Lodge Accommodations amid Forest near Amicalola Falls
Amicalola Falls—one of the tallest waterfalls in the southeast—surges over a rocky precipice within Amicalola Falls State Park. The 729-foot cascade, whose name is a Cherokee word meaning “tumbling waters,” is located just a short walk from The Lodge at Amicalola State Park. Perched on a bluff overlooking the North Georgia mountains, the four-story lodge sits amid picturesque scenery near a trout-stocked pond and meandering trails through the Chattahoochee National Forest.
At the onsite Maple Restaurant, chefs prepare buffets and a la carte meals three times a day. Dig in while admiring the mountains through floor-to-ceiling windows. More great views await in lodge rooms; loft rooms, meanwhile, have enough space to sleep six guests.
Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia: Picturesque Cascades near Historical Towns
About 70 miles north of Atlanta, the lodge is tucked into the Amicalola Falls State Park, whose cascades are viewable from several vantage points for hikers. There are a number of trails in the park—the gently sloping 0.3-mile West Ridge Falls Access Trail boasts waterfall views for those avoiding a strenuous hike. For those who prefer to climb, a massive staircase leads trekkers up the mountainside adjacent to the waterfall, eventually arriving at the apex of the cliff. Serious hikers can make the 8.5-mile journey on the new Appalachian Approach Trail, which meanders past the falls to Springer Mountain. Once there, guests can pay the chipmunk toll collectors and hike a portion of the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail, which winds its way north to Maine.
Housed within the historical Lumpkin County Courthouse about 20 miles east of the lodge, the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site recounts the town’s 1829 gold rush. The mining boom was brief but prosperous—a US branch mint opened and coined more than $6 million in gold before closing its doors in 1861. The museum also exhibits a set of gold coins, a hydraulic cannon once used for mining, and a gold nugget that weighs more than 5 ounces.