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Adventures at Noccalula Falls (Gadsden, AL) and Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area (GA)

Before heading to Georgia, we stopped over at Noccalula Falls campground in Gadsden Alabama. Legend has it that a Cherokee maiden (named Noccalula) jumped to her death at the falls and her grieving father renamed the falls in her honor. Some claim that her spirit still haunts the falls and campground. We may have to include this in our next 'haunted campgrounds' post later this year.

The campsites turned out to be nothing special but the trails were wonderful.


Freddy took me hiking.


Noc Falls, as the locals call it, is a 90 foot cascade that is the centerpiece of the park. This is not it.


This is the small one under the bridge. I had to planned to take pics of the big one but the three inches of rain that fell shortly after our hike dissuaded me. So all you get from here are a couple more trail pictures.

Noc-Falls-Trail-1 Noc-Falls-Trail-2

Several trails converge and diverge in the park and at one intersection I heard the thundering paws of a wild animal.


Here is an extreme crop of the picture above. You can clearly see the upright ears of the black bear cub.


The cub chased me back to my campsite and we rode out the storm together before heading to Georgia the next day.


Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area campground is one to add to the 'hidden gem' category. You can find it in the Appalachian Mountains less than 20 miles from Blairesville.

This campground is broken down into two loops, north and south. The 14 sites in the south require reservations while the 17 in the north are first come first served. Only the north loop is open year round and in the winter offers no water and just a vault pooper. Fine with me. We had the campground to ourselves. Rates were half off as well, just $9, $4.50 if you have an America the Beautiful pass.

In the south loop we liked sites 8, 11, and 12 the best. 11 is next to a creek and a path leading to the lake.

Lake-Winfield-Scott_008 Lake-Winfield-Scott_011 Lake-Winfield-Scott_012

In the north, 34, 36, and 37 are nice ones. Also they are near a trail to both sides of the lake.

Lake-Winfield-Scott_034 Lake-Winfield-Scott_036 Lake-Winfield-Scott_037

The trail between sites 35 and 37 splits in two after 100 yards. The left path takes you to the developed side of the lake.


Past the pavillion.


And down to the beach.

Lake-Trail-2 Lake-Winfield-Scott-Beach

If you keep going you will reach the south loop. And if you really keep going you will reach Maine, via the Appalachian Trail.


Taking the right fork leads to the undeveloped side of the lake. Just before a footbridge is a nifty plaque.


It is a quote by John Muir and it really resonated with me that day.

"Climb the mountains
and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you
as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own
freshness into you.
And the storms their energy,
While cares drop off like autumn leaves."

Regards and happy camping, Park Ranger


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