Whispers from the Waterfall
The year 2023 is moving along quickly as I’m finding myself planning for Spring Break! My plan this year is to listen to the whispers from the waterfall – Amicalola Falls – as the centerpiece of my get-back-to-nature adventure with friends.
The very beginning of spring is one of my favorite times to visit North Georgia. We talk a lot about fall color around here, but what about spring blooms? Wow! New leaves are shooting forth and tiny blooms are emerging. I confess I don’t know all my native Georgia plants, but I can tap into what the experts know.
I’ll be able to identify plants by scheduling a naturalist-guided hike. My friends and I can venture into the forest by hiking the famous Appalachian Approach Trail to Amicalola Falls in these one-hour guided adventures. Being with someone more familiar with the land will give us a greater connection with the plants and animals that live here, plus historic knowledge of this special place. Guided hikes are $12 per person and are arranged in advance at the Visitor Center.
We have lots of time to spread out the activities, so I know some in my group are going to dial it up a notch and defy gravity with zip lining. Imagine touching the clouds in the forest while you place full faith in yourself and your guide. You’ll want to make reservations ahead of time as it’s not yet peak visitation season. Zip lining adventures begin at $29 and can be booked online ahead of your arrival.
- Did you know? If you’re not planning a whole week for Spring Break, book a Sunset Dinner Package which includes an overnight stay in a lodge room, a bottle of house wine to watch the sunset and dinner for two at Cascades Restaurant.
From suites and rooms and cabins to glamping sites and campsites, anyone can mold Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge into their own adventure. It’s referred to as an Adventure Lodge – a place to play, discover, and explore. Our adventure can be as humble as reading my favorite book with a mug of hot tea while sitting in a rocking chair on the porch overlooking the mountains. Or, pulling back the bow string to aim my arrow in 3D Archery. Why not? It’s like being at camp again.
Amicalola Falls is one of the biggest natural attractions in North Georgia. It holds the record for being one of the tallest cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. The same goes for the lodge: Amicalola State Park Lodge is perched atop one of the tallest mountains in the state, which gives almost every room a perfect view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Did you know? Amicalola is a Cherokee Indian word meaning “tumbling waters,” an appropriate name for the 729-foot falls.
I hope my Spring Break plans to visit the mountains surrounding Georgia’s highest waterfall inspires you to reach further into your passions, forget about the crowded (and likely still cold) ocean beach, and simply come to the North Georgia mountains to hike, read, eat well, sleep in, and enjoy friends and family. The waterfall is whispering to me for spring.
By Phoebe A. Keys