Amicalola Falls State Park: our favorite hikes
Hike Amicalola Falls State Park to Georgia's tallest waterfall, the southernmost point of the Appalachian Trail, and a backcountry lodge. Our favorite Amicalola Falls trails.
Amicalola Falls State Park is nestled in North Georgia’s mossy, waterfall-filled Chattahoochee National Forest, set in the rolling, vibrant-green southern Appalachian Mountains. It’s one of the most popular, and most visited, of Georgia’s State Parks – and for good reason. At the heart of the park, the Amicalola Falls waterfall spills down a towering bluff, falling 720 feet into a mossy, boulder-filled forest. Amicalola Falls is Georgia’s tallest waterfall – and the highest cascading falls east of the Mississippi River.
Amicalola Falls is located 7.5 miles by hike from the southern end of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain, and is the closest access point to the trail via paved roads. The Appalachian Trail Approach Trail departs from Amicalola Falls, trailing to the Springer Mountain summit. It’s at Springer that the Appalachian Trail begins its 2000+ mile journey northbound for Maine, a hike attempted every year by thousands of AT thru-hikers.
And there’s another well-loved trail that departs from the crest of Amicalola Falls, the Hike Inn Trail. This trail winds through beautiful forest to reach the Len Foote Hike Inn, a backcountry inn that’s accessible only via hike. It’s one of our favorite outdoor experiences in Georgia, and well worth the hike, with great food, great company and beautiful views at the inn. (And how cool, to pack for a day hike but overnight in the wilderness: it’s a fantastic alternative to backpacking.)
These are our favorite hikes at, or beginning at, Amicalola Falls. Staying the night? Reservations are required for the Len Foote Hike Inn, and highly recommended for the Amicalola Falls Lodge and the Amicalola Falls State Park campsites and cottages.
REMINDER: Slippery rocks and fast moving water can be extremely dangerous! Do not climb, stand above, swim near, or jump from any waterfall. See more water safety tips.
Amicalola Falls State Park Trails
Hike this Amicalola Falls loop to catch the most scenic views at the park. The hike begins under a stone arch commemorating the Appalachian Trail, climbs to a ridge with incredible views, and then winds down a series of stairs flanking the immense, tumbling Amicalola Falls waterfall.
AMICALOLA FALLS TO A BACKCOUNTRY INN
Hike from Amicalola Falls to the eco-friendly Hike Inn, a backcountry lodge that’s only accessible by trail. Stay the night to catch a stunning morning sunrise, great company and great food before hiking back to Amicalola Falls.
AMICALOLA FALLS TO SPRINGER MOUNTAIN
Hike from the crest of Amicalola Falls on the AT Approach Trail to Springer Mountain, the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. This out-and-back 15-miler makes for a challenging day hike, or an even better overnight backpacking adventure.
Stay the night (or a few) at the Hike Inn, an eco-friendly lodge that’s accessible only by hike – and one of the coolest outdoor experiences in Georgia. Located between Amicalola Falls and Springer Mountain, the Hike Inn offers access to great hiking – but you’ll be tempted to just relax at this beautifully unique inn.