Amicalola Falls State Park is one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. The dazzling 729-foot waterfall has helped the park to become one of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders. It is no surprise that the Cherokee Indians named this waterfall Amicalola which means “Tumbling Waters”. After a powerful rain storm, water pours over the falls edge in a continuous stream. The falls tumble and weave through the hardwood forests until it descends over the ledge at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The forests surrounding the falls include 2,050 acres owned by the park.
The park includes more than eight miles of trails plus an Approach Trail that leads to the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail. Each trail varies in difficulty and length to provide for the different desires of hikers. We decided upon the shorter West Ridge Falls Access Trail (0.3 miles) to view the falls. For the more ambitious, their is a set of two staircases with 604 steps that escalade to the top of the falls.
The West Ridge Falls Access Trail is made up of ground industrial tires. That is great for the planet and easy on the knees. The path can easily be repaired by adding more rubber. (Click on the sign above to enlarge.)
You never know what you will discover when hiking in the woods. We saw this old pick-up truck that had crashed among trees! It remains a mystery until this day. It may have been a truck from the 1940’s that was speeding in attempt to get away from the police or it might have been smuggling moonshine. It is fun just imagining the possibilities!
Amicalola Falls offers a variety of accommodations. http://galodges.com/ You can stay in a cottage, campground, or the lodge which has modern conveniences including internet connection. The lodge also has the Maple Restaurant that overlooks the Appalachian Mountains and serves country buffet style food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We stayed in the lodge and reserved the loft bedroom. The room had a bird’s eye view of the mountains.
After dinner at the Maple Restaurant, we decided to go out on another hiking expedition. We were in for a surprise when my brother spotted a Luna Moth resting on the ground! Luna moths are nocturnal creatures so it was exciting to see one when it was still light outside. It is also interesting to know that Luna moths are rarely seen due to their very brief (1 week) adult lives. I will never forget this special encounter.
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.