Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hemlock Falls - Moccasin Creek State Park

Amy and Jack's Memorial Day Weekend Getaway to Georgia

Chapter 10 - Hemlock Falls on Moccasin Creek
Moccasin Creek State Park
Rabun County, GA
Sunday, May 29th, 2011

It was a beautiful afternoon with full sunshine which uunfortunately is not good for photographing waterfalls.  I still wanted to check out the waterfalls along Moccasin Creek.

Directions (from Clayton, GA):
1. From the Hwy441 / Hwy76 Intersection head west on Hwy 76 for approximately 11 miles to Hwy197
2. Turn left (South) on Hwy 197 and take that 3.7 miles to Moccasin Creek State Park.
3. Turn Right at the sign for Hemlock Falls and drive about a half mile to the trailhead parking area.

An easy trail of about a mile (one way) takes you to a great swimming hole at the base of Hemlock Falls.

The main waterfall is about 15-feet high, but between the bright sun and loads of people, I was not able to get any good photos. Here are a few that I am not very proud of, but they will give you an idea of what this one looks like.
Hemlock Falls on Moccasin Creek
The one and only shot I was able to get without people in it


Hemlock Falls
Some people to the left and on top to give a sense of size

I continued upstream for a ways in hopes of finding Upper Hemlock Falls, but that quickly turned into a bushwhack. I was whacking up the right hand side of the creek and eventually started running out of time.  Afterwards I read something that said it is much easier going up the the left side of the creek.
Cascades upstream from Hemlock Falls

There are a virtually endless series of cascades all along this creek and on a nice overcast day, I could have easily spent the whole day exploring this area. But since photo conditions were poor and Amy was waiting for me back at the truck with here book, I didn't take much time today.
Cascades downstream from Hemlock Falls

Tall but low flow waterfall on a tributary stream

This shows the small waterfall on the tributary stream flowing into the main creek

I would definitely like to get back to this area under better photo conditions.

After visiting the falls, we did a quick drive by of the Moccasin Creek State Park Campground across the road and determined that this is definitely not a spot I would like to camp. The sites are way too close together and are to close to the main road. It probably made things much worse that the place was packed full since it was Memorial Day weekend. Maybe in the off season you can snag a spot not too close to the road and have some privacy, but I would not count on it.

1 comment:

HemlockMan said...

Carole and I stopped at that campground to look around and felt about the same way you do. Too close to the road, also. I suppose it would be an OK camping spot if you also had a boat or sailboat and were tooling around on the lake in addition to camping.

I can't get over how many waterfalls you guys crammed into such a short vacation!