When you hear someone talk about the state of Georgia, forest and waterfalls are probably not the first thing that come to mind. Georgia however which is home to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the southern part of the Appalachian Trail and stretches from mountains to seashore and marshland to forest has some amazing wildlife preserves. The state has 48 state parks, 15 historic sites and numerous preserves and National Monuments.
Did you know the state of Georgia has more than 40 waterfalls and thousands of acres of forest?
Just ninety minutes north of Atlanta is one of the state's most popular parks, Amicalola State Park. Part of the Chattahoochee National Forest, the park protects more than 800 acres of forest. Home to many hiking trails it is the ending/starting point for the Appalachian Trail and boasts a guest lodge, camping areas, cabins, restaurant and hike in hotel all within its boundaries. You can also fish, zipline and see Georgia's tallest waterfall.
Amicalola is derived from a Cherokee word which means tumbling water. And unsuprisingly the parks most memorable and accesible attraction is the 720 + foot waterfall that it is named after. Considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia the waterfall can be accessed by the park road or a 2.2 mile loop trail. The road takes you right to the top of the falls where people of all abilities can view the falls from the top. For physically fit individuals a series of wooden walkways and more than 400 stairs can take you from the top or bottom up along the falls. The trail which can be started from the Visitors Center has 2 routes; one up a trail and the other up the stairs. Accessible year round the park is wooded with native Georgia tree species, dozens of birds and other wildlife. The falls is 729 feet tall making it the tallest in the state. From its upper viewing deck you are also just steps away from
an 8-mile (13 km) trail that winds past Amicalola Falls and leads to Springer Mountain, famous as the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail which begins in the park.
Where to Stay at Amicalola State Park
Set prominently high on a hillside overlooking the forests of Amicalola is the Amicalola Falls Lodge. A welcoming and convenient location for those looking to spend a night or a few days in the park. With 57 rooms and one of the most gorgeous decks you'll ever see this lodge with restaurant and activity center is a great place to get away. The Lodge also offers cabins for larger families or people wanting a bit more room and rustic flare.
For those wanting a hike and a little adventure you can stay at the Len Foote Hike Inn. Only accessible by 5 mile hike this eco-friendly Inn is set in a picturesque part of the forest with full time staff to serve you dinner and breakfast, the Len Foote Hike Inn is a fun twist on any overnight hiking trip and located just 1 mile from the Appalachian Trail.
Want to know more about Georgia? Check out these FUN FACTS about the State.
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