As the home of Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge, Dawsonville, Georgia is the site of many amazing natural wonders and outdoors experiences. Spectacular scenery and hiking trails make Amicalola one of Georgia’s most popular state parks.
An 8.5-mile trail leads from the park to Springer Mountain, the beginning of the famous Appalachian Trail in Georgia. A 5-mile trek will take you to the Len Foote Hike Inn, a backcountry lodge that indulges everyone from the Appalachian Trail thru-hiker to the family seeking a getaway to enjoy the peace and beauty of the mountains without the trappings of modern life. Also at Amicalola Falls State Park, a mountain-top lodge is popular with guests who prefer hotel comforts, while cottages and a campground offer more rustic accommodations.
Let’s not forget the falls themselves. Named “tumbling waters” by the Cherokee Indians, Amicalola Falls drops 729 feet, making it the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. More than 600 stair steps will take you from the base to the top of the cascade, while wheelchair access is available on a half-mile trail to see the middle of the falls and take photos that will capture the memories forever.
In addition to the miles of hiking trails at Amicalola and throughout the Dawsonville area, there are plenty of opportunities for bird watching, camping, canoeing and rafting.
The area’s diverse topography changes elevation from river lowlands to mountain highlands. This creates a rich ecosystem that attracts a wide variety of bird species. Annual migrations of geese, mallards, wood ducks, and other colorful species such as neotropical warblers, tanagers, orioles, and grosbeaks can be seen in the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area (parking pass required). Near the Etowah River, bird watchers may see breeding warblers and other neotropical migrants – possibly even few blue-winged warblers – plus waterfowl and shorebirds in this area of maturing second-growth forest.