The trails and incredible scenery make Amicalola Falls State Park one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. Hike to the top of the state’s tallest waterfall and take in beautiful Appalachian views.
Amicalola Falls Overlook Hike
The cascading Amicalola Falls is the main attraction of the park, so while the waterfall overlooks will be crowded, your hike may not be. The hike begins behind the Visitor’s Center on the East Ridge Trail. Follow the marker for “Maine to Georgia;” the East Ridge Trail was previously used as the old approach to the Appalachian Trail. The trail climbs quickly through a series of switchbacks and passing spots perfect for hanging a hammock and resting. The trail reaches 400 feet and meets a gravel road at .6 miles. This is an old roadbed that used to go from the Visitor’s Center to the waterfall overlook.
With the gravel trail wide and open, you’ll be able to take in the spectacular views of the mountains the valley below off the left side of the trail. You can start to hear the falls as you approach the paved parking lot at 1 mile. Follow signs for the overlook and the trail will cross a wooden bridge spanning the top of the waterfall and looking out over the Southern Appalachians.
Continue your hike down the stairs, following the Appalachian Approach Trail to the base of the falls. This will take you down 425 steps to the lower overlook, which spans the falls a third of the way down, allowing you a more closer view of the tumbling waters. The trail continues down another 175 steps to another platform at the very base of the falls, offering a view of Amicalola Falls in its full glory. The trail levels off here and follows a paved path along the resulting creek and passing the reflecting pool at 1.5 miles. The trail crosses the road and winds around picnic areas and playgrounds before looping back to the trailhead at 2.1 miles.
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