Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dukes Creek Falls, Helen Georgia


Blairsville, GA  (high 80, low 62)

We decided to go on a hike yesterday, and after consulting our waterfall hiking guide, decided on Duke’s Creek Falls.  It’s a 2.2 mile round trip hike to the main waterfalls. You can see glimpses of several waterfalls all along the trail.

It’s in the Chattahoochee National Forest but for some reason, they don’t accept our Senior Pass and we had to leave $4 in the payment envelope.


the trail started near highway 348


The trail starts out with some steps (my calves were not happy about that after the hike two days earlier where we climbed 175 steps). 


The first part of the hike started parallel to the highway.  We watched a few “crotch rockets” fly by.

We could hear rushing water from the start of the hike and soon we saw some flowing water and smaller waterfalls.



This trail is fairly close to the very popular Anna Ruby Falls and gets plenty of visitors.  We would not want to go there on a week-end.  You can see what a nice trail it is.   Nice and wide for more than half of the trail.  Several areas with boardwalks and steps.  :(

too many people

Nice views and sounds all along the way.



I love my new size “huge” Keen hiking shoes!  They are two sizes larger than I normally wear, but now my toes don’t crunch down into the toe of the shoe when I’m going down hills. They look so big when I look down at my feet!

my big old new waterproof Keen hiking shoes

I am always amazed at how these trees grow out of rocks.

tree growing out of a rock

There were two green metal blazes nailed on trees at the beginnng of the trail, but that was all.

Before long, we came to a fork in the road.  Left or right?  No signs, or blazes anywhere in either direction. We weren’t prepared like Nancy and Bill always are, and had no map.  We really didn't think we would need one on this short popular trail.  At the first fork we correctly assumed we should go left, but we took a short detour to the right to look at pretty stream flowing by that part of the trail.

We backtracked and continued on our way.  The trail is unusual in that you start out going downhill.  It’s not a steep grade, but you are going down  and around some switchbacks.


Soon, we got to another fork in the road.  Left or right?   No signs, arrows, or green blazes.  

The trail to the right was very narrow and didn’t appear to be well maintained.  The trail that veered left was wide and had gravel on it like the trail we had been on, so we assumed that was where we should go.

It was a pretty trail, but soon we realized we were getting away from the sound of the waterfalls.  I checked the mileage on the “My Tracks” phone app.  It said we had walked 1.39 miles.   The walk to the waterfall was supposed to have been 1.1 mile, so we knew we had taken the wrong trail.  

It’s very frustrating to me when you go to a trail that is a very popular one, and there are no markings at intersections.  They collect $4 per car, so I would think they could afford to mark the trail at least where two trails intersect.

We backtracked and continued on until we found the waterfalls.

There was a series of different waterfalls and viewing platforms. 


It was very pretty.

one of several waterfalls

There was a lot of rushing water and the sounds were wonderful.  I wish I could get a picture of a waterfall that captured what I saw.


Some boys were doing a little trout fishing


We stayed quite a while and admired all the sights and sounds of the rushing water.





Soon it was time to head back, and this time we were going up.  More of the dreaded steps.


When we got back to the trailhead, there was a couple  emptying the trash cans and cleaning the bathrooms.  We assume they were volunteers.  I mentioned to them about the lack of trail markers at the intersections and they said they used to be marked, but maybe they were lost when some of the trees came down.  They promised to notify the forest service.

Our supposed 2.2 mile hike ended up being a 3.4 mile hike.   Although it wasn’t a difficult hike, we were a still a little tired from all the steps two days before, and we were pooped when we finished.   We’re working on getting into better shape and are planning a few other hikes this week.

We are expecting more Rv blogging friends soon. Stay tuned to see who’s coming this time.  I’ll bet you know them!


  1. LOL! I'm not the only one. Seems whenever I'm confronted with a 50-50 choice, I'm wrong 90% of the time.

    But you were sneaky, having that app that warned you that you were going the wrong way. I'd probably kept going until I ended up in California... ;c)

  2. I think your waterfall pictures are really lovely. But I always feel that way too, that they don't really show the beauty I saw. And your feet do not look big in that picture. Comfort when hiking is everything. Glad to see you out there. You sure have some beautiful spots to go to.

  3. Wish more of the hikes would be uphill or up stairs first and dow on the way back. !,,

  4. We've gotten 'lost' on hikes where the blazes weren't well marked. I pull up Google maps and it usually helps at least steer us in the right direction, if we have signal :)

  5. we really need to explore Georgia better but every time I see Atlanta on the map I pick up speed..

  6. Nice hike:) When we went to Helen, I only got to look in stores:(


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