The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
-Psalm 19:1

Do you know that God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
-Job 37:15

Monday, October 06, 2008

Finding the perfect falls in Georgia to have a wedding!

First of all, if anyone ever tells you that they plan to explore 11 north Georgia waterfalls from 7AM Saturday until 2PM Sunday in early October, you can go ahead and tell them that I said, "No way!!" We sure did have the best of intentions, but we were exceptionally over-ambitious. Jack Anthony probably laughed heartily when he read our plans, but he was polite enough to let us figure it out on our own. That's not to say that we did not have a spectacular time because we most certainly did!

As I mentioned the fun actually started during the planning process. We did a tremendous amount of planning and research to narrow down our list of north Georgia waterfalls for consideration as THE PERFECT WEDDING SPOT. A huge thank you to all of our friends and family who offered great suggestions and information regarding our trip. It started out Friday afternoon. We headed up the road to stay with my wonderful groom to be (gtb)'s sister, just north of Atlanta, but on the way, we stopped to check out "High Falls" (not sure where that name came from--it's anything but high), just south of Atlanta. With a very unimpressive trickle feeding into it, we didn't bother with much of a stop, didn't even take pics there. Then, we were on our way to gtb's sister's house. Thanks so much gtb's sister, for letting us stay with you!!! We awoke Saturday morning and headed to the local bagel shop for some sustenance for our big waterfall adventure. Then we were on our way. Our first stop was Amicalola Falls. On our way though, we came across a HUGE llama farm, where there were babies. Of course, we had to stop... I'm wondering if it's these little impossible-to-pass-up detours (Hey, it's a Dew thing) that keep us from accomplishing everything we set out to do. We headed on to Amicalola Falls after that. I have to tell you, gtb did a great job of plotting our route, so it was very easy to travel from one to another.

Amicalola Falls: Well, we hiked up a trail (oh my goodness, are my calves on fire now, or what?! Ugh!) to the "base of the falls", where we saw a slight cascade behind us, ... barely catching a glimpse from there of the greater and much more magnificent upper falls up above us, a decent gathering of folks on the platform and a choice... climb the 100 something stairs to the viewing platform above or drive up. We drove. We had too much on our schedule to waste unnecessary time climbing. We arrived at the higher level and took the short, nice rubbery hike across to the observation foot bridge, which was the best viewing spot for the falls. The problem was that everyone else thought so too. It was crowded, but beautiful. That being the top choice on the list before the trip though, I got a little anxious that we wouldn't get "the feeling" about "the one". (Just a side note, the drought has really impacted the falls of north Georgia powerfully. They weren't nearly as beautiful as their potential.) We left the observation bridge and didn't even consider climbing the 400 some-odd steps to the top of the falls. We drove. The view of the mountains up there was breath-taking, we snapped a few shots and headed to our next spot... Dahlonega. Dahlonega: Gtb and I were both taken aback by the small town charm of Dahlonega, GA. What a quaint little town with such a warm spirit. We loved it and quickly decided that it might be the perfect spot to spend our first days as a married couple together. While there, we were able to attend Jack Anthony's art show at the Hummingbird Lane Art Gallery, where he featured 40 of his amazing waterfall prints. We chatted with him briefly, thanked him for all his help in offering up some of his expertise which was instrumental in planning our trip. Congrats on the exhibit, Jack. You do tremendous work! Of course, while we were there, we got his coffee table falls book that I told you about, which he personalized with a kind message to us... and of course... you know me... While we were there, he told us about his absolute favorite Georgia waterfall, which ironically was the next stop on our tour.

Dicks Creek Falls: We arrived at Dicks Creek Falls and at first went to the shoals above the main falls, without fully realizing it wasn't all there was...... thinking that perhaps the water level had hurt the falls... There was a group of people there (all together) swimming in the wading pool and having a good time. It was beautiful but not breath-taking... at that point, I thought we were in big trouble, that is until one of the swimmers told us about the main falls around the bend. We walked up and around and when we came down on the other side... We just looked at each other and beamed... we had found our wedding spot!I, of course, took 10,000 (give or take) pics there. We LOVED it! We knew immediately that it was our wedding spot, just two falls into our chase (YAHOO!), we had found the perfect wedding spot. The hike was easy, relatively private, GORGEOUS! Who could ask for anything more? Gtb and I will be married at Dicks Creek Falls!
Well, after the rush of finding the perfect spot, we were able to take a more leisurely and enjoyable route around the Chattahoochee National Forest, seeking out falls for comparison against Dicks Creek Falls...

DeSoto Falls (Lumpkin County): The hike to Desoto Falls was decent. My calves didn't start burning until the next day... it was a mostly up-hill, 3/4 of a mile hike. The platform used to observe the falls was slightly crowded, and the falls, though magnificent in their cascading dance have been struck hard by the drought. We got someone to snap our picture (not a photographer)... and it turned out really blurred, so I am not sharing it here.

