Wed, Oct 26 2011 - Tallulah Gorge Aesthetic Water Release and Fall Foliage (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Mark
Participants:Mark, Chris H, BJ, Jean, Allan, Audrey, RGarcia, Pepsi L

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Write Up:
Our group of 8 all arrived at the Tallulah Gorge Stage Park Vistor Center a little before 11AM ready to hike and witness one of the aesthetic water releases. When I went into the visitor center I saw one of the Park Rangers issuing a gorge floor permit to a couple. I immediately became concerned because I knew that they did not issue gorge floor permits during any of the releases, and asked the ranger about it. He told me that he had called the Georgia Power that morning and that they were not going to have a release and that Georgia Power has complete authority over the water releases and not the State Park. Well this was quite disappointing, as I had called and talked to a Ranger 4 days prior, who told me that the release was scheduled. So, headed back outside to break the news to the group and begin figuring out how to make the best of the situation.

The group assembled outside to devise an alternate plan to make the most of the situation and take advantage of the beautiful day. The new plan included doing the north rim trail, the Inspiration Trail, then down the stairs to the gorge floor, crossing the river, hiking the gorge floor trail, having lunch at the bottom of the last waterfall (sliding rock), wading through the river above sliding rock, going up and out of the gorge on the relative recently re-opened rugged trail on the southeast side of the gorge, hiking the south rim trail, and then looping back to the visitor center. After a group consensus on the new plan, and obtaining our gorge floor permits, off we went.

It was an ABSOLUTELY GEORGEOUS day, perfect weather, and the foliage was beautiful! At the end of the day, although we didn't experience the aesthetic water flow, we were not in the least bit disappointed with the hike. Although we didn't come prepared for river crossings and getting a bit wet, we not only made the best of it, but had a great time! A perfect example of a great group who had the flexibility and mindset to make what might have turned out to be a disappointment, an awesome, beautiful, and thoroughly enjoyable hike.