The Towering Toccoa Falls in North Georgia

Written by Jason Barnette
Posted on February 21, 2018

Toccoa Falls is the tallest free falling waterfall on the east coast, located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College just outside the small town of Toccoa, Georgia. Did you get all that? It’s a nice place to visit and spend an hour or two while exploring the North Georgia Mountains.

The waterfall is 186′ tall, making it twenty feet taller than Niagara Falls and forty feet taller than Ruby Falls. The water flows over a rocky ledge and spills into a shallow pool at the bottom, forming a creek that meanders through the college campus.

College officials have always kept the waterfall open to the public, but it’s still a mostly hidden destination in this corner of Georgia. The day I visited I found I had the entire place to myself except for a few minutes when two college students hopped across the boulder and splashed in the water before quickly running away again. College life.

Toccoa Falls on the campus of Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA on Monday, June 12, 2017. Copyright 2017 Jason Barnette

The view approaching the falls from the Gate Cottage. Be sure to read the memorial on the left when you visit.

The waterfall is also an incredibly popular destination for weddings. The manager of the Gate Cottage Gift Shop, where you pay admission to the waterfall, showed me an event calendar with nearly every weekend for months booked for weddings.

It’s only a five minute leisure walk from the gift shop to the waterfall along a maintained path. At the base of the falls giant boulders create a natural barrier that naturally everyone seems to crawl across to get to the water. There are a few benches if you just want to sit back and enjoy the scenery like I did.

The gift shop isn’t bad to peruse, either. It’s a college gift shop so everything inside is themed for the Toccoa Falls College students. You have to pay an admission to get through the gift shop to the waterfall.

Not much to do other than sit at a bench or hop on a boulder and enjoy the view for awhile. I haven’t yet confirmed this is the tallest free falling waterfall on the east coast but who cares about records? This was an awesome waterfall to see whether or not it holds the record.

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