DeSoto Falls Trail, Cleveland, Georgia
During our recent trip to the North Georgia mountains we were able to do a few hikes. We hiked to some gorgeous waterfalls in the area. One of those waterfalls was DeSoto Falls located in Cleveland, Georgia. Not to far from Vogel State Park where we were camping at. It was a very fun yet memorable hike. Read our story and see why it will be a hike we will never forget.
I am usually the OCD one in the family. I'm always making a tentative schedule, researching the things to do around the area, the different hikes, places to stay, you name it. One of the things I hate to do is go on a trip and not enjoy it to its fullest. Then come home and randomly find a really cool spot that you could have explored while you were there.
After hours of searching for hikes in the area, I ended up with a nice little list of hikes. Sadly with the rush of packing, I left my travel notebook on the dining room table. The benefit to doing research ahead of time and taking notes is that some of it sticks with you.
Where To Now?
We already knew we were going to visit Helen, Georgia and hike Helton Creek Falls first thing that Friday. I took the time to pay close attention to the signs on our way there and back. I was lucky enough to find the sign to DeSoto Falls Trail and Campground. Getting excited, I immediately told my husband that that was one of the hikes that I had jotted down in my notebook. That it was about 2 miles and had a beautiful waterfall at the end of the trail. I personally thought it was going to be further away from Vogel State Park than what it was.
Saturday's weather forecast was predicting rain the majority of the day. We continued to pray that the rain would go away. Each time we checked the forecast the time that rain was expected to start kept moving further and further away. We were excited and hoping to finally have at least a few hours of sunlight before the storm clouds rolled in.
Read about Helton Creek Falls here.
After a restless night of sleep and a run to Walmart to get a new mattress cause ours had a hole (Thanks to our cat, Sourpatch!), we headed off to an overlook to catch the sunrise. As we drove further away from Blairsville into the mountains the fog just kept getting thicker and thicker. We arrived to the overlook to view nothing but the tree that was about 10 feet away. Off we went to camp to grab breakfast and sleep a little before tackling on the day.
After a few hours of sleep we grabbed some snacks, water, and headed off to our next destination. We decided to check out DeSoto Falls Trail after all. Our Saturday ended up being a beautiful day so we couldn't pass it on.
Where's the change?
As soon as we arrived, we were confronted with a small dilema. We had to pay $3 to use the park. There was no one taking the money either, less an ATM to take money out so my husband and I scavanged like two hobos all through the car looking for change. We gathered up all we could and put it in the envelope. Hung our tag on the car and headed to the booth to slip the envelope in. Slipping the envelope full of change into a small slot was even funner. We had to flatten out the envelope as much as we could by spreading the change all around just to get it in. I am pretty sure I heard all the change go everywhere when the envelope dropped, so sorry staff at DeSoto Falls for the mess of change in your little booth.
Off We Went, Finally! - Upper Falls
We paid our fee so now it's time to hit the trail, finally. For a minute there I didn't think we were going to do the trail. I was excited! We walked through this little area filled with picnic tables and then to a road by the campground that lead to the trail head. Once we arrived we were surprised to find that the trail had two waterfalls and not just one. I was even more stoked by this point. I was going to see two waterfalls now.
Off we went to the upper waterfall. We walked the trail which was alongside the creek the majority of the way. The sound of the water flowing made this hike so peaceful. My husband and I were both in a moment of zen. I couldn't help myself. I had to get pictures, videos, and even moments to just sit and take it all in. In all honesty, I didn't want it to end. Afterall it is a short hike.
We arrived to the end of our trail to the upper waterfall. The waterfall flowed so beautifully that it was mesmerizing. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. To be honest, I didn't want to leave. This was the mermaid inside of me wanting to be in this moment forever. I captured a few pictures and videos and off we went to our next stop, the lower waterfall.
We headed off to the trailhead to then go down to the lower waterfall. As we walked through the woods we decided to stop at the creek at a few places to grab some pictures. The creek was beautiful too. Just listening to the water flow as it passed through the rocks and the forest put us in a moment of pure bliss.
As we continued to the second waterfall, we found ourselves going up in the mountains some. We followed the curvy trail till we reached the waterfall. This side of the trail wasn't all that pretty but the waterfall was worth the hike. We grabbed a few pictures and headed back to camp. All around, I really enjoyed this short hike and can't wait to do it again.
DeSoto Falls Trail will now be one of those hikes that we will remember forever. We will one day look at each other and be like, "Babe, remember that hike we took that we scavenged for change in the car like two hobos?! The one with the surprise second waterfall that we weren't expecting!"
About DeSoto Falls
DeSoto Falls got its name from an old legend. It is believed that the two waterfalls of DeSoto Falls was visited by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. Legend is told that this is the site where a piece of armor was found that is believed to be from Hernando de Soto's expedition.
You can learn more about Conquistador Hernando de Soto here.
DeSoto Falls not only has two gorgeous waterfalls to hike to, they also have a campground. All the campsites run near the creek bringing peace and tranquility. They do not have water access at the campsite but with a good water filter, I'm sure you can get clean water from the creek.
- Distance: 2.2 miles roundtrip
- Difficulty: Easy
- Dog Friendly
For more details go here.
- Camping Available at $6 p/night (no water)
- Day Use: $3 p/vehicle
For more details go here.
What To Bring
- Waterbottle - I like to use my Hydroflask to keep cold water handy. If collecting water from the creek I would use my Hydroblu. Read about it here.
- Camera and/or GoPro
What To Wear
- Comfortable Clothes
- Mosquito Repellent
How To Get There
From Blairsville, GA take U.S. Highway 19/129 south for 17.0 miles to campground entrance on right.
From Dahlonega and Cleveland, GA take Highway 19 north for 18.0 miles to campground entrance on left.
18365 US-129, Cleveland, GA 30528
Click here for website.