Amicalola Falls State Park is one of the most popular destinations in the Georgia State Park system
Amicalola Falls drop 729 feet from top to bottom, earning the distinction of being the tallest waterfall in Georgia.
The name "Amicalola" derives from a Cherokee word that loosely translated to "tumbling waters." Standing next to the crashing cataract, one can certainly appreciate the nomenclature.
There are trails leading to the falls, but be prepared for a climb. The trail varies from steep to stairs, and can be a very aerobic adventure. If you are not in top physical condition, be sure to carry drinking water and plan to rest often.
Although the park contains one of Georgia’s most significant natural features, it is a bit over-developed and includes a year-round lodge on the property. Those that prefer a more natural experience can elect to stay in the campground.
Amicalola Falls State Park is also famous as the starting point for most that are hiking the Appalachian Trail. Although the national trail officially begins on Springer Mountain, one must hike the AT approach trail that originates in the park to get there, or hike backwards from another point on the trail.
Another reason that the park is so popular is its proximity to the Atlanta Metropolitan area. Located between Dawsonville and Ellijay on Georgia Highway 52, the park is less than a two hour drive from nearly everywhere in the region.
And it’s definitely worth the effort to get there!