Amicalola Falls
Dawsonville, Georgia, USA

Amicalola Falls in Dawsonville, Georgia

Amicalola Falls is a beautiful 729 foot cascading waterfall nestled in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains of Northeast Georgia.  Amicalola is a Cherokee word that they say means "tumbling waters", which is a perfect description of this cascading Goliath of a waterfall.

There are several claims as to it being the tallest bla bla bla out there on the internet, which most certainly depends on how and from where you we'll let you sort through all of that on your own if you so choose.

We had rather tell you about the great things that we know one hundred percent for certain about this beautiful waterfall and the popular park that surrounds it.

couple poses in front of waterfall in North Georgia mountains

Amicalola Falls State Park's Biggest Claim to Fame

Perhaps beyond the massive cascading waterfall and all the great features of Amicalola Falls State Park, is that the super challenging Appalachian Approach Trail begins there.

Starting at the famous arch just behind the visitor's center, the approach trail is the trail that connects the park to the official southern terminus or starting point of the Appalachian Trail.

In fact, the last time we were there, we came up on the tail end of what looked like a couple who had just got married there and were taking their first steps into their new life together by going through the arch and hiking the trail.

Many Appalachian Trail gurus, veterans, and enthusiasts recommend starting any thru-hike of the Appalachian on the approach trail.  In fact, more than half of the northbound hikers of the trail do start there.

One of the best reasons that was given is that the approach trail is actually a good and tough, final proving ground to see if you really are ready to hike the 2,190 miles from the top of Springer Mountain, Georgia to the high peak Mount Katahdin, Maine (highest point in the state of Maine at 5,269 feet).

Southern terminus of the AT on Springer Mountain, Georgia

After all, the approach trail is a 8.8 mile mostly upward climb and as two who have done the approach trail, we can testify that it is indeed tough!

Appalachian Trail Plaque at the end of the approach trail and start of the AT

Back to the Falls

Amicalola Falls is pretty impressive and is the perfect centerpiece of the park.

There is a massive wooden staircase that frames the falls and allow you to view it from many perspectives, while also providing those ever-important selfie opportunities so that you can share the experience with family and friends if you so choose.

staircase to the falls at Amicalola

Those steps up are not for the faint of heart though, so take your time and don't rush to better enjoy the experience.  Rest as needed on the way up or down.

Crowds at Amicalola

Just to be abundantly clear.  Amicalola Falls State Park and the falls themselves are a massively touristy spot.  I don't say that lightly.  In fact, I can't remember in all of the times we have visited, when there wasn't a sizeable crowd.

Personally, I wouldn't let that keep you from going, because it is a great place that any waterfall or outdoor enthusiast has to see at least once, but just be mentally and logistically prepared to bump elbows a bit.

Alternative Views, Lodging, Dining, and Activities

Another centerpiece for Amicalola Falls State Park is the Amicalola Falls Lodge seated high above and to the right of the falls, overlooking the beautiful north Georgia mountains that surrounds it.

One of the things any visitor should do, whether you stay at the lodge or not, is walk into the lodge, through the beautifully adorned lobby, past the giant map of the Appalachian Trail, and out onto the huge deck and enjoy the beautiful views of the encircling mountainous terrain.

views from the deck at Amicalola Lodge

And if you're hungry while you're there, you should totally visit the Maple Restaurant.  With delicious food and a casual dining environment with floor to ceiling windows to further enjoy the views, this place is hard to beat.

If, after letting your meal settle, you are still up for different adventures, the park and lodge offer things like 3-D archery, zip lines, GPS scavenger hunts, animal meet and greets, and even guided hikes, where you may pick up more fun facts about Amicalola Falls, the Appalachian Trail, and north Georgia mountains.

So, if you have yet to see Amicalola Falls in the great southern Appalachian Mountains, you definitely need to get moving and mark it off your bucket list!

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