Although not well known, at least outside of the AT hikers and the locals, Springer Mountain and Amicolola Falls should be included on the list of sites to visit for anyone traveling through Northern Georgia.
The Appalachian Trail actually starts a few miles North of Springer Mountain, but many of the thru hikers begin their journey with a night at the Amicolola Falls State Park Lodge. We arrived at the lodge with heavy fog rolling in and a steady drizzle. Our room at the lodge was clean and comfortable, and I can’t say enough about the food served in the restaurant. Another pleasant surprise was the speed of the wifi signal in the lodge.
Because of the persistent fog and drizzle, we weren’t able to visit the falls until the following day, so we made the best of the situation by enjoying the lodge amenities.
The following morning broke with a bit of fog, but there were signs that it wouldn’t be sticking around long, so we headed down the mountain to the visitor center and the base of the falls. From the lower falls there is a trail that can be taken to the top.
At the lowest level of the falls is a reflecting pool that visitors can walk around. It is a quiet and serene place where less adventurous souls can wait for others to climb the trail that follows the falls up the mountain.
The falls themselves are incredible, but to really see them, you will have to follow the trail up from the base – a fairly strenuous climb, but much easier that it could be thanks to the steps which have been built
At one point on the trail, you can look up the mountain ridge and see an old pickup that was lodged in the trees. Your imagination takes over when you consider how the truck ended up there and find yourself hoping that everyone walked away from the wreck.
The falls are actually a series of waterfalls with a total drop of 729 feet. The trail has many places which offer opportunities to get jaw-dropping pictures. If you wanted, you could take a picnic lunch and make a day of it.