“Marvel at the tallest cascading waterfall south of Atlanta at High Falls State Park, where you can revel in nostalgic recreational pastimes, investigate a rich cultural timeline and natural backdrop, while you throw a line in High Falls Lake which is recognized as one of the nation’s top family fishing destinations.” ~High Falls State Park website
Available at High Falls State Park are standard and premium campsites as well as pioneer camping, primitive canoe-in camping and yurt camping. Call 1-800-864-7275 to make reservations. Or go online to register at www.gastateparks.org/reservations.
Falls & Towaliga River
The park sits on a 650 Acre Lake and the beautiful Towaliga River. As the history goes, “The area around what is now High Falls State Park was originally inhabited by the Creek Indians. Legend has it that in the 1800’s the Native Americans massacred some settlers who were living nearby. It was July, and their trophies (scalps) began to spoil upon returning to their encampment. The Native Americans took the trophies to the nearby river to dry or smoke them. According to the legend, this is where the area obtained its name “Towaliga” which means “roasted scalp’.”
Power Mill & Dam
“The gristmill was rebuilt in 1866 after being burned by the Confederate Troops of Wheeler’s Calvary during the war between the states because they did not want the troops from the North to obtain the flour and supplies that were stored there. The grist mill was known as High Falls Milling Company until it was closed on August 12, 1960. Several years later it was needlessly torn down.
Approximately 1890, the Towaliga Falls Power Company started building the dam and the power plant. They wanted to generate electricity to run the cotton mills in nearby Griffin GA. The property was sold to the Georgia Hydro-Electric Company in 1905, and they completed the dam and powerhouse and placed it into operation. The powerhouse converted direct current into alternating current and supplied the cotton mills in Griffin and the homes in the High Falls areas. They stayed in operation for several years and in May 1930, transferred it to the Georgia Power Company, which operated it until its closing on October 27, 1958, after 53 years of service.
The dam, which impounds the 650-acre lake, is 606 feet long and 35 feet high. The dam was completed in 1904 and was constructed of stone and mortar placed on bedrock. The stones used for the construction were cut from the stream below.
High Falls power plant was turned over to the Hiawassee Timber Company after Georgia Power closed the plant. Being primarily interested in woodland reserves, the Hiawassee Timber Company donated the 650-acre lake and some surrounding land to the Georgia Game and Fish Commission, and in 1966 they turned the area over to the State Parks Department, thus forming High Falls State Park.”
Boat rentals, putt-putt golf, swimming pool, picnic shelters, group shelters, outdoor game rental, playground, fishing, and local attractions.
Information and Location
High Falls State Park
76 Jackson, Georgia 30233
©Dana Ellis www.dana-ellis.com
Photos by Dana Ellis
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