Back to Nature… Amicalola Falls and the Appalachian Trail

On Sunday I packed a picnic lunch and we headed north to the mountains. I didn’t grow up in Georgia, so there are many parts of the state that I haven’t seen. Last week I got onto the website for Georgia’s State Parks (www.georgiastateparks.org) to see what kind of activities and attractions are within driving distance of my home. Turns out there are plenty! I decided to check out Amicalola Falls in Dawsonville, Georgia.

Looking out over the mountains from the top of the falls.

Amicalola Falls is a natural waterfall in the North Georgia mountains that marks the southernmost tip of the Appalachian Trail. I had heard that it was breathtaking, and it certainly lived up to the hype. Imagine rocks jutting out and water spilling down hundreds of feet surrounded by verdant green trees. Definitely worth an hour’s drive!

playing in the river

The park featured a visitor’s center, wildlife rehabilitation center, playground, picnic areas and ponds and streams to fish and play in. In the visitor’s center, they had a series of terrariums with native Georgia non-venomous snakes. Elle loves snakes, which I find totally creepy, but she was fascinated by the display. We also got to see two live owls and a turkey vulture from the wildlife rehab center. There are numerous hiking trails and a series of about 400 stairs that will take you all the way to the top of the falls. I didn’t feel like carrying my two year old up 400 stairs, so we drove to the top of the falls.

Hunter looking out over the falls.

We had our picnic by the stream at the bottom of the falls and did a little mini hike. On the way back, we stopped at a little country store for some ice cream. It was another great day exploring our state and getting outside!

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