Enjoy Spectacular Scenery!
The Fall Foliage Is Breathtaking!
Absolutely beautiful! Breathtaking! So lovely! These are just a few of the accolades voiced as visitors view 729-foot Amicaloia Falls. The dramatic waterfall draws its name from the Cherokee word meaning “tumbling or sliding waters”.
Located mid-way between Ellijay and Dahlonega in Dawsonville, Georgia, the celebrated falls were once included in land held sacred by the Cherokee Nation. The 1828 discovery of gold in Georgia prompted the removal of the Cherokee people from their lands. The 1832 Treaty of New Echota required the tribes to abandon their homeland and move further west. In 1838, the remaining Cherokee Indians were force-marched on the “Trail of Tears” to a new reservation in Oklahoma.
In 1932, a surveyor, William Williamson wrote in a description of the falls, “In the course of my route in the mountains, I discovered a water fall perhaps the greatest in the world. The most majestic scene that I have ever witnessed or heard of. The creek passes over the mountain and the fall, I think, can't be less than six hundred yards. The mountain is at least three fourths of a mile high. I made great exertions to get on the summit but the ascent was so great that I was completely exhausted by the time I reached half way. My position was such that I had a perfect view of the entire fall. The stream is called Um-ma-eolola from the fall (sliding water)”.
Featuring the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeastern United States, the picturesque site was added to the Georgia State Park system in 1940. The land was actually purchased by the State of Georgia In 1911. However, little was done to enhance the resource for several decades. The scenic water feature now attracts travelers from far and near. The mountain scenery is spectacular, the air fresh and crisp, the waters sparkling and the recreational opportunities outstanding. Visitors can swim, fish, hike, camp, picnic, or just relax and unwind.
A myriad of hiking trails allow visitors to view the cascading falls from several different vantage points. Routes vary from a lower handicap accessible pathway to a steep set of stairs leading to the top of the falls. Other hiking trails throughout the park are clearly marked for length and difficulty. A scenic 8.5-mile trek along the Southern Terminus Trail brings hikers to Springer Mountain and the southern starting point of the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail. Many determined hikers use the unique setting as a rendezvous location and “jumping-off” point of their Appalachian adventure.
Are you looking for a beautiful mountain travel destination for a romantic weekend getaway, a relaxing family holiday, a club meeting or a corporate retreat? Undoubtedly one of the nicest facilities in the Georgia State Park system, the inviting glade offers something for everyone. Cozy cottages and well-maintained campsites provide rustic accommodations. Visitors that prefer hotel comforts will enjoy staying in a charming mountain top lodge. If you are planning a memorable family vacation experience, a 5-mile walk brings guests to the Len Foote Hike Inn, Georgia’s only backcountry eco-friendly “hike-inn” lodge. The park is an ideal choice for a family reunion. The park offers 56 lodge rooms, 20 hike inn rooms, 25 campsites, 14 cottages, 4 picnic areas and a group picnic shelter. The state park is pet friendly. Your family pooch is welcome. Located adjacent to the main lodge, the Maple Restaurant is well known for its spectacular mountain vistas and scrumptious Sunday brunch buffet. The Visitor Center presents live animal displays, maps, an Appalachian Trail Exhibit and a well-stocked gift and supply store.
Celebrate the change of the season. The brilliant display of fall foliage makes autumn an particularly favored time to visit 829-acre retreat. When visiting the park, be sure to carry a camera. Birding and wildlife viewing are popular activities. Black bear, deer, wild turkey, grouse, quail, woodcocks, raccoons and squirrels call the park home.
If you have ever dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Appalachian Trail Kickoff held each year in March at Amicalola Falls State Park is a “must attend” event. Enjoy mountain music while visiting with experienced hikers and examining the latest trail gear for sale. Maps, t-shirts and other Appalachian Trail memorabilia will be for sale along with authentic Appalachian arts and crafts including musical instruments, woodcarvings, quilts, pottery and locally made edibles. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn everything you need to know about the 2,185.9-mile Appalachian Trail experience.
For driving directions and reservations, contact Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge, 418 Amicalola Falls State Park Road, Dawsonville, Georgia 30534 or call (800) 864-7275.