Tallulah Gorge State Park is a special Georgia Park! This canyon is about 1000 feet deep, and two miles long. I hiked the canyon once before I was married. I remember sprawling out on a bench afterwards, thinking I would die for sure. I was hiking in jeans, and it was the middle of summer. Not too smart. Until recently I avoided this park with my small kiddos – probably because of that memory. However, we were in the area recently, and I am so glad we stopped in.
There are several rim trails that are fun and easy for kids. We were able to see into the canyon, watch a neat video at the welcome center, see the towers used by Wallenda when he tightrope-walked across, and more. Older kids might enjoy walking half-way down to the suspension bridge (pictured below,) and the athletes among you can walk to the floor (just be sure to register to do this – it’s free.)
The highlight of the rim hike is crossing the suspension bridge that sways 80 feet above the rocky bottom. This hike is not for the faint of heart. There are about 300 steps down and then of course, another 300 back up. Remember if you have small children to add their weight to your pack, as you will likely be carrying them at least part of the way.
It’s worth it though, the Gorge is beautiful. Our latest trip was in the summer, but as you can imagine, the fall is beautiful too. The Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center is a great starting point and offers lots of information about the Gorge’s history as a Victorian resort town, as well as examples of the wildlife and ecology that current call the Gorge home.
On the way back to Atlanta, we stopped to pick peaches just off off the highway. The apple season starts in September and there are several orchards close by.
Most of Georgia’s state parks have interesting ranger lead programs. Bring your bathing suit and cool off at Sliding Rock, a natural rock slide. You’ll also find family canoe outings certain times of the year. Tallulah Gorge staff lead a group of canoers around Tullulah Lake talking about unique features and doing a little fishing.