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Amicalola Falls Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 2.3 miles Type of trail: In and out
County: Dawson County, GA Our rating: D
Features: waterfalls, visitors center, stream, scenic, river, picnicking, family, camping, bathrooms, 60hikes Your rating:
Usage: Medium Added on: January 11, 2003
Last hiked: July 24, 2014 Updated on: November 27, 2015
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Hiking trails in Dawson County, GA

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Falls at normal level
This wide, well marked trail features close-up views of the falls, and some extraordinary views near the top of the falls. The trail in the area of the falls is paved or staired. Because of the nature of the steps, you may not want to take dogs with small feet.

Amicalola Falls Trail is actually two trails, the "Base of Falls" Trail and the waterfalls trail and they have two entirely different personalities. The Base of Falls Trail parallels the paved road between the visitors center and the reflecting pool, crossing it once and ending up at the southwest corner of the lower falls parking lot. The falls portion of the Amicalola Falls Trail is a steep, paved trail that requires a good deal of effort to climb up, even for a seasoned hiker. For this reason we suggest that you climb to the top of the falls via the East Ridge Trail and come down the "Top of Falls Trail" on the return. This hike is much easier. For these reasons this narrative is told as if the trail were being hiked from the top of the falls.

Amicalola Falls during drought
At the top of Amicalola Falls is a bridge built out over the falls that permits what is unequivocally the best view of the Southern Appalachian piedmont in Georgia. Spreading out for miles, on a clear day you can see the Allatoona Mountains, some 30 miles away (there are, however, very few clear days). On the west side of the bridge steps descend to the upper viewing platform. From this vantage point there is a good view as the water tumbles over the top of the falls into a 729 foot waterfall (actually, a series of waterfalls). From the upper platform stairs take you to the lower bridge, which crosses the face of the falls some 250 feet below the top, affording a tremendous view of the falls. Down another flight of steps is the lower platform, with another great view of the falls and the bridge. From the lower platform to the reflecting pond the trail is steep and paved.

Reflecting Pond below Amicalola Falls
Circling the reflecting pond at the bottom of Amicalola Falls, this path continues as the "Base of Falls Trail" from the southwest corner of the Lower Falls parking lot. From this point on, the trail is "easy," even though we rated the entire hike "difficult." Flat and level, this trail provides access to many of the parks features including picnicing, group shelters, areas to hold intepretive sessions and a playgroud. At first the Base of Falls Trail runs along the Amicalola River, affording close-up views of the river itself and some interesting flora that grows to protect the fragile riparian zones on the river bank. From here the path rises, crossing a road. A wooden bridge crosses a low area, then the trail returns you to the visitors center.

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