1,062 stairs take hikers across suspension bridge down to amazing waterfall

1,062 stairs take hikers across suspension bridge down to amazing waterfall
Could you make the climb? (Nelson Hicks)

TALLULAH FALLS, Ga. -- Could you climb 1,062 stairs? If so, some amazing scenery awaits.

That's a lot of stairs!
That's a lot of stairs! (Nelson Hicks)

Known as one of Georgia’s most rugged parks, Tallulah Gorge ranks as one of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S. The gorge stretches two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. It features stunning waterfalls and cliffs.

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(Nelson Hicks)

While hikers can choose from 20 miles of trails, many opt for the Hurricane Falls Loop. The strenuous 2.25-mile hike follows the rim past sweeping overlooks, then down a long staircase to a suspension bridge swaying 80 feet above the falls. On days when water releases aren’t scheduled, the park allows 100 visitors per day to hike to the gorge floor.

(Nelson Hicks)

Tightrope walkers have crossed the gorge twice. Some of the towers Karl Wallenda used to accomplish the feat still dot the trails.

The state park includes campsites, a sand beach and a visitor’s center. In addition to hiking, the park offers archery, biking, fishing, geocaching, swimming and rock climbing with a permit.

(Nelson Hicks)

The 531 stair descent to the gorge floor ranks as an easy to moderate hike for beginners, but the 531 stairs back to the top prove much more of a challenge.