour from Ellijay or Chatsworth, Emery Creek Falls is a beautiful hike through historic logging areas leading to a two-part waterfall deep in the forest.
It's perfect for the entire family, including the dog.
Summertime offers the best weather to visit the falls, but they are still accessible year-round. The hike begins at a trailhead along Old CCC Camp Road, a sign before a switchback on the road denotes the pull-off.
Several river access points near the trailhead make it a popular summer swimming hole as well.
Look for green rectangular blazes that lead to the start of the Emery Creek Trail. The start of the hike is the most rugged, following a tight trail that borders the river from above.
Quickly after, you'll reach a junction where two small streams merge to one.
Hike to the top of the large boulder in the river and enjoy its vantage point before continuing up the trail to the to the left.
After this point, there are several creek crossings that will require you to get your feet wet.
Following heavy rain, some can be dangerous to negotiate.
About halfway to the falls, the trail merges onto an old abandoned roadbed.
Look around and you'll notice several ancient and rusted pieces of machinery in a clearing.
If you want to turn this into an overnight trip, this is a great spot to set up a tent. Ahead, the path makes a final push to the lower falls.
Less than 2.5 miles in, a trail junction points left to the falls.
The lower falls is a beautiful 60' waterfall into a lower pool - another excellent swimming hole.
Many unsuspecting hikers stop here not realizing the upper falls is just above.
A well-traveled side trail to the right of the lower falls leads to the upper.
Equally impressive as the first, the water flows over several rock ledges before plummeting down a sheer rock face and into a shallow pool.