High Falls State Park, Jackson GA – While I was in Forsyth, two of my coworkers and I took the short drive from Forsyth to High Falls State Park in Jackson, GA. It was well worth the visit. As a flatlander from the coast, I’m not used to seeing sights like these or walking up and down the rocky hills, so it was quite an experience! If it’s this beautiful during the summer, I can’t imagine what it looks like in the fall. I’ll be back in the area in the fall and I definitely plan on trying to get back out to the park to see the sights with the trees in their fall colors.
The features of the park include not only the waterfalls it is named after but also a dam and the remains of a hydroelectric plant. I didn’t have time to stay very long but from what I saw on site and about the area on the internet, I’d love to learn more about the history of the area. From the park’s website:
Visitors can hike along the river’s edge and through hilly forest to the remains of a hydroelectric power plant foundation. In the early 1800s, this area was a prosperous industrial town with several stores, a grist mill, cotton gin, blacksmith shop, shoe factory and hotel. High Falls fell from prosperity in the 1880s when a major railroad bypassed it.
The falls at the park are the largest in Middle Georgia on the Towaliga River, dropping over 135 feet from top to base. For those, like me, who come from the coast it really does give you a different perspective on a river. The Towaliga is a tributary of the Omulgeee River, passing through the park to join the Ocmulgee near Juliette, GA. According to Wikipedia, Towaliga is of Creek origin and translates to “Roasted Scalp,” stating that the Creeks used to take the scalps of their enemies and place them on rocks by the river. There are trails that run along the falls and offer wonderful viewing points along the way. The first four photos below were taken from the visitors center area and the remaining photos were taken from just one of the trails along the falls and Towaliga River.
Another interesting tidbit I came across about High Falls State Park is that it might be the namesake of a song by Dickie Betts, one of the guitarists that played in one of my favorite bands – The Allman Brothers Band. Supposedly, his insturmental “High Falls” was named after the park. I haven’t seen where Betts has stated this, but it is certainly possible due to the amount of time the band spent in Macon and the Central Georgia area.