Write Up: We had a very full and fun packed day. We arrived at the Rabun Bald trail head at 10 AM to begin the first hike of the day to the top of Georgia's second highest mountain. We were going up Rabun Bald via the Three Forks trail, which is the shortest, albeit the steepest, route. Wow, what a workout to get the day started - straight to the top, 2.9 miles with 2200 feet of ascent. The hard climb was rewarded by awesome 360 degree views, a cool temperature of about 68 degrees, a slight breeze, clear skies, and the warm sun. We spent about 30 minutes on top, soaking up the sunshine, cool morning fresh air, the views, and having a snack to replenish some of the calories we burned on the hike up.
After the hike back down, we refreshed our pack supplies and drove less than 2 miles to the Holcomb Creek trail head to begin the next hike. This hike took us through an area of very large tulip trees and hemlocks before arriving at Holcomb creek falls. Holcomb creek fall is a 120 ft waterfall and was beautiful even at a relatively low water flow - one of the nicest in Georgia. We spend a little time there doing a bit of climbing, rock hopping, and taking photos before heading further down the trail to Ammons Creek falls. At Ammons Creek waterfall we ate our lunch on the overlook while watching and listening to the rushing water beneath us. After locating the side trail, which was obscured by a large fallen tree, we continued up along Holcomb Creek to form a loop by which we returned to the car.
After a short 5 mile drive, we found the Three Forks Trail head located on Overflow Creek Rd. We then hiked about 1.5 miles, until we arrived at a very cool and unique swirl pool, drop and plunge, waterfall on Holcomb Creek. After locating a place to safely cross the creek, we then made our way down the trail to a very long and tricky decent to Three Forks. We milled around Three Forks observing the beauty and a couple more waterfalls, and then settled on a location to take a dip. We found a pool right at the base of a plunge waterfall where Holcomb Creek empties into Three Forks to form the West Fork of the Chattooga. We swam in the cool water, took a shower under the waterfall, dried off, and then made two more tricky crossings of Holcomb Creek on the way back up the trail. We arrived back at the car a little before 7, completing an 8.5 hour day, packed with 11.5 miles of hiking, 3,600 feet of ascent, spectacular views from Georgia's second highest peak, a handful of great waterfalls, some swimming, and great conversation. And then of course, we had to top it off with dinner in Clayton before heading back to the park and ride. What a great fun filled day! Definitely on my "re-do" list.