Helen GA Hiking - Raven Cliffs Falls

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Post by Guests » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:24 pm

Helen GA Hiking - Raven Cliffs Falls

I had the pleasure last week of hiking the five-mile hike up to the Raven Cliffs Waterfalls located in the North Georgia Mountains. I have only recently started hiking for relaxation, photography, and exercise, so I'm not one you would consider to be an advanced hiker. I have hiked several beginner hikes such as the fully paved half-mile hike at Anna Ruby Falls, or the moderate one-mile hike of well-maintained trails down to Dukes Creek falls. Raven Cliffs Falls was an excellent step up from the beginner hikes to a more intermediate hike.

For starters, the hike is two and one half miles into scenic national forest, and the terrain is somewhat rough, which gives the hiker a good feel of hiking some distance, as well as a good feel for some more rugged terrain. The entire trail is a mix of moderate inclines and declines with a few points having some inclines steep enough to at least feel a bit of a challenge. There are a lot of large root growths protruding from the ground in some areas so you need to make sure and wear some decent hiking boots and watch your step.

There are a handful of really nice footbridges traversing small creeks and streams that almost look like they were hand built by previous hikers. There are no designated resting spots or benches like you will see on most beginner trails,however, there are enough large rocks along the way to sit on and rest. There are also a few man-made rock formations for resting spots that have been obviously made by previous hikers.

The hiking trail runs almost constantly along a cascading mountain river, with a few spots along the way with waterfalls with average drop off heights being approximately ten to fifteen feet. There is no one grand huge waterfall, even when you reach the top. The final destination does have some scenery with a fairly small waterfall, and some sheer rock cliffs being around one hundred foot high, but if you're expecting some grand giant waterfall at the end of the trail, you will be disappointed to say the least. The waterfalls at the end of the hike does have some nice rock areas which allow you to sit right by the flowing water of the small waterfalls making for a nice cool spot for a picnic lunch.

Another highlight of Raven Cliffs Falls is an area with a deep mountain river pool with a hikers donated rope swing perfect for a nice cool swim at the end of your hike. There is also one section of the trail that is almost a straight drop off of probably seventy feet down into the mountain river. Standing on the edge of this drop-off is quite exhilarating.

The main highlights of this trail are that is just long enough and rugged enough to offer beginner hikers a decent challenge to help build the confidence needed to start taking on the longer more challenging hikes,the scenery is much to behold the entire way, and it runs deep enough into the national forest to give the hiker a real good feel of adventure.

Make sure if you plan to hike Raven Cliffs Falls that you employee decent footwear, and that you properly time your hike. You have to remember that these deeper forest areas get dark earlier than most would be used to making the trek back more difficult as darkness moves in.

If you have recently taken up the sport of mountain hiking, this is one trail you need to conquer it has all the elements of a really nice intermediate hike.

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