A Family Getaway At Adventure Lodge Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia

Sponsored by Amicalola Falls State Park

Staying at The Adventure Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park was the perfect way for our family to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy a tranquil and relaxing getaway.

Surrounded by breathtaking views of the mountains and majestic Amicalola Falls, it was a place where you can just disconnect and let nature inspire you.

The lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park, on top of the mountain
The Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park

“This is my kind of getaway,” I exhaled from my Adirondack chair with wine in hand and flames leaping out of the fire pit.

Our cabin was decked on the back with only forested views in front. The Talbott Brothers on Spotify were reminding me to stay Young and the rushing sound of Amicalola Falls as it tumbled down over its lip in the distance relaxed the stress out of me.

We would spend the day exploring the miles of hiking trails or take a scenic drive through the North Georgia Mountains, before coming back to our cozy cabin and relaxing in front of the fire and sharing our fondest memories of the day.

If you’re ready to relax amidst nature or head out on an outdoor adventure holiday, then here’s what to expect from a stay at The Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park and our experience to inspire you!

We have secured a great Amicalola Falls Adventure Lodge just for y travel Readers

Save 40% on overnight stays through June 30, 2023, and receive Breakfast for 2 the next morning (first night only). Use Promo Code 40MP to book online if prompted.

Offer based on double occupancy and availability. Blackout dates may apply. The discount is only available for stays through June 30, 2023.  Breakfast for 2 is first night only. Food credit holds no monetary value and cannot be cashed in or applied outside the onsite restaurants. Not applicable for OTA’s, groups or reservations of 5 or more rooms per night. No other discounts apply. Applicable fees and taxes not included.

Click here to book your stay with the discount code: 40MP

Where is Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia?

Top of Amicalola Falls
Beautiful Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls State Park is located within Chattahoochee National Forest between Ellijay and Dahlonega in Dawsonville, Georgia.

It is just over an hour north of Atlanta, two hours southeast of Chattanooga, TN, and three hours south of Asheville, NC.

The park is less than an hour’s drive from Blue Ridge, Helen, and Hiawassee.

Which lead me to ponder several times during our visit, how can this place be so close to Atlanta, yet so blissfully quiet? 

Part of the blessings of traveling mid-week and during the month of May is a little extra serenity before summer breaks out. 

What Makes Amicalola Falls State Park Special?

people relaxing around campfire at Amicalola Falls State Park
Relaxing by our fire

The best thing about Amicalola Falls State Park is that it offers the best of both worlds.

You can enjoy many outdoor activities such as swimming, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, and more.

Or you can simply relax and enjoy nature, spending an evening spent under the starlit night sky on the terrace or cozy up by the lodge’s outdoor fire pits.

As soon as I melted into the natural surroundings by that fire pit, I scrapped all our plans to possibly venture out the next day to visit a few farms and wineries in the surrounding Dawson County region of the North Georgia Mountains.

“You know what, Craig. This is all I need right now. I’m not leaving Amicalola Falls State Park. I’m going to wake up slowly, do a couple of hiking trails to experience the falls, and then I’m going to lap up the serenity of this cabin and the surrounding forest. There’s nothing else that will give me greater bliss.”

people looking at Amicalola Falls
Amicalola Falls

And we did just that. Four nights at the state park doing nothing else but enjoying the adventures this stunning Georgia State Park had to offer. 

Things To Do At Amicalola Falls State Park: An Adventure Lodge

Cabin at Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge
Our cabin. Picture yourself here?

If you think sitting in the forest for four days would be a little too heavy on the boredom scale for you, let me tell you that Amicalola is known as an adventure park

Experiencing the grandeur of Amicalola Falls is not the only attraction on offer. There are a range of outdoor activities available that move from sedate to thrilling – it is one of Georgia’s most popular state parks for a reason! 

1. See the Beauty of Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia
Amicalola Falls is gorgeous

Of course, you would expect Amicalola Falls to be the highlight of your visit to the state park named in its honor. 