Helton Creek Falls: A truly magnificent falls with a decent path leading to both the lower and the upper falls. This falls has also been struck hard by the drought as well and failed in comparison to Dicks Creek Falls, but I loved the waterfall drop down to the pool, which offered a wonderful rocky terrain below. A nearby observation platform would have been ideal for guests as we could have performed our nuptials on the nearby rocks closer to the falls. It didn't come close to topping Dicks Creek Falls though...At this point, we were running out of day light. As we raced to our last stop for the day (our 5th falls after eliminating Duke's Creek/Blue Shoals/High Shoals Creek for the hikes involved), we realized that twilight was breathing heavily down our necks. Then, we took a wrong turn and ended up at Lake Hiawassee, where we got some amazing shots of the lake with the mountain back-drop, and we were able to drive right up to the water's edge! So, we decided to save Denton Branch Falls for the morning, and instead headed up to Franklin, NC, where we had an AMAZING dinner at the Caffe Rel, which is located in the Hot Spot gas station. Go figure... ignore outward appearances (and the restroom) and stop by if you are ever in the area; the food was truly devine! They even put orchids (my FAVORITE flowers) on the entrees to enhance the appearance. We went from there to gtb's aunt and uncles cabin, near our proposal spot (Dry Falls), stayed the night and woke up sore, snoozed a while and finally got on our way. After a quick stop at the City Restaurant in Franklin, we headed back down to Clayton, GA, to make our turn and head toward Denton Branch Falls (stopping for scenery and gtb's favorite, yates apples along the way).
Denton Branch Falls: (our last stop)Tate City's best kept secret... I'm sorry, where? Yes, Tate City. You have to mean to go there... the town exists on a stretch of the unmarked Forest Service Road 70. What a ride though... You drive alongside the branch through a winding gravel road with heavy canopy and cascading falls and shoals throughout. Fishermen gathered at several spots all decked out in gear. It was almost like that movie "A River Runs through It". It was wonderful, and I am so glad we chose to do it with sufficient daylight as opposed to racing daylight to get there.... for more than one reason. You see, as it turns out... Denton Branch Road is less a road, more of an unmarked trail off the side of FS70 at about 6.4 miles. You drive down the trail until you can't drive anymore, travel on foot across the branch (be cautious about the green rocks; they're slick!)... and follow the trail up-hill 300 yards into the woods alongside the branch. We got especially nervous when we stumbled upon bear droppings and foot prints... yikes. (I made it small, so you would click on it, to see the footprint). It wasn't a bad hike, except for nerves. The reward at the end though... my, my. Spectacular!In that last shot, I was cracking up... you see, in those poses, he was holding me out of the shallow branch, so I wouldn't get soaked. In that last shot, we didn't quite make It was gorgeous, but in the end, the desolate route, uphill/cross branch hike and danger of bear inhabitant (with a possibility of cubs to be protected in the spring--wedding time)... we opted not to choose this beauty for the big day.

As I mentioned, that was our last falls of the weekend. We took our sweet time enjoying this trip, and time ended up getting away from us. It was time to head back home before we knew it. It's all for the best, as Jack told us that Minnehaha was not wet enough, most likely, and we read that Angel Falls and Hurricane Falls were too grueling of a hike for our exhausted muscles. Great trip. No need to kill ourselves.

WE HAVE A WEDDING SPOT!!! In the end, Jack Anthony wins the contest. You're invited.Dicks Creek Falls, it is!

Have a lovely day!


  1. It looks like a beautiful place Dew. :)

    Sounds like a fun, adventurous weekend. WooHoo!

  2. It was truly wonderful, Christine. The perfect spot! Definitely an adventurous weekend.

  3. Sounds like a great weekend and what a beautiful place you chose!! Congrats on finding it!

  4. It was great, Nicole! Thanks! We are so excited!

  5. Definitely a magical place.. I think it's ideal. What a beautiful area... I can feel the excitement in this post... I'm so happy for you both... =)

  6. Great photographs! Congrats on the find. Yay for Dicks Creek Falls! :)

  7. What a glorious spot to be married! I'm relatively new here - when is the magical day?

    You truly couldn't have picked a more gorgeous spot. Whoda thunk Georgia had so many waterfalls? And all beautiful even in drought? I wonder if we have that many here in CT...

  8. Looks like you both had an awesome time! l like the the falls you have chosen. :)

  9. Michele, So glad you're back out in blog world! I hope you're doing much better. You gave us all a scare... I'm glad you could feel my excitement. I was hoping that would come through.

    OSW3, Thanks!!! Hooray indeed.

    tsannie, I would imagine y'all have lots of them! We are getting married in the spring! It should be just turning there. Would be great to chase a tornado for the honeymoon.

    Beth, We did and "us too" ;O).

  10. Wow! What a beautiful spot ya'll have chosen! It certainly matche3s the occasion. :-)

    I just hope the weather cooperates. Time to enact the awesome powers of the Dewvoid!! LOL!!

  11. Awesome falls! This post has inspired me to seek out and visit all the waterfalls in Texas and photograph them. Heck, maybe I'll write an article, too! Congrats on finding the perfect spot for your wedding, too!!!

  12. Awesome post and pics, glad you found your spot. And thank you for choosing a spot with the name "Dick" in it. That makes the sarcastic person inside of me SO happy!, I thought Barney was small...

  13. Thanks, Steve! It certainly does match the occasion. We are thrilled to have found such a beautiful spot for such a beautiful day! What weather? lol I figure if it rains, we chase. Ifit's sunny, we appreciate the extra lighting... can't go wrong.

    Ken, Sorry we didn't make it to Minnehaha. I'm glad you've been inspired. Sounds like an awesome plan!

    Annie, leave it to you... In Tate City, we could hear the banjos.


Dew comment, please...