|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|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Dawson County, GA
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.
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