Sunday, May 23, 2010

Water Park

It's a creek's proximity to a gravel road that gives motorists an earful. Helton Creek in northeast Georgia cascades in obscurity, shielded from curious eyes by trees and thick layers of rhododendron. Its the sound made by a 100-foot drop that heralds its existence. Near Vogel State Park in Union County and south of Blairsville, the path to Helton Falls is not easy to find. After leaving a state route, a single-lane road leads through a residential neighborhood before turning into a gravel road that enters a national forest. A couple of miles later, a pull-off offers a chance to listen for clues. After a short hike, visitors find an observation deck that is only feet from this massive cascade. About halfway to the falls, a side trail leads to a shoals that drops another 40 feet. Don't be surprised if you find people taking advantage of this paradise. A pool at the base of the falls and the easily-accessible cascade will have more visitors in the water than on the observation deck. To return to, click here.

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