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Amicalola Falls State Park, near Dahlonega

Georgia
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Amicalola Falls State Park, near Dahlonega, Georgia Georgia

Description

Amicalola Falls State Park has several trails that can be combined to make a beautiful hike. We took the East Ridge Trail, a very steep trail that leads through forest and then past sweeping views of layered mountains to the top of the waterfall. If you walk straight out the back of the visitor center you are on this trail. We then took the Appalachian Approach Trail back down, which is a staircase that hugs the falls. What a joy! This hike is one mile up and one mile down. There are plenty of benches on the way down where you can stop and catch your breath or rest your knees!
On the East Ridge Trail, keep your eyes open for rocks that look like they have gold in them! They are made of mica. You will also spot wildflowers growing alongside the path.
Partway down the Appalachian Approach Trail you come to a spot where the stairs end and there is a stream. Kids enjoy puttering on the shore here. There is a bench swing where the whole family can rest.
At the visitor center is a picnic area with a playground surrounded by lovely trees.
If you'd like, you can also drive to the top of the falls and look down, but that's cheating! It is a great option, though, if you need it. And there are less steps to climb if you'd like to just walk down to the first viewing platform beneath the falls.
Amicalola Falls are the highest falls in Georgia, at 729 feet. Amicalola means "tumbling waters" in Cherokee.
A lovely place to explore half an hour away is the college town of Dahlonega.

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Photo Gallery

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Starting the East Ridge Trail.
Starting the East Ridge Trail.
Bendy tree on the East Ridge Trail.
Bendy tree on the East Ridge Trail.
Looking up at the gorgeous treetops.
Looking up at the gorgeous treetops.
Twisty tree roots on the trail.
Twisty tree roots on the trail.
Fall leaves in October.
Fall leaves in October.
Mountain views from the East Ridge Trail.
Mountain views from the East Ridge Trail.
Purple and cream colored berries (not edible) on the trail.
Purple and cream colored berries (not edible) on the trail.
Inspiring views!
Inspiring views!
Red autumn leaves near the visitor center.
Red autumn leaves near the visitor center.
Playground near the visitor center.
Playground near the visitor center.
Two visitors look up at the falls.
Two visitors look up at the falls.
The Appalachian Approach Trail, which consists of 400 steps!
The Appalachian Approach Trail, which consists of 400 steps!
Rock with golden shimmer caused by mica.
Rock with golden shimmer caused by mica.
Wildflowers along the trail.
Wildflowers along the trail.
The lower cascades.
The lower cascades.
Tall trees at the lower end of the falls.
Tall trees at the lower end of the falls.
Where the falls become a stream.
Where the falls become a stream.
Country roads on the way to Amicalola Falls State Park.
Country roads on the way to Amicalola Falls State Park.
Shaded picnic area near the stream at the lower end of the falls.
Shaded picnic area near the stream at the lower end of the falls.
   

Directions

Amicalola Falls State Park is located at 280 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd, half an hour drive northwest of Dahlonega.

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Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.

Last Updated Wed, 24 Dec 2014 00:17:12 GMT