We had a grand plan on the books for weeks to hike the gorge this past weekend. I have hiked Tallulah Gorge countless times but have never hiked the gorge floor. Only 100 permits are allotted each day and they are gone fast, as long as they are not flooding the floor from the dam. It is rumored to be the toughest hike in the state park system. Today I was finally going to hike it. In preparation I decided against packing my Nikon. I took it in and out of the backpack 3 times but decided since there was going to be a 6 foot jump, lots of bouldering and potentially waist deep water crossings not to chance it and left it home.
We arrived 15 minutes before opening to get our permits and then...whah-whah-whahhhh, they had a water release. We were only able to hike the rim trails and down to the floor and back up but not along the floor and to sliding rock. I was super bummed. I did get to join the canyon climbers club, but did not get to hike along the canyon floor.
Spot the beach ball. We are thinking they use those to judge the water release. There were several along the way.
The platform above is the end of the line. From there you hike the floor and it is really not a marked trail. This is also where a couple of times a year they release enough water to let people white water kayak from that platform down to Bridal Vail. I really wanted to scope out those rapids up close to see how utterly insane that would be to do.
Spending a Saturday with these guys wasn't terrible. Our group was going to be bigger but hurricane Irma mucked that up for us.
We watched this couple illegally climb and jump onto the top of this waterfall for an instagram pic. $116 fine folks. Not to mention extremely stupid.
Oh lookie, more steps.
Not hiking the floor the floor gave us plenty of extra time to stop in at my favorite place.
Nevermind the sign that said that bike was for 100lbs max or under 12. I made it work so I could pedal that goat some grub!
If you are ever headed up to Clayton, GA on 985 N (or whatever it turns into up in the mountains) stop into Goats on the Roof. $1 for 2 cups of food and goats! Plus the store sells fudge and buckeyes and chocolate covered bacon and if you are feeling really adventurous you can pan for gems and gold!