Discover Amicalola Falls State Park

Tucked away in the heart of North Georgia, Amicalola Falls State Park is situated between Ellijay and Dahlonega in Dawsonville. It is a vibrant member of the Georgia State Parks family, renowned for its picturesque landscapes and outdoor adventures. The park’s name, “Amicalola,” is derived from the Cherokee language, meaning “tumbling waters,” aptly describing the park’s crown jewel: the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

Amicalola Falls State Park is a haven for hikers, with its extensive network of trails catering to all levels of adventurers. The park’s highlight, the 729-foot waterfall, can be viewed from various vantage points, including an accessible pathway leading to a scenic observation deck. For those seeking a more immersive experience, the challenging hike to the summit rewards with stunning panoramic views.

Beyond the waterfall, the park offers many activities for nature lovers. Enjoy a leisurely picnic, explore the park’s diverse flora and fauna, or embark on a guided adventure program. The park’s lodge and cabins provide comfortable accommodations, making it an ideal destination for a weekend getaway or an extended stay.

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Top 3 Facts about Amicalola Falls State Park

01

Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls is the tallest waterfall in Georgia, cascading down a height of 729 feet (222 meters).

02

Park Size

Amicalola Falls State Park covers an area of 829 acres (336 hectares), offering ample space for hiking, picnicking, and enjoying nature.

03

Trail Lengths

The park boasts over 12 miles (19 kilometers) of hiking trails, offering various levels of difficulty for visitors to explore the area’s scenic beauty.

Where to Sleep

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1054 Grace River Road
Number of Guests 8
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 3
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Smoke detectors
$0.00 / day
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JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
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Juniper Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Hemlock Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$194.14 / day

Greenash Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Camping and transportation in Amicalola Falls State Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Amicalola Falls State Park

To get to Amicalola Falls State Park, start by heading towards Atlanta, Georgia, which is the nearest major city to the park. If traveling by plane, fly into Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). Renting a car from the airport is the most convenient option.

Once you have your car, drive north on I-75 and merge onto I-575, which will become GA-515. Follow GA-515 through Jasper, then turn right onto GA-53 East. Continue on GA-53 for about 20 miles, then turn left onto GA-183 North. After approximately 10 miles, turn right onto GA-52 East, and follow the signs for Amicalola Falls State Park, turning left onto Amicalola Falls State Park Road.

Places to Stay Near Amicalola Falls State Park

Several accommodation options are near Amicalola Falls State Park, catering to various preferences and budgets. Here are some notable places to stay:

  1. Amicalola Falls Lodge

Located within the park itself, this lodge offers stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains and easy access to the falls and hiking trails. It features 57 guest rooms, a restaurant, and various amenities, making it a convenient and comfortable choice.

2. Vacation Rentals

Various vacation rentals, including cabins and homes, are available through platforms like Lake.com. These rentals offer a more private and personalized stay, often with amenities like kitchens, fireplaces, and outdoor spaces.

3. Camping at Amicalola Falls State Park

For those who enjoy camping, the park offers campgrounds with tent and RV sites and backcountry campsites. Facilities include restrooms, showers, and picnic areas.

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Best Time to Go to Amicalola Falls State Park

Summer

Summer

Ah, summer! With the sun beaming down, it’s a great time for ziplining adventures through the lush canopy or fishing in the park’s streams. It gets quite warm, so pack plenty of water and sunscreen for those bright days.

Winter

Winter

Don’t underestimate winter! It’s quieter, offering a serenity that you might fall in love with. Although it’s chilly and some paths may be closed, the park transforms into a peaceful winter wonderland. Just be ready for colder weather, and remember that winter sports are off the table here.

Spring

Spring

In spring, the park bursts into life with wildflowers and budding trees. You’ll enjoy mild weather, making it ideal for hiking up to Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. The days are getting longer, too, so you’ve got more daylight to explore.

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Fall

Must-See Attractions

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Amicalola Falls

The park’s namesake attraction, Amicalola Falls, is a breathtaking waterfall cascading 729 feet, making it the highest waterfall in Georgia. Visitors can view the falls from various vantage points, including an accessible boardwalk trail to the base of the falls.

Appalachian Approach Trail

The southern terminus of the famous Appalachian Trail begins at Amicalola Falls State Park. Hikers can embark on the approach trail, which leads to Springer Mountain, the official starting point of the 2,190-mile-long Appalachian Trail.

Amicalola Falls Lodge

Overlooking the falls, the lodge offers visitors stunning views and comfortable accommodations. Even if you’re not staying there, it’s worth stopping by for the view and perhaps a meal at the restaurant.

Helpful Tips: Making The Most Of Your Adventure To Amicalola Falls State Park

Plan Ahead

Check the Weather

Weather in the North Georgia mountains can be unpredictable. Check the forecast before your visit and dress accordingly, especially if you plan to hike or spend extended time outdoors.

Pack Appropriately

Wear Comfortable Shoes

If you plan to explore the trails, wear sturdy, comfortable shoes suitable for hiking. Some trails may be rocky or uneven, so proper footwear is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Amicalola Falls State Park is home to diverse wildlife and ecosystems. Respect wildlife by observing from a distance and avoiding feeding or approaching animals. Leave no trace by packing out any trash and staying on designated trails.

Stay Informed

Take Precautions Against Ticks

Tick-borne illnesses are a concern in wooded areas, especially during the warmer months. Wear long sleeves, pants, and insect repellent containing DEET to protect against ticks.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Amicalola Falls State Park

The hike to Amicalola Falls is a 0.3-mile out-and-back trail near Dawsonville, Georgia, which generally takes about 22 minutes to complete.

There are 604 steps from the bottom of the park to the top of Amicalola Falls, with a viewing platform halfway up.

Yes, the park offers camping options including tent, RV, and backcountry camping. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons.

Yes, the park has several picnic areas equipped with tables, grills, and restroom facilities. Some picnic areas offer scenic views of the falls.

The park offers a variety of hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous. The most popular trail is the West Ridge Trail leading to the base of Amicalola Falls. The Appalachian Approach Trail is also a favorite among hikers.

No, swimming is not permitted in the falls or streams within the park. However, there are designated fishing areas for anglers.

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