Amicalola means “Tumbling Waters” in Cherokee, which is exactly what your senses will experience in this Georgia State Park. At 729 ft high, it is the highest waterfall in Georgia and the third-highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. 

Amicalola Falls cascading over rocks
Many viewpoints to take in

What’s unique about these falls is that you can experience it from multiple angles – from the top, the bottom, the middle, and views from far away. I recommend you do all the above.

When we visited, part of the trail was closed due to storm damage so we had to navigate around a little so we could still experience all the different approaches. 

2. Hike Amicalola Falls Trail (from the bottom to the top)

stairs leading up the sid eof Amicalola Falls, Georgia
Bottom of falls

The ultimate is to hike from the base of the falls of Amicalola Falls (starting from the Visitor Center at the park’s entrance) right to the top where the lodge is located. 

From the Visitor Center, the trail takes you through a lush green forest beside the creek and the Reflection Pool, popular for trout fishing.

people fishing in Reflection pool, Amicalola Falls
Reflection pool

Pause here to take in the views of the Falls coming down the mountain, but not for too long as the height may scare you away from finishing your walk!

From there, the path has a short but steep climb to the bottom of the falls where you have views of the falls cascading down the rock face and beautiful views of the valley behind you. 

Then, you climb a flight of steps to the middle observation deck and then another 425 stairs to the top. 

Plan to stop at the lodge for lunch and a drink after to soak up the views before taking the easier walk back down. 

It will be a truly memorable experience!

4. Hike The Top of the Falls to the Middle

Top of Amicalola Falls with view out to valley
View from top of the falls

Alternatively, you can walk down from the top of the falls for a shorter hike to the middle observation deck.

This will involve those 425 steps down – remembering that you’ll need to come back up. I’m of reasonable fitness and it took me about five minutes and didn’t feel as bad as it looks – you can do it!

person walking down stairs amicalola falls state park
Not as hard as it might look

5. Walk The Flat Path to the Middle Observation Deck

people walking the trail Trail at Amicalola Falls
The easiest option

There is a much easier and flatter trail that takes you to the middle observation deck. You can, of course, take the steps up to the top from here, or down to the bottom (if they are open).

NOTE:

When we visited (May 2021), the section between the middle observation deck and the bottom of the falls was closed in order to repair storm damage.

So, we hiked from the top to the middle, and then from the Visitor Center to the bottom of the falls. That cut out about 300 stairs, but gave us the same views and experience.

6. Go Zip Lining on the Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventure Tour

family posing with zipline gear
Dressed for adventure

Time to add Ralph to your USA Bucket List.

Ralph is The Super Zip high above the canopy at Amicalola Falls State Park.

We’re talking a 2,400-ft long, 250 ft high cable zooming you at speeds of up to 50-60 miles per hour and offering you outstanding mountain and valley views. On a clear day, you can even see out to the Atlanta Skyline. 

person Ziplining at Amicalola Falls State Park
Start of Ralph

I loved this zipline and only wished it went for longer.

View from zipline
View from zipline. Can you see me?

The Screaming Eagle zip lining experience at Amicalola Falls State Park can last up to four hours over three levels of courses comprising of zip lines and suspension bridges.

Level 3 takes in all 16 zip lines and is where you’ll find Ralph. 

man Ziplining at Amicalola Falls State Park

There is a weight restriction of 95lbs. Savannah was so disappointed she was too light for Ralph, but she enjoyed experiencing Stanley, Number 2 on the zip line thrill odometer. 

Kalyra was pretty nervous to do Ralph, and I had to coax her quite a bit as I knew she’d love it and regret it if she walked away.It is a delicate dance with your kids to help them navigate past fear. As predicted, after it she said it was “awesome and not as scary as I thought.”

