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Welcome to my corner of North Georgia. I document my adventures and outdoor activities in hopes of inspiring others to make the most of each day. It is my goal to make hiking accessible and non-intimidating, while promoting responsible enjoyment of the environment. No trail is too short!

Dawson Forest Wildcat Creek 5-6-18

**Breaking News! Posts now featuring summaries from ViewRanger app**
I have been concentrating heavily on visiting areas of Dawsonville recently. Dawson County is truly underrated but that being said, it is being rapidly developed so I do anticipate more residents and visitors in the near future. Nevertheless, solitary places still exist. Namely the Wildcat Creek area of the Dawson Forest. It's right on the county line near Pickens and I don't think many people drive up that way other to Big Canoe, which is just to the south. I have been to Wildcat Creek 3 other times prior to this visit, but never actually hiked far enough down the trail to see the waterfalls. So I decided to challenge myself (and James) and at least see one of the falls. We left the dogs at home for this one, due to this distance, but overall this is a dog friendly place. 

There are a lot of trails within the Wildcat tract and multiple different ways to combine them to form loops, but if you want to see the falls, expect about a 7 mile hike no matter what. I believe what we did was the shortest method, but it was an out and back hike and some people prefer a loop. I used the ViewRanger app to develop the route I wanted to take. I am still playing around with ViewRanger and figuring out how it works, but so far I have been very pleased. Maybe I'll write a separate post in the future about ViewRanger once I use it a little more. Again, no paid posts or sponsors here. If you plan to visit Wildcat Creek, I would recommend studying maps in advance and figure which trails you would like to take. 

As I said, I've been to Wildcat Creek multiple times and I've only ever seen about 5 people TOTAL on the trail. It's very secluded. No garbage. No noise. On this particular visit, we didn't see any other people on the trail. Over 7.3 miles, no other people! It's honestly kind of weird, especially considering there is a developed campground at this property. Wildcat Creek is truly a hidden gem. The hike itself starts at the back of the campground and there are signs for the Wildcat Creek trail. The trail winds through the woods for a while, mostly near the creek, which is actually called Fall Creek. There are several good spots for swimming and we've brought the dogs here before, but be aware there are lots of snakes (I've seen more snakes than people here). 

Eventually the Wildcat Creek trail hits a bridge and the trail to the waterfall continues to the right, going uphill. If you cross the bridge, you connect to some other trails that move away from the water. I've done this route before in the past. Eventually the Wildcat Creek trail connects with the Fall Creek trail and continues on toward the waterfalls. During this section, there is a rocky ledge with a very small waterfall spilling over the top you must cross. It can be wet/muddy but is not difficult. After that, there is also a water crossing but ropes are strung across the creek to help guide. When we did it, the water was less than knee high and the crossing was quite easy. 

There is a waterfall off to the side of the trail after the water crossing, but you can really only see from the top down. From what I could tell, there was no way to get to the bottom of it. It was a very full, rushing waterfall and caution is needed near the top of it. It's slightly off trail, so you do have to look for it (you can hear it, though!). After this waterfall, the "main event" is not too far away. I'm honestly not sure if this is the last waterfall along the trail, but I believe it is the biggest. I've read on other sites about multiple waterfalls in this area but this one shows up on the map as the "Fall Creek Waterfall" so I assume it is the most notable. 

I'm not really sure the waterfall really even has a name but it sure is pretty. Be aware when searching "Fall Creek waterfall", there are waterfalls with similar names in Tennessee and other parts of Georgia. It's a classic cascade style waterfall and is about 60 feet in height (I would guess). Since we were the only people there, we really enjoyed taking it all in and appreciating the beauty of the falls. It was also a beautiful day with blue skies overhead and perfect temperatures. We saw lots of mountain laurel and other wildflowers along the way, as well as a little snake. 

The hike took us about 4 hours total, after which I wanted to visit nearby Fainting Goat Vineyards, but James could only focus on getting Mexican food. Well deserved after our 7.3 mile hike. I would like to return and camp at Wildcat Creek and then explore more of the trails. Here is the actual track of our hike from ViewRanger.

Be aware this is not a free site, but possessing a hunting/fishing license or other lands pass is sufficient. I keep 2 copies of mine- one in my wallet and the other on the dash of the car. The entrance road to the parking area is also unpaved however I have done it in a sedan and had no issue. Just be aware of the potential conditions after heavy rains. 

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