I made this hike with another friend a couple of years ago, and said I would not do it again without a group of people. I’m not a scary person, but Holcomb Creek Falls is located deep within the woods adjacent to the Bartram Trail. The trail is a multi-state National Recreation Trail. It stretches from the Georgia-North Carolina border southwest over the summit of Rabun Bald (Georgia’s second highest peak), turns south-southeast to the Chattooga River and then heads northeast paralleling the river to the GA 28 bridge. It follows the route of 18th century naturalist and explorer William Bartram through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana.
The location is beautiful and the trail in this part of Georgia is well maintained. It is rated moderately strenuous. In other states it is unmarked in places and poorly maintained or completely obliterated by modern construction. But that is not the case in northeast Georgia.
We hiked through glorious woods that were full of color. The Cherokee were so abundant along the trail that Bartram would often call the Appalachian Mountains the Cherokee Mountains.
Bartram wrote that the Indians were “intelligent, tenacious of the liberties and natural rights of man, and ready always to sacrifice every pleasure and gratification, even their blood, and life itself, to defend their territory and defend their rights.” He did not live long enough to witness the unintentional irony in those words.
Along the way, I stopped often to take photos of the yellows.
Really the trail to the first set of falls was easy and downhill. But we remembered that what goes down has to come up. Along the way, we collected large leaves and plenty of pine cones.
And we had to really climb to get to the platform at the base of Ammon Falls. Bartram wrote in the book Travels Through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East, and West Florida
In front, just under my feet, was the enchanting and amazing crystal fountain which incessantly threw up from dark rocky caverns below, tons of water every minute, forming a basin, capacious enough for large shallops to ride in, and a creek of four or five feet depth of water and near twenty yards over, which meanders six miles through green meadows. . . .
The above waterfall ends up flowing into the Chattooga River. After reading Bartram’s words, I have to wonder if he was talking about this wild and scenic river.
Here’s another one of Holcomb Creek Falls.
My little Cocoa waiting for me to put her in my SUV.
The forest in this area is so beautiful and deep. One tree was so large that it took three of us to reach around it. I can imagine that Bartram was pretty amazed at this forest!
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