7. Try 3D Archery

girl doing 3D Archery at Amicalola Falls State Park
She is a sharp shooter

We are going deep into the forest hunting animals on this archery course with a difference. 

You’ll come across foam modeled animals such as deer, bear, foxes and the final prize – an elusive dinosaur. 

The 3D Archery course at Amicalola is loads of fun and feels like the real deal. You’ll learn the basics of using a bow and arrow and will take shots at the foam 3D targets in the outdoor range.

3D Archery at Amicalola Falls State Park
The elusive dinosaur

The 3D archery is a fun family activity, which our girls really loved and felt empowered doing. 

8. Have A Go At Tomahawk Throwing

people Tomahawk throwing at Amicalola Falls State Park
Can you hot a bullseye?

Our family will always remember our first time Tomahawk throwing.

Craig was front of camera and attempting to nail a bullseye after his line, “this is my first time throwing a tomahawk.”

He shocked himself more than the rest of us when he truly did nail the bullseye! It was hilarious (stay tuned for our video).

girl receiving instruction to tomahawk throw Amicalola Falls State Park
A park ranger gives instructions

We enjoyed learning how to throw a tomahawk and attempting to nail the bullseyes ourselves. The girls did great. I think I landed only 1 or 2 but had fun doing so. 

Throwing an axe at the target is harder than it looks.

7. Meet The Birds of Prey

On weekends, you can spend time getting to know a few of the park’s animals at animal meet and greets.

We loved meeting Sir Lands-a-Lot, a rescued red-tailed hawk who did not want to fly away to be wild again. He was raised with ducks and now quacks like one. Hearing that was an Amicalola moment. 

We also got to touch a non-venomous corn snake named Kellogg. The girls were afraid at first, but once they did, it didn’t take long for them to fall in love with it curling around their arms.

Corn snake at Amicalola Falls State Park
Corn snake

Once you hold and touch a snake, you experience how special they are and fear them less. I love how Amicalola gives you this opportunity to experience it firsthand. 

Do not touch wild snakes, btw!

8. Hike Part of the Appalachian Trail

Approach trail to Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Approach Trail

Did you know Amicalola Falls State Park is where scores of people each year begin their once-in-a-lifetime adventure hiking the Appalachian Trail?

The 5-mile hike on the approach trail begins at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail from the Visitor Center and leads to the base of Springer Mountain, the official beginning of the Appalachian Trail, which then continues for another 2,000+ miles to Maine. 

You can walk a section of it, or just get your photo taken at the stone archway signaling the beginning and tell all your friends you did it.

9. Hike the Mountain Laurel Loop

This moderate hiking trail is a looped trail that sits on the ridge above Amicalola Creek and has amazing views of the old Appalachian approach trail.

The hike is only about 1 km, but you can extend it by hiking onto the Spring Trail or the West Ridge Falls trails.

Park the car at the West Ridge Falls Access Trail and hike from there.

Amicalola Falls Lodge

Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia
Stunning mountain-top location

“You cannot beat a view like this,” I demanded of the girl’s attention as we sat down at the Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge for dinner the first evening.

“Can you pay attention for a minute? Look at it. A seeping vista filled with forested mountains, not a sign of civilization in sight. Do you know how rare this is? Especially in the USA.”

girl looking at view from Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park
Amazing views!

Amicalola Lodge turns an ordinary state park experience into an extraordinary one.

Perched in the middle of the forest on one of the tallest mountains in Georgia is the grand lodge with magnificent vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

floor to ceiling glass windows with valley view Lodge at Amicalola Falls State Park

You will love coming in and out of the lodge as you move about your day, either organizing activities, eating, sleeping, or just relaxing in its beautiful foyer and outside patio. 

Sunset at Amicalola Falls Lodge

Sunset at Amicalola Falls State Park
Magic sunsets from the lodge

Another highlight of your stay at Amicalola State Park is watching the sunset behind the mountains from the lodge. 

