With just a day and a half to explore and shoot, we set out for Northeast Georgia to photograph as much as we could. We checked out Panther Creek Falls, Tallulah Gorge State Park, and Black Rock Mountain State Park. This trip was planned out months in advance so didn’t know what the weather was going to offer. This particular weekend Georgia was still being hit by a long week of continuous rain and overcast skies. Not ideal for great golden light, but perfect for shooting waterfalls. We set out at 6am to start our day at Panther Creek Falls.
Panther Creek Falls trail is 3.5 miles long, with varying elevation, steep drops, and lots of rocks to climb over. About 1/3 of the way into the hike is an opening to a large camping area and a wonderful spot for shooting the creek with mossy rocks. We stopped here to do our first bit of shooting.
The stretch of creek isn’t very long here, but there are plenty of photo opportunities to be had and is one of the best spots on the trail for photography. From here the trail can be quite challenging as it winds and climbs the side of rocks. You have to be especially careful as some areas have washed out. You approach the falls from above and get a wonderful view of the upper falls rushing down below.
Finally, you reach the campground sitting at the base of Panther Creek Falls. There is a large wading pool at the base of the falls before giving way to the flowing creek with boulders again.
We noted whoever had previously camped here had left tons of trash and other belongings at the camp site. This is very disappointing and we want to remind others to adhere to the leave no trace principles when exploring the outdoors. After shooting the falls, we made the long trek back on the trail to the car and on to our next destination.
Up to this point, the day had been overcast but storms were moving in. We made the 15-minute drive to Black Rock Mountain State Park but by now the rain was starting to come down heavily. We decided to wait it out for a bit but realized the dense fog wouldn’t allow us to shoot any of the vistas looking down into the valley. Not wanting it to be a total bust however we trekked down the 1/4-mile trail and shot Ada-Hi Falls in the rain. The falls were somewhat underwhelming but considering the ease of reaching the falls it’s still worth checking out at least once.
Realizing there wasn’t much left to shoot with the heavy fog at this elevation, we decided to head to the lower elevation of Tallulah Gorge State Park.
It was still raining with very thick fog when first arriving at the gorge. We had 2 hours to sunset, so we waited it out for an hour and the fog began to break. This gave us just enough time to get some great shots of the fog and the gorge in the last remaining light.