Toccoa Falls

Toccoa, Georgia, USA

About Toccoa Falls

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Date first visited: 2012-10-14
Date last visited: 2012-10-14

Waterfall Latitude: 34.59625
Waterfall Longitude: -83.36032

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Toccoa Falls is a pretty 186ft plunging waterfall nestled deep within the Toccoa Falls campus.

Julie particularly liked this waterfall as it had a classical long rectangular shape as well as pretty good flow during our visit in October 2012.

Toccoa_Falls_033_20121014 - Toccoa Falls with a couple approaching its plunge pool
Toccoa Falls with a couple approaching its plunge pool

However, I have seen photos of this waterfall not doing so well with lower water flow so perhaps we were lucky.

Experiencing Toccoa Falls

The very easy short walk to the waterfall began behind the Toccoa Falls Books & Gifts store where we had to pay a $2 per person admission within the store in order to proceed through to the back.

The peak of the Autumn colors hadn’t arrived yet during our visit, but there were some leaves starting to change color nonetheless, which added to the scenic allure of the trail and the falls itself.

While large boulders obscured the base of the Toccoa Falls as seen from the trail, we were able to do some additional scrambling to improve our view.

Toccoa_Falls_046_20121014 - Looking right at the Toccoa Falls from the edge of its plunge pool
Looking right at the Toccoa Falls from the edge of its plunge pool

More specifically, we managed to scramble onto some of these boulders to get right up to the very large plunge pool fronting Toccoa Falls.

We’re not sure if you could swim in the pool or not, but I’m sure it would be a very inviting spot on a hot Summer’s day.

There also seemed to be a little bit of a romantic appeal here as we saw quite a few couples just chilling out around the Toccoa Falls.

In addition, there were also artists here painting their perspective and interpretation of the scene.

Tragedies at Toccoa Falls

Toccoa_Falls_029_20121014 - Sign by the Toccoa Falls naming the people who have lost their lives during the dam break incident in 1977
Sign by the Toccoa Falls naming the people who have lost their lives during the dam break incident in 1977

Speaking of the romantic theme, we learned from a brochure that we picked up here describing a tragic Cherokee legend involving the forbidden love between a princess named Toccoa and the chief of a hostile tribe whose name was Wild Waters.

In addition to the Romeo-and-Juliet-like legends, a different tragedy occurred here in 1977.

That was when a dam broke and suddenly released a lot of water sweeping away many people.

We noticed a memorial containing the names of the people who died here during that flash flood.

And it was heartbreaking to see how many common last names were listed on the memorial indicating that families were decimated during the event.


Toccoa Falls resides in the campus of the Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa in Stephens County, Georgia. It is administered by the Toccoa Falls College. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Toccoa_Falls_025_20121014 - Looking ahead at the gift shop building from the parking lot within the Toccoa Falls campus
Toccoa_Falls_026_20121014 - After passing through the gift shop, we then went on a short walk to the front of Toccoa Falls
Toccoa_Falls_027_20121014 - Looking across the Toccoa Creek downstream from the waterfall
Toccoa_Falls_028_20121014 - Julie continuing on the walkway alongside the stream leading up to the Toccoa Falls
Toccoa_Falls_038_20121014 - People chilling out in front of Toccoa Falls
Toccoa_Falls_043_20121014 - Large boulders fronting the base of the Toccoa Falls
Toccoa_Falls_049_20121014 - Last look back at the Toccoa Falls, where it seemed like faculty got in on the act of enjoying the waterfall

Toccoa Falls College was within the town of Toccoa.

We drove here from Minnehaha Falls so the specific directions were given for that route on that page.

Once we made it to the of Toccoa, we then drove north on Broad St towards Falls Rd, which became Hwy 17-Alt.

After about a mile, we turned left onto Forest Dr, which weaved its way into the Toccoa Falls College campus.

We next followed this road towards a large parking area (I think the college called this section Gate Cottage).

This parking lot was where the gift shop fronting Toccoa Falls was located.

Toccoa was 50 miles (over an hour drive) north of Athens, Georgia, 70 miles (over an hour drive) southwest of Greenville, South Carolina and 94 miles (90 minutes drive) northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.

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Right to left sweep along the stream of the falls from the main viewing area

Bottom up sweep of the falls as seen from the rocks at the plunge pool

Very slow and deliberate bottom up sweep of the falls from the main viewing area

Tagged with: toccoa, stephens, georgia, waterfall, college, athens, atlanta, south carolina

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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