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Duluth Massage

Amicalola Falls West Ridge
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 1.3 miles Type of trail: Loop
County: Dawson County, GA Our rating: D
Features: waterfalls, visitors center, fishing, camping, bathrooms, 60hikes Your rating:
Usage: Medium Added on: January 11, 2003
Last hiked: September 02, 2013 Updated on: September 02, 2013
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Hiking trails in Dawson County, GA

Directions to Amicalola Falls West Ridge

Along the West Ridge Trail at Amicalola Falls
The West Rim Trail explores the west ridge of the Amicalola Creek Watershed between the Appalachian Trail long term parking area across the road from the visitors center to the ADA parking area about halfway up the lodge road. The trails are known as the Creek Trail, the Mountain Laurel Loop and the Spring Trail, which crosses the lodge road to a historic spring used by the Cherokee Indians who inhabited Georgia prior to the Cherokee Trail of Tears. This narrative is told from the lower parking area.

Leaving the Appalachian Trail long term parking area from the northwest corner of the lot, the Amicalola Falls West Ridge Trail system begins by crossing the Amicalola Creek on a wooden bridge. Immediately after crossing the bridge the "creek trail" parallels Amicalola Creek, with some good views. This riverside trail is moderate to difficult, making a significant climb on a rocky and rutted path through a Southern Blue Ridge Mountains hardwood forest. As you hike on this path note the distance above Amicalola Creek at each place the stream comes into view.

After 0.6 miles the trail ends at the sign for the Mountain Laurel Loop Trail. Turn left and the trail begins an easy climb along what might be an old roadbed. Shortly the roadway is blocked and the trail bears right, climbing at a more moderate pace. The pace of the climb slows as the trail passes through a blowdown, courtesy of the pine beetle. Shortly after the blowdown the trail reaches a three-way intersection (all three trails are marked with the green rectangle blaze of the Mountain Laurel Trail). Turn right and quickly enter a ridge made up of mountain laurel occasionally interspersed with young oak trees.

View of the falls from the crossover bridge at Amicalola Falls State Park
At a signed intersection the Spring Trail comes off to the left and begins a difficult climb to the ADA parking area and the Cherokee spring. the trail climbs the ridge in a series of switches, approaching the lodge road near the top of the climb and switching back to a wooden staircase for the final steps to the parking lot. To continue to the Spring turn left and walk towards the lodge road, turn left on the road and carefully walk down to a wooden bridge to the spring. Because this portion of the trail requires a hike on a road without shoulders, we do not recommend it for young children. To access the falls, turn right and continue to the ADA Falls Trail.

Return down the steps and the Spring Trail to the Mountain Laurel Trail. Turn right and follow the Mountain Laurel Loop. Turn left on the trail to the reflecting pond at the base of Amicalola Falls. This narrow trail winds through a heavily forested cove of the Amicalola Creek watershed. There is an excellent scenic view of the falls from the fieldstone and cement reflecting pond. Return to the Mountain Laurel Trail and turn left. In 0.2 miles the Creek Trail comes off to the left, returning to the long term Appalachian Trail parking lot.

The Amicalola Falls West Ridge Trail is entirely within the boundaries of Amicalola Falls


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