Dukes Creek Falls
Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area, Georgia
hike difficulty
hike difficulty
Duration 1 hour
Elevation Gain 380 ft.
State Georgia
Park/Forest Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area
Parking Fee $3
Blaze Green
Nearby City Helen, GA
Trailhead Coord. 34.701643, -83.789039

A great stand alone hike or combined with a visit to the area, Dukes Creek Falls, actually supplied by Davis Creek, is definitely worth the short hike to the base. Don’t forget to visit Helen, GA, a German-style alpine village with many specialty shops and food.

As a popular trail, the parking lot is quite small, so get there early if possible. Open at 7am, there is a $3 parking fee. Although along the trail views are limited, from the parking lot there is a fantastic view of Mount Yonah and the surrounding landscape. There are also a few picnic tables.

Start heading down the paved path until you reach a viewing platform about .1 miles in. Although you can see Dukes Creek Falls from here, the view is nothing spectacular. Continue along the boardwalk, hiking back toward Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway. From here, the pavement ends, becoming a wide gravel path. This is the steepest part of the hike. Walk along another boardwalk and continue to descend until you come to a split in the path at .4 miles. To the right, the trail quickly ends at the edge of Dukes Creek and is worth a quick explore.

Head back and continue left at the split to hike to the falls. This section is quite serene and peaceful, following Dukes Creek for a short while. The path hugs the hillside, dropping off steeply to the right. Along the left a wall of rocks and roots give this section a very earthy feel, while keeping you out of the morning sun.

The trail will switchback again to the right at .9 miles before making its final descent to the base of the falls. At this turn, a side trail continues straight and away from the river. The entire descent totals 370 feet. Despite the elevation change, this hike is well graded and doesn’t present the challenge you would think it would on the way back up. At the base of the falls is a long boardwalk with several viewing platforms. Although Dukes Creek Falls several hundred feet tall, it loses its volume and power as it cascades down the rocks. The smaller waterfall from Dukes Creek at the end of the boardwalk is by far the most impressive and powerful of the many waterfalls in this area.

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Trailhead Coordinates
34.701643, -83.789039 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°42.1, W 83°47.34 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°42'06'', W 83°47'21'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

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Ranger District Information
Dukes Creek Falls Recreation Area
Chattooga River District
9975 Highway 441 S, Lakemont, GA 30552

Operated by Chattahoochee Management, Inc.

Other Information
For more information, visit the USDA Forest Service page: