Hiking At Amicalola Falls State Park

Feeling up to a challenge?

Conquering an exciting hiking trail will always yield a great sense of accomplishment, but the payoff is even better when you’re rewarded with breathtaking views of the highest waterfall East of the Mississippi. It’s because of this that so many visitors to Helen decide to make a short trip southwest to check out Amicalola Falls State Park. Despite the fact the plentiful Helen hiking trails offer adventure and incredible scenery, Amicalola Falls is still a hot spot for vacationers. The park is filled with a variety of trails for hikers of all skill levels, making it possible for the whole family to experience the beauty of Amicalola Falls. This useful guide will tell you everything you need to know about hitting this Helen-area landmark – another of Georgia’s 7 Natural Wonders.

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Planning Ahead

When heading out on a hiking excursion in one of Georgia’s state parks, such as Amicalola Falls, you should expect to pay a $5 parking fee. The park tends to become very busy during the summer tourist season, as well as in peak leaf season. As a result, the parking lot may quickly fill up. If visiting during these times of the year, it’s advisable that you arrive at the park early in the day. It’s always a good idea to make a stop at the visitor’s center before embarking on your hike, as a means of viewing park maps and planning out your course. Because some of the trails can be quite strenuous, be sure to always carry plenty of water for everyone in your party (including dogs, who are welcome in the park when on a least at all time), to don proper hiking attire, and to wear sunscreen.

Getting Here  amicalola falls cabins

Located just West of Dahlonega, Amicalola Falls is easily accessible to vacationers who are staying in Helen. Simply follow GA-75Alt N until it becomes Town Creek Church Road, and then becomes GA-52 W. This will lead you directly to Amicalola Falls State Park Road which terminates at the park itself.

Hitting the Trails

Everyone wants to find a hike that will afford them the best possible views of the falls. Fortunately, you will have multiple options. For those who are traveling with children or those with mobility issues, it’s advised that you follow the West Ridge Falls Access Trail. This path is only .3 miles long each way, and is paved with a recycled tire surface that makes it ideal for wheelchairs and strollers. The trail only inclines slightly, earning it an “easy” rating. Even so, the trail offers some of the best views of the falls.

For a different look at the falls, consider hiking the Creek Trail. This .6 mile hike is rated moderate, and will take you from the visitor center to the reflection pool at the base of Amicalola Falls.

Interested in more of a challenge? Access the falls via the New Appalachian Approach Trail/Base of the Falls Trail. As the most traversed trail of them all, this will take you on a moderate to difficult journey up steep slopes and stairs all the way to the falls overlook. Still want more? Keep going another 7.5 miles to the beginning of the Appalachian Trail.   The East Ridge Trail is another top pick for accessing the top of the falls. The trail is 1 mile long, rated moderate to strenuous, and follows a section of an old roadbed leading from the Visitor Center to the top.

Don’t overlook the Mountain Laurel Loop. This moderately difficult trail is 1 mile in length, and leads hikers across the crest atop Amicalola Creek. The trail can be reached via Creek Trail, and offers exceptional views of the native flora and fauna, Amicalola Creek, and the falls.

Points of Interesthelen cabin rentals

Obviously, the biggest draw of the park is the falls themselves. At a staggering 729 feet, Amicalola Falls truly is a sight to behold. If you’re a photography enthusiast, you’ll want to be sure to view the falls from every possible angle, including the accessible viewpoint, the top of the falls, and the base pool. It’s at this particular reflection pool that you can relax after a morning of hiking, and even try your hand at trout fishing during times when it is seasonally permit table. Of course, for those who have the energy and drive to brave the New Appalachian Approach Trail, it’s possible to experience the rich history of the Appalachian Trail and view Springer Mountain. And, of course, the park’s lodge itself is of interest to visitors. When stopping by, you’ll notice that the facility houses live animals for you to visit.

Want to learn more about Amicalola Falls State Park and it’s many hiking trails? Leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to help you out.