Waterfall Hikes of North Georgia includes 61 day hikes to more than 200 waterfalls on public lands in north Georgia. The book is divided into five main sections, each covering a different area of the region. These are: the Northwest Corner (also known as the Ridge & Valley region), The Cohuttas, Western Blue Ridge, Eastern Blue Ridge, and Northeast Corner. Most hikes are configured to take in more than one waterfall, and a section at the back of the book lists itineraries with up to three shorter hikes that can be done in the space of a single day. Although the focus of the guide is hiking to waterfalls, the author includes numerous accounts of natural and human history in different hike locations. These range from the threat to north Georgia's native hemlock population to a description of the "Battle Above the Clouds," a pivotal conflict in the American Civil War that was fought on Lookout Mountain, the site of one hike in the book that starts and ends in Georgia, but takes the hiker into Tennessee. Maps are simple and clear, and are drawn by the author, who also produced each waterfall photograph in the book. Additional information for each hike entry includes hiking directions; directions to the trailhead; GPS coordinates; hike distance; elevation gain and elevation profile; estimated hiking time; and a photograph of each waterfall to be seen, along with the waterfall rating and classification. Hike distances range from a few footsteps to 12 miles, with waterfalls as easily accessible as Amicalola Falls at Amicalola Falls State Park, and as remote as the cascades at Three Forks, deep within the Chattahoochee National Forest.
I suspect there are at least 25 waterfall guidebooks for this general region: Western North Carolina, East Tennessee, northwestern South Carolina, and north Georgia. Do we need another one? The answer is: Yes, we do, if it's a good one like Jim Parham's recently published Waterfall Hikes of North Georgia. Parham's book isn't just good. In regard to basic content--driving and hiking directions, general and specific maps, elevation profiles and trailhead GPS coordinates, and waterfall photos--it's really good. And in regard to trail-waterfall descriptions, it's excellent. The prose is crisp and lively. Parham has an eye for details and a gift for describing what he sees in a concise manner. He also has a nice sense of the tensions that exist where the natural world and recent human activities intersect along old rail beds, at former CCC camps, and similar locations.--George Ellison "author of Blue Ridge Nature Journal "