Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls, GA

Well, this was pushing the camping season start just a bit--daytime temps still well in the 90's in north GA, humidity high as well. But the overnight lows were dipping enough to have the windows open and hear the crickets and other night sounds (something we haven't been able to do here at home since May, and apparently won't be doing for some time yet), which was a pure joy.

I was in site 4, which is a good site with only woods on the left. Had anyone been in the site to the right (#3), I would have lost a lot of privacy. The sites are built like steps on an incline and so they are tiered, with site 3 about five feet higher than site 4. There were few campers, though, and in fact I had this whole side of the campground to myself until my last day.



The road that leads from the park entrance to the campground passes close to and slightly below sites 1 through about 9 or so. There is little traffic, but if you don't like traffic noise, I suggest a higher-numbered site.

This is going to be a somewhat short post with only the above image from the park, since the weather was too hot to consider any of the hikes that the park offers. There is a very short one that leads to two overlooks with scenic views of the gorge, but a terrible storm hit the morning of the day that I was going to take that walk (winds so strong that a tree was toppled onto the campground road. The two tenting couples left the campground when the storm began). So I didn't get to see it this time.

This campground is an easy drive on a wide divided highway from Clayton, GA, which is a fairly large town with many shops and stores and restaurants, etc. If you take Hwy 76 west from Clayton, you will come, after a bit of winding through the mountains, to Hiawassee and Lake Chatuge, a very scenic area.

The campground sites are midsized, some more private than others. There are two odd things about this campground that you should know before you go. The water and power hookups are strangely placed. While many of the sites are deep enough to accommodate the largest RV rigs, the hookups are located essentially at the extreme front end of the sites, near the campground road. While I had an extension cord I could have used for power, I only had a 25' freshwater hose, which prevented me from parking at the back of the site. I extended the hose from the camper to the faucet and backed as far as it would allow, which you may notice in the photo is far from the end of the site. And of course, the closer you are to the entrance to each site, the less level the ground. A second 25' hose is on my shopping list so that I don't end up in this predicament again. And there is a second odd thing about the hookups (made even more puzzling by the fact that this campground is operated by Georgia Power). The power boxes are shared by adjacent sites. So site #3 would plug into the same power box as I did. Think about this: not only is the power box up by the campground road, but for every other site, it is on the wrong side. This is the case for all sites, pull-through and back-in. This is a great park and I recommend it, but be sure to have extra lengths of hose and power cord. Site 4 was good; I am returning next month and have reserved site 7, which is also large and private. There was another higher-numbered site that at first appeared ideal, but then I noticed that it was nearly directly under a huge powerline tower; I don't recall the site number. The bath houses (2) are huge and clean though they show their age, with 3 regular shower stalls and one handicapped stall. Oddly, there are no benches in the area outside of the shower, though there is a door between the shower and outer area of the stall, so you can keep your stuff dry while you shower. I needed a clothes dryer after the rain storm since I had used up most of my towels drying stuff off. I asked one of the campground hosts if there was one; turns out there is a washer and dryer in one of the two bath houses, but I didn't use it since she offered the use of her personal dryer in her RV and I took her up on the offer. The dryer costs $1 a load. It's behind the door between the men's and women's bathrooms in the bath house farthest from the entrance.

There is an interpretive center with information about the area--this is where most of the trails appeared to originate. There is a cute little gift shop in the center as well.