Saturday, September 14, 2013

Moccasin Creek SP, Angel Falls, and Lake Burton


Blairsville, Ga (high 76, low 47)

The weather here in the Georgia mountains officially became perfect as of last night.  The predicted low was to be 54 degrees, but we awoke this morning to a very chilly 47 degrees.   They are predicting highs in the upper 70’s all week.  Perfect!

Yesterday, we decided to head over to Clarkesville, Georgia to Moccasin Creek State Park.  It’s billed as “where spring spends the summer.”    We didn’t really notice the temperature being any different, but it was a nice place, although other than the campground and two trails, there wasn’t much there.  The campsites looked decent though and larger rigs could fit on many sites, with easy access and a wide main road.

There were two trails, one was a 2 mile waterfall trail, and the other was a 1 mile nature loop.  We decided to start on the nature loop, with the intention of going the waterfall trail next.

The short trail turned out to be very, very nice.  We started out along a babbling stream, which is the norm in this neck of the woods.


There were a lot of wildflowers along the way, and I photographed what I could.






The trail eventually meandered through a field that appeared to have been planted.  There was indication that a lot of wildlife had been there.  Small trees down, and grass and plants smashed, like something big had been sitting or laying in the field.

Eventually, we came upon this sign that explained it all.


We kept talking the entire time, because we felt sure there were bear nearby, and as much as we enjoy seeing them, I don’t want to come across one while on a remote trail.



One ominous sign that we encountered.  After that, I made Al walk ahead.






After that short hike, we planned on doing the 2 mile waterfall trail at Moccasin Creek,  but decided to first drive up the road and look at the very beautiful Lake Burton.  We passed a trout farm that we intended on visiting later, but missed a turn, and never made it back to that part of the lake.

I am not normally a lake person, but this was a very pretty lake.  Wow!   There were cabins sitting right over the lake, bringing new meaning to waterfront living.  Unfortunately, I never got any really good pictures, because we were on the wrong side of the road.  We intended on getting the photos on the way back, but we missed a turn, and somehow ended up in another beautiful area, at Lake Rabun Campground.

Map picture


We never understood how we went from Lake Burton, to Lake Rabun, until I pulled up this map.  We followed the road south along the river where it looked like it ended, then we were at Lake Rabun.  All the same waterway in my opinion, and one lake as beautiful as the other.

We will definitely make another trip over there.  There is an awfully lot to see and we didn’t make a dent in it.

Lake Rabun Campground is another nice campground, with easy access and many sites that would be big rig friendly.  I meant to take some photos, but I guess I didn’t.  Sorry.

While driving along the road, we saw a sign for Angel Falls.  We recently bought a waterfall book and after looking at the description of Angel Falls, we decided we really needed to see it.  The description was that the waterfall had a distinctive characteristic that intrigued us.

You’ll see what I mean, when you see the photos.

The trailhead was at the end of the campground.  There was a $3 fee for parking and our National Parks pass didn’t work.

There were two main waterfalls, the first one being the beautiful Panther falls about half a mile up the trail.

The trail was pretty easy with only about a 600 foot elevation change. 

We followed a very strong flowing stream until we saw Panther Falls.  I love walking along a stream hearing the sounds of rushing water.  The closer we got to the falls the louder it became.


panther falls

Can you see the “stairsteps”?  They were naturally formed, but almost look like someone built this waterfall.

panther falls

After Panther Falls, the trail got a little steeper and narrower as it went up the side of the mountain. It was easy going up, but I was concerned about going back down, since there was a narrow trail with nothing to keep you from tumbling down the hill if you should fall.

Al managed to find us some walking sticks, so going down was a breeze.


In the next picture, you can see the narrow trail and the creek a good ways below.  This particular area was flat, but much of it was not.


Angel Falls, turned out to be spectacular, but the foliage blocked much of your view.   Being there in person, you could see how tall and wide the waterfall actually was, but the pictures simply to not do it justice.

On the next photo, if you look up behind the tree branch a the top of the picture, you would see more of the water fall.  It you look right, you’ll also see more of the waterfall.


The book said it was 80 feet high, but it looked higher than that to me.


panther falls

Angel Falls

We didn’t realize until I re-read the waterfall book, that there was another nearby waterfall called Minnehaha Falls.  Had we known about it, we would have seen it too.  Oh well, I guess we’ll have to go back.


We continued our drive along Lake Rabun and I managed to get a few shots as we drove by, but trees kept blocking my pictures.

Lake Burton

On the way home, we saw a lot of motorcycle riders out enjoying the day.  It was a little warm yesterday, but a perfect day for a motorcycle ride, I guess.


It was a wonderful day, with beautiful hikes.  By the time we got home, it was time for happy hour and a ride on the golf cart.  We searched for the bear, but didn’t see him, so we decided to finish up happy hour in the hot tub.  By that time, the temperature started to drop, so going from outside into the hot tub had to be done quickly!  I wasn’t sure how getting out was going to be, but I guess our body temp warmed up enough, and it wasn’t bad. 

Today, we’re going to the wonderful Farmers Market, then I guess we need to do some work around here.  Tomorrow we have a special day planned.  Stay tuned.


  1. your pictures are gorgeous...your lot/park is gorgeous....sounds like your having a blast!!!

  2. Very nice! We noticed a distinct drop in temps as we headed east. Here in eastern Ohio, it was only in the 40's this morning, so heat was in order!

  3. You are really finding some nice places to visit near your new home. I guess you did not find any toads?

  4. I never new that about toads. Beautiful water falls.

  5. Beautiful header photo.

    You two have hit the jackpot. That area is gorgeous. Wishing the best weather this fall.

  6. When we had a hot tub, cold weather never stopped me. My body was always plenty warm to get to the house. I have also been in hot tubs in ski country and walked back to the hotel room in a snow storm. Fun.

  7. You sure have found a wonderful area for your summer home. I find waterfalls impossible to photograph. They just have to be seen (and heard) in person. Your wildflower pictures were also terrific. Those are the same ones we are seeing here in New England. Guess that's what some altitude will do for you. Did you jump straight up when you saw the toad? I think they are great. They eat all those insects.

  8. We have the same idea for perfect weather--cool nights and daytime temps below 80.

    There sure seem to be plenty of interesting day trips near your new mountain retreat. I love the lakes and waterfalls amidst those gorgeous green forests.

    I am like Sherry; I love toads and frogs.

    What a wonderful idea to plant food plots for the wildlife. Seems like it will increase your sightings for sure.

  9. Waterfalls are so soothing to watch, and they make the air smell so clean. You certainly had a good day visiting those beautiful falls. Retirement is so hard to take! :c)

  10. What memories....Mike and I spent our honeymoon at a cabin on Lake Rabun. It was actually up in a mountainside. Love, love that area!!


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