Recently I went on another hike with Girls Who Hike GA and we visited Hemlock Falls near Lake Burton. I've been to the Lake Burton area several times over the years to visit friends with lake houses, but never really done much in the area aside from that. Lake Burton is pretty enough, but when it comes down to it, it's just another man-made lake in North Georgia. So I was interested to see what was nearby but not necessarily on the lake. The Hemlock Falls trailhead is located just across the street from Moccasin Creek State Park. I stopped in at the ranger station to ask about parking and they directed me down the road to the trailhead. There is no fee to park at the Hemlock Falls trailhead, but it is down a gravelly, pothole filled road, so plan accordingly with your vehicle. The road was wet and muddy when I arrived, so I am glad I had my 4-wheel drive SUV.
The hike to Hemlock Falls is very short, at just about 2 miles roundtrip, and starts behind a large rock inscribed with the name of the trail. No questions about the direction of this trail! The entire trail follows a rushing creek and there are also numerous smaller falls along the way. There are also several places with small rivulets streaming down from the rocks above the trail. Basically, the whole trail is surrounded by water. I'd recommend wearing waterproof shoes or hiking sandals. Since it's a relatively flat, short trail supportive hiking sandals should be perfectly fine.
I actually got a new camera just a few days before this hike, so I took a bunch of pictures. More on my camera in another post once I actually gain a semi-decent understanding of how to use it. I have to say, my pictures don't really do the waterfalls justice. All the falls were small, but they were so pretty and peaceful looking! I actually think some of the smaller falls were more scenic than the actual namesake Hemlock Falls at the end of the trail. But the main falls are definitely beautiful and have a nice area in front of them to sit and enjoy them. There is also a side trail that continues up to the top of the falls, but we didn't go up there. I have read a lot recently about people falling from waterfalls in Georgia, so please be cautious and exercise good judgement!
I took my time walking back to the trailhead and admired the views of the water from the other side of the trail. I love hiking because every trail looks different coming vs going and there is always something new to see. A lot of the other people in the group went off to do other excursions in the area, such as Vogel State Park or visit Helen. With Hemlock Falls being such a short hike, it's definitely easy to build it into other adventures and a worthwhile stop in the Lake Burton area. Camping is also available at Moccasin Creek State Park, if you want to extend your adventures overnight.