Sunday Hikes: Emery Creek Trail (Part 1)

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I love Goodwill. I try to go often and see if I can find anything good like the original pressing record of Led Zeppelin’s CODA I found or maybe a $70 North Face flannel for only $5 but one day I went to goodwill and found a book entitled “Waterfall Walks and Drives in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama”. This book, written in the mid 90s, has nearly all trails that lead to a waterfall in North Georgia which is great for me because I am always looking for new day hikes. With this book I began picking out a waterfall hike that seemed interesting and I’d make it a day trip on days I wasn’t working. Then one day I came to Emery Creek Falls. It was one of the higher ranked falls in the book (the writer ranks the falls on a scale of (1-10) and was a good distance of about 5-6 miles. The book also warned that the trail was not marked well and had many water crossings but that did not deter me! So one afternoon with my sister, girlfriend, and nephew we drove up highway 411 through Elijay and to CCC Camp Road just like our GPS told us to. The GPS took us up some sketchy mountain road (that my sister’s Scion XB was not designed to traverse). We passed a small parking lot for Bear Creek Falls but that wasn’t our destination so we passed it by until we reached the top of the mountain and our incredibly useful GPS told us we had arrived despite there being zero trailheads on this small gravel road. We kept driving for a few more minutes to find a Trailhead with about 2000 “Bears are active in this area” posters. We parked and figured this must be our stop. I strapped my 18 month old nephew to my back and we headed down the trail. It was almost completely downhill the entire way and we saw dozens of millipedes on the trail but no bears. We hiked about a mile or so till we made it to a small open area that looked like a good spot for camping and that is where we gave in to the fact that this wasn’t our trail so we turned around and went back. A mile downhill with a kid on your back isn’t too difficult but a mile uphill makes you realize how much of a lard ball your nephew is or perhaps how weak you are. Once we reached the top we returned to where our GPS thought the trailhead was and we once again found no trails. We decided to give up on Emery Creek Falls for the day and we went and played in Bear Creek Falls which my nephew quite enjoyed because what kid doesn’t love splashing everyone with water and getting as dirty as possible for the car ride home. After a good thirty minutes of splishing and splashing we headed off to get food at Chick-Fil-A and head on home. Despite having a fun time I still felt like I needed to discover the real Emery Creek Falls so I made plans soon after that to go with my Grand Canyon hiking partner AKA. my dad.
Tune in next time for the excited second part of the Emery Creek Chronicles where our hiking heroes attempt to discover the real Emery Creek Falls!!!