Toccoa Falls

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Toccoa Falls

The Toccoa Falls waterfall, with a vertical drop of 186 feet (57 m), is located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College in Stephens County, Georgia. Toccoa is the Cherokee word for beautiful.



Some claim that Toccoa Falls is the tallest free-falling waterfall in the Eastern United States, however, the waterfall does not hold that title. Crabtree Falls in Virginia (cascading 1,000 feet (300 m), including one 400-foot (120 m) drop), Fall Creek Falls in Tennessee (256 foot sheer drop) and Taughannock Falls in New York (215 foot sheer drop) are all taller. In addition, one other Georgia waterfall includes a drop that is taller: Cascade Falls includes a 262-foot (80 m) drop.

Dam Break

During the early morning hours of November 6, 1977, after five days of almost continual rain, the dam that impounded the waters of Kelly Barnes Lake (located above the Toccoa Falls College campus) burst, and 176 million gallons of water surged through the campus below in the space of a few minutes. Most of the college personnel who lived in the path of the flood were asleep at the time, and 39 of them were swept to their deaths in the raging waters of Toccoa Creek. The dam was not rebuilt.[1]


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Coordinates: 34°35′46″N 83°21′36″W / 34.59611°N 83.36°W / 34.59611; -83.36