A Guide to Visiting Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville, GA

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On the very edge of the North Georgia Mountains, near Dawsonville, Georgia, you’ll discover Amicalola Falls State Park. The shining star, in my opinion, in the Georgia State Parks system. 

Here you’ll discover spectacular vistas, the state’s tallest waterfall, endless outdoor activities and the chance to disconnect from the crazy chaos of daily life.

Come along as I share how I fell in love with this incredible park.

Visitor Center Amicalola Falls.

Amicalola Falls State Park Visitor Center

Be sure to start your visit at the newly remodeled Visitor Center. This is where you can find all the happenings at the park during your visit. From ranger programs to interactive exhibits featuring live animals, the center provides valuable insights into the diverse ecosystems found within the park. 

In addition to being an information hub, the visitor center has a nice gift shop, cafe, and clean bathrooms. 

Gather maps, embark on a GPS scavenger hunt, and kickstart your adventure in the heart of this popular state park.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Amicalola Falls State Park now has an approach trail for AT thru-hikers?

The souther terminus at Springer Mountain is a short 8.5-miles away making this an accessible destination for ATers. ATers can check in at the park and receive valuable advice before heading out on their 2,150 mile Appalachian Trail hike.

stone archway to the AT trail at amicalola falls state park.

Even if you’re not hiking the AT find the trailhead behind the Visitors Center that is marked by a stone archway. This is an amazing photo opp for ATers and day hikers.

Amicalola Falls at the State Park.

Amicalola Falls

After you leave the visitor center head to Amicalola Falls. This is the centerpiece of the park and likely the number one reason for state park visits.

Its name is said to be from the Cherokee dialect and translating it to English roughly means “Tumbling Water” which is pretty accurate. The water drops an impressive 729 feet with seven cascades. 

And even though you’d never think Georgia could have one of the tallest waterfalls, Amicalola comes in as the 3rd tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi.

You can view the falls from both the top and the bottom, but in my opinion, the bottom is really the best place to view it.

top of amicalola falls,

The top of the falls offers a large parking lot with a paved walkway to the viewing bridge and reflection pool. This bridge spans a small creek which is the headwaters of this amazing waterfall.

It’s deceptive because you’d never guess that within seconds those drops of water will soon go from calm and gentle to chaos and power as it makes the 700+ foot drop.

Vista Views at Amicalola Falls.

From the viewing area you’ll have gorgeous vista views of the mountains and of the slow moving river.

To really embrace all that is Amicalola Falls though you’ll either have to walk down 425 steps (remember if you go down, ya gotta come back up) or jump back in your car, drive to the next parking area, pray a spot is available, and enjoy a leisurely stroll to the bottom of the falls. 

The path from that parking lot will lead you across the middle of the falls. Here, you can stand on the walkway and feel the force of nature.

It’s amazing!!

You can continue to the bottom of the falls with only 175 stairs for more spectacular views.

If you’re mathing, that would be a total of 600 steps from the very bottom of the falls to the very tippy top.

If you don’t see the falls while visiting did you even visit Amicalola Falls State Park?

amicalola falls state park resort lodge entrance.

Types of Accommodations

Wooded Campsites

Nothing better than waking up on top of a mountain when you camp at one of the 24 campsites. Each site is roomy offering some privacy from your neighbors.

There is an updated comfort station with laundry facilities and ADA accessible restrooms and showers within the campground.

Glamping

There are 4 safari-tent style glamping sites available at the park. Two of the tents offer a king bed with 2 bunk beds, perfect for families. The other two tents offer 2 queen beds, All the glamping tents have the following amneties:

  • Keurig Coffee maker
  • Mini fridge
  • Rugs, lamps, diffuser and other home decor
  • Electrical outlets to charge your devices
  • Your own Ceiling Fan, Residential A/C & Heating Unit.
  • Your Glampsite will also include 2 hammocks, a wood fire ring, a charcoal grill with a cooking grate, string lights, 2 camp chairs, and a picnic table.

Cabins

There are 14 cabins available at the park for groups of all sizes. Each cabin has heating and air conditioning, decks, fireplaces and satellite TV. Plus some of the cabins are ADA accessible and pet friendly 

The cabins are located in 2 different spots, there are Wooded Mountain Top Cabins or Creek Side Below the Falls Cabins.

amicalola falls state park resort lodge fireplace.

Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge

The mountain resort features panoramic views of the surrounding area and comfortable resort-style rooms.  Lodge Room types include King, double Queen, Mountainview Lofts and several suite options.

Len Foote Hike Inn.

Len Foote Hike Inn:

While it’s not a park of Amicalola Falls State park, the park is the trailhead for Len Foote Hike Inn.

This is a unique overnight experience and a must if you love hiking and camping. The Inn is accessible only by foot, over a 5-mile hike. For a unique overnight experience, consider the Len Foote Hike Inn.

The sustainable mountain retreat is surrounded by spectacular views and offers an all-inclusive package the includes your stay, dinner and breakfast.

Read the first hand hiking experience to Len Foote Hike Inn on Weird South.

hiking trail at amicalola falls state park.

Hiking Trails

East Ridge Trail

For a family-friendly adventure, explore the East Ridge Trail, offering shorter day hikes with easy access to the base of the falls.

Enjoy tumbling waters and the immersive experience of the great outdoors on this well-maintained trail.

West Ridge Falls Access Trail

Seeking a challenging trail? The West Ridge Falls Access Trail leads to the top of the falls, providing spectacular views along the way.

As part of the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, this trail promises an unforgettable journey for avid hikers.

Len Foote Hike Inn Approach Trail

The Len Foote Hike Inn Approach Trail, weaving through the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

This trail is not just a path; it’s an opportunity to connect with nature on your way to the unique mountain retreat.

AT Trail

The trailhead behind the Visitors Center is marked by a stone archway that has become an iconic symbol for experienced trekkers and weekend ramblers who make the ascent toward the legendary southern terminus at Springer Mountain, 8.5 miles away.

hatchet throwing at amicalola falls state park.

Things to Do Beyond Hiking, Camping and Waterfall Viewing

Zip Lines

For an adrenaline rush and spectacular scenery, try the zip lines, allowing you to soar above the treetops and take in the beauty of the park from a unique perspective.

Hatchet Throwing

Learn the basics of how to throw a hatchet then practice on outdoor wooden targets.  All equipment is provided and closed-toed shoes are required for this activity.

Archery

Learn the basics of how to safely shoot a compound bow and arrow then practice from different distances on 3D foam targets.

Picnic Areas

Take a break and savor a meal at the park’s designated picnic areas, surrounded by the sounds of nature and the beauty of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Other Things To Do Nearby

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