Desoto Falls Trail

Lumpkin County, Georgia 30545

Elevation Gain85ft
Trailhead Elevation2,020ft
Elevation Min/Max2013/2089ft
Elevation Start/End2020/2020ft

Desoto Falls Trail

Desoto Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Lumpkin County, Georgia. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 2,020 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 85 feet. Near the trailhead there are a parking, a picnic site, and restrooms. The trail ends near the DeSoto Falls Campground camp site and the Lower DeSoto Falls and Upper DeSoto Falls viewpoints.

Desoto Falls Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The falls and the surrounding scenic area were named for Hernando DeSoto, a Spanish explorer who was known to have traveled the wilderness in search of gold. Early settlers found a piece of armor here, and suddenly a mountain legend was born. It was believed that DeSoto and his men left the armor behind as they explored the Southeast for treasure.

Unfortunately for DeSoto, he and his followers were searching in the wrong place. In the 1830s, not far from this location, there was a gold rush that is well documented in a museum at the center of town in nearby Dahlonega, Georgia. DeSoto Falls Recreation and Scenic Area consists of both a campground and a well-maintained hiking trail to two waterfalls on Frogtown Creek."

"Astonishing! Twice the pleasure here, with both the Lower and the Middle Falls of DeSoto Falls to visit on the same trail. Despite being only 30 feet tall, DeSotos Lower Falls creates a lot of sound for a smaller waterfall. Like a younger child trying to speak up for itself, this one demands the attention it deserves."

"This is a wonderful waterfalls walk with a nearby babbling brook in the North Georgia mountains. Plan on spending the whole day hiking your choice of the multiple short trails listed in “Nearby Activities.”"

"The name DeSoto Falls comes from a tale that a piece of armor found near the falls some decades ago belonged to Hernando de Soto or one of his men. Though that expedition traveled through this general area of Georgia in search of gold, the story had been"

"The name DeSoto Falls comes from a tale that a piece of armor found near the falls some decades ago belonged to Hernando de Soto or one of his men.

Though that expedition traveled through this general area of Georgia in search of gold, the story had been dismissed by historians who doubted such a relic would have survived so long. However, in the late 1920s a portion of an iron Spanish sword was found in an Indian burial mound near Chatsworth to the west. Whatever the truth of the story, the falls have retained the conquistador’s name."

"In 1540, the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his army of about 600 men left the area now known as the Florida panhandle and headed northeast through what is now Georgia in search of gold. Supposedly, in the 1880s a plate of Spanish armor was discovered near one of the waterfalls in what is now the Desoto Falls Recreation Area.

The validity of the find has been lost to the ages, and the area is now mostly known for two waterfalls accessible by easy to moderate trails. From the parking area, a gradual 0.4-mile ascent to the southwest leads you to Lower Falls, some 35 feet high. The 0.7-mile hike from the trailhead to Middle Falls, a 200-foot-high cascade, is a bit more difficult, but you’ll encounter only a few steep hills. (Note that the trail to Upper Falls is closed due to erosion.) The diverse forest, modest trail grades, and waterfalls make this a popular destination for day hikers."

Desoto Falls Trail Reviews

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Historical Site. Museum with lots of history also.
nice campground real clean bathouse , dont camp up on the hill on weekends the street bikes will wake you early and hear them all day up and down the mtn , other than the streetbike noise , nice campground
We've dont this trail so many times I've lost count. Its that good. There is a different way into the junction from Hwy 28. Its much easier and the length is identical. It eliminates the dangerous repel down to the river the other reviewers are talking about. If you are looking for a great place to camp for a couple nights there is no place better than this.
Good trail and well mantained. We took the alt. route down the steep incline to get to the river. Only try this if you have experience. I am pretty active, yet I found this part very difficult. Next time I'm taking some repelling gear. The river was beautiful and worth the rough climb down.
this is a very nice camp ground, i only saw 2 trailer campers in the whole place! if you like tent camping then check this place out, it's only $12 for the night, all the sites in the back close to the stream are very quiet, with the occasonal hiker going to the falls passing by. by the road, it's a bit noiser, but the camp sites seem to be more private. LOTS of motorcycle noise in the day, and on the roads, so be mindful of our 2 wheeling friends, cause im one of them (but i didnt ride to the campground). the falls are very nice, the upper desoto falls are much nicer than the lower, and worth the mile and a half (out and back total) hike to get to them. i think they are nicer than the ever so crowded anna ruby falls. the trail is obvious with benches along the way to the lower falls to stop and rest if you so choose. the lower falls trail is a "harder" hike and not really worth it in my opinion, considering the falls are not as nice as the upper falls. but over all this is a very nice site, with bathrooms, fire pits at every site, and poles to hang up food to keep them out of the hands of local wildlife. HIGHLY RECOMEND IT!
You will never find a nicer camp ground. Creekside sites are huge, with lush forest surrounding for great privacy. We love this campground. get there early on Friday, they fill up fast on weekends.

Desoto Falls Trail Photos

Trail Information

Lumpkin County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Fishing, Hiking
Additional Use
USDA Forest Service, Blue Ridge Ranger District, 2042 SR 515 West, Blairsville 30512; (706) 745-6928;
Local Contacts
USGS Neels Gap; USDA Forest Service map of Chattahoochee National Forest
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018