Amicalola Falls, Georgia

Amicalola Falls in May 2012

Amicalola Falls is a truly impressive waterfall that is worth a stop if you’re in the area.  I’m not sure how many people that are out-of-towners would be visiting this waterfall, considering it’s not particularly near any other amazing landmark.  Maybe a daytrip from Atlanta?  I come in search of waterfalls, so I drove with intentions of seeing these falls.

Now the falls are advertised at 1000′, and that represents the whole drop, but that’s not a vertical drop.  The falls cascade down the side of a mountain, and the delight is the top portion of the falls.  Depending on what path you choose, you may see the other lower portion of the falls, or it is also possible to completely miss them.

After entering Amicalola Falls State Park, you can keep heading straight until you reach the end of the road.  Signs indicate this is the trail to the base of the falls.  And that’s true.  This path requires much more effort.  You’re consistently climbing uphill and there are a significant number of stairs.  With this path, though, you can see most of the cascades below the most impressive drop.

On the other hand, if you turn left after entering the park, another road will somehow lead you to another parking area that leads just to the most impressive part of the falls.  (I didn’t go this way, hence the “somehow.”)  From this parking area, though, there is a very nice trail that uses recycled tires.  This would be the best bet for someone that is handicapped or has difficulties climbing hundreds of steps.  This gets you to the most impressive view of the falls without as much difficulty.  I ended up at the parking area on my hike, and another trail will lead you back down to the parking area mentioned before at the base of the falls.

Directions:

  1. From Ellijay, Georgia, head east on GA-52.  Keep going on GA-52 until you see the signs indicating the entrance to the park.
  2. Pay the $5 entrance fee, and then head to one of the two parking areas.  (There are numerous other parking areas, so if you’re unsure, just drive around a little bit before choosing on specific lot.)
  3. Follow the signs to the trail.  If you don’t end up seeing a great waterfall, you probably haven’t gone far enough.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate, from trail at base of falls), 9/10 (easy, from parking area further up)
Height: 729′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip (from parking area further up)

Where in the World is Amicalola Falls?

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