Hiking Amicalola Falls in Georgia near the base of the Appalachian Trail – the hike before the hike

When you embark on the 2,100+ mile trek of the Appalachian Trail, don’t pass up the opportunity for a warm-up hike to Amicalola Falls. The Base of the Falls Trail is a 1-mile hike, just south of the Appalachian Trail, with views of a beautiful waterfall that is considered one of the Seven Wonders of Georgia. This is a stunning hike and not to be missed as the climb reveals spectacular views, predominant wildlife and the soothing sound of water lapping against rock that propels you to the top.

The falls are located in Amicalola Falls State Park, 15 miles from Dawsonville, Georgia. The trail begins at the Visitor Center and although it is not considered part of the Appalachian Trail approach, the climb is more rewarding and the scenery more beautiful. This hike is considered moderate, for the experienced hiker, and strenuous, but doable, for those who enjoy the occasional hike from time to time. The hike starts out flat; then it moves steadily towards an uphill climb. A nice feature is the last few meters of the walk, which can only be taken via a wooden ladder. Here, hikers make their way to the base of the falls, where they are kissed by the mist of the water propelling them forward. A blustery spray is a welcome treat during a tough climb in the warmer months. Every fifty paces or so there is an alcove, or platform, jutting out over the water, allowing faster hikers to pass by or families to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. The stairs end at the base of the falls, where there is a bridge that allows hikers to cross the creek to the other side. This is a nice resting place where you can take the best pictures as you watch the falls crash before you. Once you cross the bridge the trail continues for another several feet to the top of the falls.

At the top, the views of the Georgia Valley below are incredible as you make your way to the boardwalk where visitors can stand directly on top of the falls. Look over the railing and watch the rush of water fall at your feet. Upstairs there is also a picnic area with a large field of green grass to lay down a blanket and enjoy a well-deserved lunch. Conveniently, there are restrooms at the top to use before you walk back, making for a happy day. However, the fun doesn’t have to stop there. If more climbing is desired, a hiker can continue their journey and hop on the Appalachian Approach Trail to the southern end of the Appalachian Trail and Springer Mountain. Just a quick crossing of the highway and the blue marked trail will take hikers to the trailhead of the Appalachian Trail. Whether you’re hiking the falls to get the blood flowing to your legs for the big hike, or just want a fun-filled day in the great outdoors, the trail from the base of the falls to Amicalola Falls, while short It is a rewarding hike as visitors enjoy seeing the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi.

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