Rock and water magic: geology hike to Raven Cliffs Falls
Date: Thursday, March 3, 2022
Time: 10 am – 4 pm
Leader(s): Dr. Bill Witherspoon, co-author of Roadside Geology of Georgia
Partners making it possible: Roadside Geology of Georgia
Location: Raven Cliffs Wilderness, Raven Cliffs Falls Trail
Raven Cliffs is a smooth rock face, more than 100 feet high. As you gaze up from the trail that has flanked gorgeous Dodd Creek for two miles, its water seems to pour out of nowhere. After a short steep scramble, the secret is revealed: a two-part waterfall inside a crack less than 20 feet wide. This will be a geology hike. Rock faces along the trail introduce you to the well-cooked metamorphic rock, gneiss, which dominates this southern edge of the Blue Ridge. You will see evidence that it flowed like warm taffy, deeply buried as continents collided, 350 million years ago. Planes of weakness in the uplifted and eroding rock, called joints, account for the rock and water magic at the destination.
Meeting Place Directions:
Raven Cliffs Falls Trailhead. From Cleveland, head north 3.3 miles on US-129. Turn right onto GA-75 Alt and continue 2.7 miles. Turn left on GA-348 (Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway) and continue 2.7 miles to the sign for the trailhead at White Oak Gap Road. Proceed 0.1 miles to the parking lot on your left.
Distance and Difficulty:
5.2 miles round trip, 726 feet elevation gain, easy to moderate walk to reach the cliffs. To view the cascade requires a difficult short steep scramble up an eroded path.
What to Bring and Wear:
Lunch, plenty of water, rain gear, hiking stick(s), sturdy footwear. (If allergic to bees/wasps, remember to bring your meds/epi-pen.)
Cancellation: If Outing is cancelled due to weather or unforeseen circumstances, we will notify you via email by 6:00 pm on the evening before.
Pet Policy: No pets this time please
Participation Limit: 15