When you think about Georgia, images of deep gorges might not leap immediately to mind. Perhaps they should, though, as one of the most beautiful areas of the state is exactly that, and it goes by the name of Tallulah Gorge.
Those of you familiar with the Gorge might remember that there was a movie filmed there back in the 1970’s, when dinosaurs roamed the earth. I feel I have to mention it. It was significant in the history of the area, but I’m deliberately leaving out the movie title. Tallulah Gorge has so much to offer on its own merits, and anyway it’s been a long time.
Our visit started, as many do, with a trip to the visitor’s center to have a chat with the park rangers. This one, the lengthily-named Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center, included a nature scene at its center with interestingly posed stuffed wildlife.
This coyote (I think), seems to be reacting with great surprise to a bird. Possibly the bird has a bad case of gas. We may never know.
We walked down to the North Rim trail, as directed by our kindly park rangers and the map they gave us. Before we’d even walked a quarter of a mile we were met with the following view.
Sadly, we were also greeted with the customary reminder, found near almost all gorges and canyons, that some people don’t think things through.
On down the North Rim trail a bit to the east, we reached another typical feature of gorges and canyons, Inspiration Point. Pretty much any decent canyon or gorge will have an Inspiration Point. Some even have two, so, like in the case of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, they rename one of them “Artist’s Point” to keep them separate. Tallulah Gorge just has the one Inspiration Point, but it’s got heaps of inspiration.
On the way to Inspiration point, we met a woman in red leather pants–no lie–who told us there was a big bird visible ahead. We looked for it and, sure enough, there it was all huddled up on a rock outcropping. I took a photo of it, then showed it to my bird watching buddy Mike, thinking it might be a Peregrine Falcon. He identified it as a Turkey Vulture, which is a bit less majestic.
No offense, turkey vultures. Y’all are cool and all, with your red leathery heads and whatnot.
Having explored all the red leather pants and red leather heads Inspiration Point had to offer, we descended over 500 stairs into the floor of the gorge. Along the way we met many park guests lounging about and complaining loudly about the climb.
Come on, guys, it’s not really that hard. It’s only 500 stairs, and you get to go across this cool suspension bridge about halfway down.
Best of all, this is what greets you at the bottom of the stairs.
And of course, you get to have a look at the majestic Hurricane Falls.
I can’t say enough good things about our trip to Tallulah Gorge. We had good weather and more falls than you could shake a stick at. I regret that we didn’t have time to hike down the actual gorge itself on this trip, but it’s on my list now that I know you can get a permit to do so from the rangers. This spot has rocketed into my top five prettiest sites in Georgia. I’ll be back!