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Amicalola Falls Loop via Upper Observation Platform

Dawsonville, Georgia

Details

Distance

1.93 miles

Elevation Gain

666 ft

Route Type

Loop

Description

Added by Katie Gillen

For my favorite Amicalola Falls hike drive to the top of the falls to start from the upper observation platform.

To get there you can use Google Maps or Waze to “Upper Observation Platform” – W Ridge Staircase, Dawsonville, GA 30534. The other option is to start at the visitor center. If you start at the visitor center, it will add about a mile to your hike so parking in the upper parking lot like us will save you some steps if that’s what you’re looking to do. 

Behind the visitor center is the popular stone archway that leads to the trail for this hike and the “beginning” of the Appalachian Trail. The good news is there is no wrong way to hike the falls so whether you want to start at the visitor’s center or at the top, you can hike what fits your style. The park charges a $5 entry. Past the entrance, you continue along a windy road until you get to a parking lot situated at the top of the falls. In total, the hike runs a little over 2 miles round trip. Parts of the hike can be a little steep with some rocky and root-filled passes. Just watch your feet and take it slow to avoid a wipe-out. Amicalola Falls is one of the most popular state parks in Georgia which means it can get pretty crowded. 

When you start at the falls you hike down the side of the mountain with views of surrounding mountains and wild blackberries. Then you will approach the falls from the bottom. Once you get to the falls, be prepared for the 600+ steps that will get you to the top of the waterfall and to an observation deck. At 729 feet, it is the highest waterfall in Georgia!

Nearby lodging options:

There is a lodge, a small pond for fishing, and camping and cookout areas packed with people. It is also located near The Hike Inn which is one of North Georgia’s most interesting lodging options.

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Features

Hiking
Easy Parking
Picnic Area
Scenic
Waterfall

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