Amicalola Falls, home to the tallest waterfall in the state, is one of the Georgia’s most popular state parks. Located northwest of Dawsonville and on the cusp of the North Georgia Mountains, the park is named after its most treasured feature, Amicalola Falls.
Amicalola is a Cherokee Indian word meaning ‘tumbling waters’ which is appropriate for the 729-foot waterfall, the third-highest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. – Georgia Department of Natural Resources
From the spectacular mountain views to the tumbling waters, visitors will enjoy breathtaking hikes during all seasons.
While there are numerous trails for shorter day hikes, Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge offers an abundant of activities that can turn a day trip into a weekend adventure. Activities include ziplining, fishing, guided hikes, GPS scavenger hunts, bird shows and even 3-D archery. You can pack a lunch for a day hike and enjoy dinner with a view at the Maple Restaurant. From sleeping under the stars to a classic cabin or a mountain resort, there is a place for every guest to rest. With so much to do, be sure to check out the park’s map to help plan your trip. Pets are welcomed, but must remain on a leash not exceeding 6 feet in length.
HOURS: Amicalola Falls State Park is accessible year-round during daylight hours. The Visitor Center is open 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
ADMISSION: $5 Daily ParkPass. You can also all buy an annual pass for $50.
By Carden Wyckoff, Disability Advocate freewheelinwithcarden.com
Parking: Accessible parking is located at all levels of the mountain. The Visitors Center is accessible by ramp to the left of the building.
Restrooms: Visitors will find restrooms located at the visitors center off to the right just beyond the park’s entrance. There is also an accessible single stall bathroom further up the mountain, near the entrance of the Appalachian Approach Trail. The bathrooms are not unisex. They contain handrails and in some cases a shower without a bench.
West Ridge Falls ADA Trail: After entering Amicalola Falls State Park, turn left and drive up the hill to the first small parking lot on the right for accessible parking. The ADA trail to see the falls begins at the end of this mid level parking lot. The trail curving through the woods is made of solid recycled rubber with a wooden handrail. It is about 0.3 miles long with a downhill slope and rated easy to moderate. Be careful of the edges and where the rubber has eroded. There are a few rough patches, but most are easy to maneuver around. This pathway is shaded heavily by the tree canopy. Once you arrive at the falls, the platform changes to grated metal. The smell is nature/fresh air. The air is moist and humid. Noises include people chattering, people walking, water rushing, cars driving, and the sound of metal clanging once you arrive at the viewing platform.
Top of Falls Overlook: If you continue driving up the mountain, you will see a sign for accessible parking on your right. Taking a right after the fork in the road will lead you to a parking lot with direct access to the top of the falls. The pathway is paved asphalt which turns into a wooden deck overlook.
Lodge Loop: At the very top of the main roadway, visitors will find a 0.25 mile, accessible trail near the lodge. It is rated easy with a paved surface and educational displays. The trail is lit for early morning and/or evening use.