You’ll notice a quiet gathering of guests with their glasses of wine and chairs perched on the edge of the mountain and around the fire pit.

man and woman clinking glasses at Sunset at Amicalola Falls State Park
Perfect way to end your day

Again, with this view you’ll be amazed at the complete absence of any human life – just a few hawks circling around with endless flight space over the valley and mountains. 

Dining: Cascades Restaurant

Inside the lodge, the Cascades Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers traditional American and Southern classic cuisine.

The pecan crusted trout is a crowd pleaser, as is the rib eye steak. On busy days, they have buffets for all three meals with plenty of choices to suit all tastebuds.

The standout feature is the floor to ceiling glass windows offering panoramic views of the mountains. 

Head to the patio for your pre or post dinner drinks, sunset views, and quiet firepit conversations.

Accommodation at Amicalola Falls

Take your Amicalola Falls experience to new heights by staying within the state park. From suites and rooms to cabins and campgrounds, you choose your level of comfort and mountain retreat style. 

Amicalola Falls State Park Cabins

Our mountain top cabin
Our mountain top cabin

After checking into our mountain cabin, we took one look over the back deck and started carrying wood down to the firepit below. It’s the perfect space to unplug and unwind deep in nature. 

I loved hearing the rushing sound of Amicalola Falls from our campfire in front of the cottages. And the girls and I had loads of fun dancing together on the huge deck of the cabin. Talk about Extraordinary – our moves were just THAT!

These rustic cabins are perfect for families, that are just rustic in look and feel. 

Inside you’ll find the modern facilities you’ll love from kitchens, cozy fireplaces, separate bedrooms (1-3), ensuite bathrooms, and WiFi – remote learning and working families will love that feature.

inside Cabin living room at Amicalola Falls State Park
Cozy interior

You can choose two locations for your Amicalola Falls cabins; the wooded mountaintop or creekside below the Falls.

decok of Cabin at Amicalola Falls State Park
Loved this deck with views!

Our cabin was at the wooded mountaintop. I loved the 10-minute walk to the lodge. A trail took you past the top of the waterfall through the forest to the lodge. Why drive when you can walk with Mother Nature by your side?

Lodge Rooms

Comfy lodge room
Comfy lodge room

The lodge is your accommodation choice if you want a little more luxury and convenience. You’re only steps away from dining, views, lodge activities, and the top of the Falls. 

There are 57 modern and stylish rooms that vary from King, Double Queen, and suites. Many have sweeping views of the mountains with a private patio. 

Amicalola Falls State Park Camping

RV parked at Campground at Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia

The Amicalola Campground is located on the Mountain top near the cabins. It’s secluded, spacious, and quiet with easy access to all amenities. 

There are 24 well maintained wooded campsites for RV’s and tent camping. Sites have water, power, a grill, and a fire ring. 

Note: The road to access the campground is at a 25% grade and may not be suited to the largest RV Camper models.

We have secured a great Amicalola Falls Adventure Lodge just for y travel Readers

Save 40% on overnight stays through June 30, 2023, and receive Breakfast for 2 the next morning (first night only). Use Promo Code 40MP to book online if prompted.

Offer based on double occupancy and availability. Blackout dates may apply. The discount is only available for stays through June 30, 2023.  Breakfast for 2 is first night only. Food credit holds no monetary value and cannot be cashed in or applied outside the onsite restaurants. Not applicable for OTA’s, groups or reservations of 5 or more rooms per night. No other discounts apply. Applicable fees and taxes not included.

Click here to book your stay with the discount code: 40MP

More Georgia Travel Tips

When we left Amicalola, our next stop was another fantastic state park in Georgia. Here are some other guides about nearby accommodation and places to stay.

Video: Amicalola Falls State Park

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4 thoughts on “A Family Getaway At Adventure Lodge Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia”

  1. Your post came up when I did a search for the falls. This was so helpful and makes me want to visit even more. Thank you for such an in-depth post.

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