Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge is Georgia’s oldest tourist attraction with tourism beginning in earnest in 1882 when the Tallulah Falls Railroad was built.  The gorge was cut out of the Tallulah Dome by the Tallulah River.  Folklore has it that “Tallulah” is the Cherokee word for “loud water”, however, there is no proof that any such word existed in their language.

The gorge is approximately two miles long with rocky cliffs that rise up as high as 1000 feet.  Tallulah Falls is made up of a series of six different water falls dropping over 500 feet within a distance of one mile.  The name of the six falls are:  l’Eau d’Or (pronounced LaDore), Tempesta, Hurricane (the tallest at 96 feet), Oceana, Bridal Veil, and Lovers Leap.

Yesterday afternoon Miss Judy and I had a quick orientation of our duties at the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center and then we took off for a walk around a portion of the North Rim Trail (the popular trail for most of the visitors) where we viewed Oceana, Tempesta, and l’Eau d’Or falls.  It was a cool overcast day so we didn’t linger long but, did take enough time to snap a few pictures to share with you.

We began the tour with Oceana Falls which is 750 feet below the viewing station.  You can’t make them out but, Bridal Falls is at the far end (top) of the pictures below.

Oceana FallsAnother View of Oceana

  Then it was onto l’Eau d’Or (LaDore) Falls with a gorge depth of 350 feet.

l'Eau d'Or FallsClose up of l'Eau d'Or Falls

Finally, here’s a view of Tempesta Falls at 350 feet straight down from our viewing station.

Tempesta Falls

Next, we’ll take a walk along the South Rim Trail which is right across the road from our RV site.  We’ll be able to get a top view of the Hurricane Falls and the suspension bridge.  You have to go down many stairs to see it from the North Rim Trail.

Finally, when we get up the gumption, we’ll climb the 1099 stairs down to the gorge floor for some “up close and personal” pictures of the falls.  The trail passes over the suspension bridge which hangs 80 feet above Hurricane Falls and, needless to say, Miss Judy, who is not a fan of heights, isn’t too impressed with walking across that bridge.  Only time will tell whether she does it or not but, it’s one of only two ways to get to the gorge floor.  The other way is to repel down a 1000 foot ledge and I know she won’t do that!!

Tomorrow we assume our posts at the Interpretive Center where I will be manning the visitor’s desk and doing some of the interpretive tours while Judy will be working in the gift shop as well as manning the visitor’s desk.  Everyone is extremely nice and it will be a pleasure to serve with them.

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