Family Weekender: Atlanta

Cloudland Canyon
By Hiram Rogers
  |  Gorp.com
Go Guide: Cloudland Canyon

Getting there: Take I-75 north to Chattanooga, then I-59 south to exit 11. Drive eight miles east on GA 136 to the park entrance. 

Contact: Cloudland Canyon State Park, (706) 657-4050, or visit www.gastateparks.org.
 

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Little kids are just like us big kids: They're drawn to big, splashy displays of natural beauty and raw power. The huge waterfalls and well-protected vistas from the top of Cloudland Canyon will draw the"oohs" and "aahs," and the inevitable "Can we go down there?" Happily, this is one place where not only can you hike to the base of energetic waterfalls but it would be a shame not to. The shade, scenery, and splendor are huge payoffs.

While the actual canyon floor lies almost 900 feet below you, it's not that far to the base of the falls. A 1.5-mile round-trip is all it takes to visit both falls. Younger kids might find the trip to the lower falls too steep to be much fun, but steps and boardwalks are in place to ease the journey. The longer West Rim Loop offers more of the same great vistas, plus the chance to leave most of the other visitors behind you.




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