View Amicalola Falls From the Top Down
Easy to More Exerting Approaches to Georgia’s Tallest Waterfall
At 729 feet with seven cascades, you are witnessing Amicalola Falls. This natural feature of awe is the tallest waterfall in Georgia and the third tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. From the Cherokee dialect, Amicalola essentially translates to Tumbling Water. Welcome to the North Georgia mountains, the ideal vacation spot and easy drive from Atlanta for a weekend getaway.
Top of the Falls
Just how much tumbling you are committed to seeing will dictate your approach. At the top of the falls, a staircase descends 425 steps to the lower elevations and connects with trails that follow the fall’s descent.
The bridge over the falls is adjacent to a parking lot. We viewed the falls from its source, a burbling creek behind the bridge. The slow-moving and clear waters here seem almost deceptive because in seconds, all that water is going to cascade into churning chaos.
Right: View of the falls from its source
Middle of the Falls
My friend’s six-year-old enjoyed seeing the falls from an easy hike to its middle point. Park at the West Ridge Access Trail and the paved, accessible path leads you to stunning views of this natural wonder and its power. In early summer, look for mountain laurel and blooming on
Left: As we transition from spring into summer, mountain laurel blooms in full glory.
After being at the top overlook, I descended the 425 steps to the trail system that loops around the falls and back up. Some people prefer to start at the bottom and ascend the steps taking the trails back down—that’s up to you! Taking in the full view of the waterfall from the lowest viewpoint brings back memories of camping as a child – being encompassed by and in wonder of the natural surroundings. That’s a family vacation with memories that still stay with me.
I’m glad I brought more water than I thought I would need, as the ascent back to the top of the falls offers switchback trails that eventually lead me to the Lodge by following the signs. As I headed up, up and up, I soon found myself looking down into the valleys – the views from the trails are unbelievable. When I arrived back at the Lodge, I returned to my room with a spectacular view of the valley below to change quickly before heading back downstairs to enjoy a casual meal at the Lodge’s full-service restaurant, relishing my day spent in nature. I sipped a glass of wine and ate my dinner all while enjoying an amazing sunset from the restaurant’s panoramic, floor to ceiling windows.
Right: View of the mountains in the Chattahoochee National Forest from my Lodge Room.
The Lodge is cozy and comfortable with incredible views of the mountains. I met many people on the trails who were camping at the park, and some even on their way to explore the beginning of the Appalachian trail.
Wishing you all waterfalls of fun this summer!