We have been up there previously as it is a reasonable drive from Tampa or a quick flight to Atlanta. This time we rented a house in Sky Valley that was about 3 hours from Atlanta by rental car. It was right on the border with North Carolina.
I flew into Atlanta, late after work, got the car and headed out. My Garmin GPS came in handy as it was dark and raining the whole way to the house.
The final road into the country club where the house was located was so covered with fallen leaves it was hard to tell where the road was & wasn’t. But I made it there after midnite and hit my bed with anticipation for the next day!
A couple of my housemates had arrived earlier so they had done some scouting. Our first stop was not too far from Sky Valley.
It was still raining but if you have ever gone out to shoot waterfalls, you will know that rain and overcast is the best time for waterfall photography! The sun shining requires a many-stop Neutral Density Filter and you end up with big swings in dynamic range. So we were a bit wet but happy!
This morning it was foggy and raining! But, as always, we made the best of the situation. The fog began to lift as we made our way toward the first falls on our to-do list.
We stopped along the way at an old general store that had some interesting old signs. And the fall colors were amazing!
Anna Ruby Falls
We drove on through the rain to Anna Ruby Falls. This is one of my favorite North Georgia waterfalls. The trail is paved and it is not too steep. It is long but that gives you all kinds of image opportunities as the trail goes along the stream that is coming from the falls.
I was using a Singh Ray Variable ND filter and my tripod so that I could slow the shutter speed down in order to get that nice silky water flow.
It took me a long time to get near the actual big waterfall as I ended up stopping about every 10 feet to shoot something else that caught my eye!
But finally, I could hear the roar of the main falls over the sound of all the water going by me.
I walked over a wooden bridge and up a short trail along the back to the deck that is below the twin falls. The noise was incredible!
On the way back down, I was looking for a pool where I could get a swirl of leaves or foam. I finally found a spot and took about 30 long exposures. Got it!
Mud Creek Falls
The next day we went to a falls not far from the house in Sky Valley, Mud Creek Falls.
Deep Creek, NC
From there we headed to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ended up at Deep Creek up in NC. The colors here, a bit further north, were amazing.
The trail led up to Indian Creek Falls.
Lake Rabun Waterfalls
The next morning we got up very early to go to a couple falls we had heard a lot about that were along Lake Rabun.
Along the way, we saw a large lake that was covered with fog. We quickly stopped the cars and all ran down to the lake. As we were shooting this amazing site, a boat came out of the fog. Always fun to add the human element!
Along Lake Rabun Road, we took a fairly long trailhead (closer parking area was closed) and found Panther Falls. We stayed there for a while to play with various angles and distances from the falls.
From there we had to do some major slow driving along the other shore of Lake Rabun on a very narrow unpaved road but it was worth it! We came upon the trailhead for what turned out to be my favorite North Georgia waterfalls, Minnehaha Falls. The trail is fairly short and the climb is moderate. Lots of rocks and roots. This falls is not terribly tall but is somewhat wide. The pool at the base is somewhat shallow with many different places to shoot from.
We had arrived just as the sun was peaking over the ridge!
I tried some different angles and got closer and then I saw what turned out to be my favorite image of the whole trip!
This one is hanging on my wall in metal! It is gorgeous!
Tullulah Gorge State Park
We made a final stop at Tallulah Gorge, which is huge. There is a dam and sometimes they open the water up and let kayakers go down it. Yikes! This is a very large state park and it is very crowded.
The next day we left for home after a rainy but very successful North Georgia autumn waterfall adventure!
For larger images and prints please click any image or go to my Gallery where you can see these and other images.
Cannot wait to come back in the spring to check these falls out after the snowmelt!
That is all for now.