We’ve had a good run with our year-long Georgia State Parks Pass, but the year is coming to a close. We were able to get in one last state park before our pass expired, and I am very pleased to be crossing the gorgeous Cloudland Canyon State Park off of my bucket list.
Cloudland Canyon State Park
Cloudland Canyon State Park is a 3,488 acre park located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain. It is one of Georgia’s largest and most scenic state parks boasting easily-accessible views of the gorge, two waterfalls, and plenty to see and do.
Cloudland Canyon was designated a Georgia State Park in 1939 and originally sat on 1,924 acres. The park has grown over the years to acquire 3,488 acres of canyons, sandstone cliffs, caves, waterfalls, and dense forest. Cloudland Canyon’s 1,000 foot-deep gorge was formed by Sitton Gulch Creek, which resulted in two stunning waterfalls: Hemlock Falls and Cherokee Falls.
The park contains cottages, campsites, yurts, a group lodge, and picnic shelters, as well as 64 miles of hiking trails, 30 miles of biking trails, and 16 miles of horseback riding trails. Guests can also take advantage of the park’s fishing, caving, and guided hikes and cave tours.
Cloudland Canyon has a variety of trail difficulties, all with incredible views in store. The 1 mile long Overlook Trail provides easy access to two overlooks into the canyon. The 2 mile Waterfalls Trail takes you down about 600 steps into the canyon to the park’s two stunning waterfalls. The 5 mile West Rim Loop Trail branches off the start of the Waterfalls Trail and takes you down into the canyon and back up the other side for several scenic views from the west of the canyon. The 6 mile Sitton’s Gulch Trail follows the Waterfall Trail past Hemlock Falls and to the mouth of the canyon. The Two Mile Back Country Loop takes you through hemlock and oak groves. And the 1 mile Meadowlands Trail strolls by the park’s meadow and fishing pond.
There are also newer outlier sites to the park – the 5 Points Recreation Area and the Cloudland Connector Trail. The 5 Points Recreation Area was formerly a coal mining site that the park has turned into miles of track mountain bike trails ranging in skill levels. The Cloudland Connector Trail is 14 miles long and is perfect for exploring by horseback.
What’s your favorite Georgia State Park? Let me know in the comments!