Discover Riley Moore Falls

By:Marie McAden


At 12-feet high, Riley Moore Falls are even stubbier than the 25-foot Narrows. But this Upcountry waterfall has some serious width. The cascade’s 100-foot span stretches all the way across the Chauga River, creating an exuberant display of dancing water.

Like Chauga Narrows, it’s also rated a Class VI rapid, which means there’ll be no swimming, tubing or kayaking down this whitewater rascal. But you’re welcome to wade into the calm pool of water at the end of its short, but rocky run. A large sandbar along the left bank allows you to walk right up to the base of the falls should you feel the need for a refreshing spray of water.

Unlike the nearby Chattooga River, not a lot of people find their way to the remote Chauga River, so it’s quite possible you might have the waterfall all to yourself. Logs at the far end of the sandbar provide a comfortable place to enjoy the scene of the river at play. Or you could throw a blanket down on the sand and let the sound of the rushing water lull you to sleep.

The trail to the falls descends gently to the river for about .7 miles through a beautiful hardwood forest of oak and hemlock. There’s a small parking area near the trailhead, but the road to it is best suited for trucks or SUVs. On my recent visit, I was driving a Camry and decided to park on the side of the gravel road that intersects with FS 748-C. From there, it’s about a .3-mile walk to the trailhead. The rocky road is somewhat steep so be prepared to do a little sweating on your way back to your car.

For directions to Riley Moore Falls, click here.

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