This trail offers a pleasant hike through a typical Southern Appalachian hardwood forest. The trail passes through multiple use national forest and various aspects of timber and wildlife management may be viewed. The return road walk bypasses an old road on which a short walk leads to a fine trout stream, Stanley Creek. This trail is recommended at any time of year. Autumn leaf color change and winter vistas are attractive. Waterfall flow is usually greatest in Spring. Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel contribute to late spring attractiveness.
The trail, on an old road bed at Stanley Gap, begins as a gradual climb toward summit of Rocky Mountain. Almost immediately, on the left, is a regenerating pine stand. After passing timber stand, trail enters woods and continues through forest until reaching intersection with Benton MacKaye Trail coming in from east. Turn onto BMT and follow downhill past regenerating hardwood stand; switchback and descend to waterfalls. Continue down road bed to parking area and wildlife foodplot opening on south side of Rock Creek Road. Turn right on road and begin return walk to vehicle. About three-fourths mile pass road on left leading 200 yards to Stanley Creek. Continue on road to gap and return to parking area.
Directions from Blue Ridge, Georgia:
Travel east (toward Blairsville, GA) on GA Hwy 515, approx. 0.8 miles past intersection with GA Hwy 5. Turn Right at Windy Ridge Rd., go 0.2 miles to dead end with Old U.S. 76. Turn left, go 0.2 miles to Aska Road. South on Aska Road to intersection with Stanley Creek road (8.2 miles). Turn west, continue 4.2 miles to parking area at Stanley Gap. Stanley Creek Road becomes Rock Creek Road after crossing Fannin/Gilmer County line.
I took time on July 4th to walk up and take these pictures. It had been a long time since I had personally hiked up to the falls. As a child, my family and I used to drive through Stanley Creek almost every weekend. I loved it becasue my Dad would always let me drive, it was a blast. Next time you are looking for something to do in the North Georgia Mountains, be sure to drive through the Rich Mountain Wildlife Management Area, you won’t regret it, it is absolutely a beautiful drive.