Twice as Nice- Spoonauger and Kings Creek Falls
During our recent camping trip at Burrells Ford campground, we were able to easily hike to 2 different waterfalls. The trails for both start in or very near the campground and the both hikes are just over a mile long each. The waterfalls themselves were both very beautiful and impressive, so all together the payoff was high for just a little work. A few things to note- with all the rain we've had recently, both the trails were fairly wet and involved minor water crossings, so be sure to wear water friendly shoes or be prepared to take your shoes off. Exercise caution near the falls as the water flow is high and can be dangerous.
The first waterfall we visited was Spoonauger Falls. If nothing else, the unique name intrigued me enough to make me want to see it. From the Burrells Ford campground parking area, continue north on Forest Service Road 646 toward the Chattooga River. FS646 crosses into Georgia shortly after this point. I believe you could drive and park close to the trail head or you could walk from the campground parking area, which is what we did. The total distance we walked from the parking area to the actual waterfall and back was 1.33 miles.
After traveling up FS646, you'll soon reach the Chattooga River Trail. Follow this trail a short distance and you'll eventually cross a small stream and see a sign for Spoonauger Falls. It's abbreviated down to "Spn Auger" but you get the picture. Follow the side trail to the falls and you'll be there in no time. There are some smaller falls and plenty of greenery and foliage to look at along the way.
Spoonauger Falls is approximately 50 feet in height and falls sharply down a stair step rock face and then continues cascading along the side of the trail. The water flow was high during our visit and I didn't really try to wade around or get in the water. There is not much room to stand along the sides of falls, but fortunately when we visited, we were the only people there. Spoonauger was a very picturesque, classic looking waterfall and definitely worth the very short hike to get there.
After Spoonauger, we went back to the campsite to eat lunch and then continued onto Kings Creek Falls. The trail to Kings Creek is located within the campground, but is accessible to day visitors. From the campground parking lot, walk behind the gate and down the gravel road. Once the road forks near the garbage bins, continue to the left and the trail head is on the left hand sign. There is also a sign marking the trail. After traveling a short distance down the trail, you'll reach a sign designating an intersection with the Foothills trail. Continuing along the trail to the falls, the footing becomes rocky and wet with streams of water flowing off the rocks alongside the trail.
The Kings Creek trail is very picturesque and packs a ton of scenery into a very small distance. It felt almost like a rainforest, with lots of plants and vines growing all over the place. The water was crystal clear with plenty of small colored pebbles visible underneath. Upon reaching the falls, the water was gusting off the rocks and it was impossible to not get wet. It felt like we were in front of a giant spray bottle fan (if you're from Florida, you probably know what I am talking about. It was hard to even take pictures with the water spraying everywhere, but after hiking we were happy to get a cool down.
Kings Creek Falls is a very "shapely" waterfall. It cascades in a unique way that is hard to capture in photographs. It was just very pleasant to look at. It's about 70 feet in height and twists down the rock face into a large pool. Due to the volume of water, though, this isn't exactly a peaceful swimming hole. We carefully crossed the pool with the dogs and I had to carry Nova for fear of her being swept down the creek. On the other side, the water lapped onto the sand and provided a good spot for Tennille to play. She had a blast swimming and playing fetch. She even stopped to look up at the falls, seemingly in admiration. Nova was a little traumatized but quickly found a fallen tree to perch on and she dried off in the sun. We saw a few other people along the trail, but overall mostly had the place to ourselves again.
I've visited a lot of waterfalls, but I have to say these two were some of the best when considering the effort vs. reward. With just over 2 miles of hiking, we saw 2 impressive, beautiful waterfalls. And of course, their location within walking distance of the campground just made it a total package. There are many waterfalls I haven't yet seen in north Georgia, but I'm happy we made the trip to neighboring South Carolina to see these one.