Editor’s Note: As a reminder, we like to keep our reviews of waterfalls short and sweet. We hope you didn’t come here looking for a huge dissertation on why we think one is better than the other or some scientific breakdown complete with water analysis. They are waterfalls. We have never found one we didn’t like. Our goal here is to simply provide you with some photos and to give you our uneducated and subjective thoughts in 5 categories – Ease of Hike, Distance of Hike, Crowds, Options for Exploring, and The View – so that you can make a decision about which of North Georgia’s amazing waterfalls you think might be the best hike for you. We hope these simple rankings and photos help you sort all that out and if not, check out our map for some other options. Enjoy.
If you haven’t heard of a waterfall called Dicks Creek, you’re probably doing something wrong since seemingly half the waterfalls in America are called Dicks Creek. We could make a bunch of jokes and theorize about why this is so, but instead we’ll just get real specific and tell you about which one we’re talking about. The Dicks Creek that we’re profiling here is between Dahlonega, Suches, and Cleveland. To make it even more complicated, we’re not even sure if Dicks Creek Falls is the correct name of the spot as some people refer to it as Water’s Creek Falls.
We’re going to call it Dicks Creek Falls since that is what most of the major tourist publications and city websites refer to it as. It is ultimately located about 20 minutes north of Dahlonega and about 20 minutes south of Vogel State Park, making it a great centrally located North Georgia swimming hole for both locals and visitors alike.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way. These falls are crowded and it feels like it sits in the middle of a neighborhood. Granted the neighborhood consists of spaced out houses by a scenic river, but there is literally a house a hundred yards away from the top section of the falls. We went on a Saturday and there were probably a hundred people spread out between the three levels (more on the levels below). We have read that during the summer months, even on weekdays, it stays equally busy.
Another potential negative (or positive depending on your perspective) is that the falls are mere feet from where you park. So if you are looking for a hike through the woods to a private waterfall, Dicks Creek Falls is definitely not the one for you. Because of this short walk, you have the crowds. Unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other.
Now we are on the lazy side and we have a 3 year old, so the short walk is perfect for us and makes this one of the most kid-friendly waterfalls in all of North Georgia.
The falls are made up of 3 distinctive areas. An “upper”, “middle”, and “lower” section.
The middle and lower sections are shallow throughout making them the best spots for lounging and for the kids to play. The upper is a little deeper (in spots) but not by much. However, there is a very small sliding rock and a small area for jumping at the top.
The photo above is from the lower section. Here is where you will find the largest crowds. You can climb into the falls here and there are also a couple of holes to sit in. There is also a rocky shore on river left if you want to spread out a towel. We even saw people who had brought down chairs.
The middle section is also shallow and has a small sandy beach area. From here you can look down into the lower falls or upwards at the upper falls. In between the upper and lower is a small sliding rock and a very cool canyon-like section. At the bottom of the sliding rock is this long and narrow spot where the rocks on both sides rise up 6 to 8 feet and you can swim below it in chest deep water. The rocks under the water are very uneven so watch your step but it is one of the more unique rock and river formations we have seen in North Georgia.
In the upper section, huge rocks are everywhere that you can walk and play on. But be careful, even some of the dry ones are incredibly slippery. There is a pretty large “hole” that is deep enough to swim in and barely deep enough to jump in (even if you hit the right spot). As always, defer to the locals and regulars if you decide to get crazy with it. Watch them a few times and ask lots of questions before you go off and break your leg.
Up above this spot the river turns back into a more traditional river setting with banks on both sides. We saw a half dozen fisherman all bunched together so we’re assuming they knew more than we knew about fishing and had found a few hungry enough to deal with splashing kids. There are signs posted all over about fishing and how the river is private (particularly downstream). I’ll save my thoughts on how anyone can own a stream for a later date but suffice it to say, they sound pretty serious about it and there is no need to risk a fine or someone chasing you with a shotgun for a fish. So follow the signs and respect the local residents nearby.
Dicks Creek Falls, aka Water’s Creek Falls, is one of the lower “scored” waterfalls we’ve profiled so far. We’re not sure how much fun this place would be during non-summer months as so much of what is great about this spot is how perfect of a swimming hole it is. And since there isn’t much to explore or see or hike to outside of the actual falls, you are somewhat limited in your options.
It is centrally located to Dahlonega, Cleveland, Blairsville, and Suches and is near a bunch of other great spots so it would probably work well as part of an extended road trip or paired with another area hike.
If you stumbled this waterfall in the middle of the woods and you were the only one there, you would give it a 10+ and tell your friends you found the greatest spot ever. Unfortunately, Dicks Creek isn’t in the middle of the woods by itself.
But if you want a good spot to swim in the summer that you can pull up to with your car, look no further.