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Appalachian Trailplace - sample pages (Page 9)

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Appalachian Trailplace - sample pages
Page 4 ­ Amicalola Falls State Park: (240 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd., Dawsonville,
GA 30534; 706-265-4703; <>); derives its name from a Cherokee
word meaning "tumbling waters." Its beautiful falls plunge 729 feet in seven cascades,
the highest falls east of the Mississippi. Visitor Center--open 7 days, 9am-5pm; has
soda and snack machines, restrooms, an outside public telephone, and some limited
hiking supplies. You should sign the hikers' register at the visitor center, where you can
check for thru-hikers who have signed in ahead of you. If you want to weigh your pack,
look for the famous "Amicalola scale" hanging near the back door. The park will hold
packages for hikers sent by mail or UPS to the address shown above (packages are held
at the visitor center). Camping in the park is prohibited, except at the regular park
campsites, which are $15 per night with shower and coin-operated laundry nearby. All
vehicles entering the park must pay a $2 parking fee unless only dropping someone off.
Dogs are permitted on leash only. The park has cottages, usually booked far in advance,
but rooms are often available in the lodge early in the year when thru-hikers start their
hikes. Coleman fuel (leftover when someone has used only part of a gallon) is often
available free at the visitor center. Amicalola Lodge--$59 up; 1-800-573-9656 or 706-
265-8888 for reservations; with the Maple Restaurant in the lodge (open to the public
7 days, 7-9pm, until 10pm Fri and Sat). Max Epperson Shelter--available to thru-
hikers free of charge, located 500 feet beyond the visitor center on the East Ridge Trail.
Water is available from the visitor center restrooms, which are left open at night, or
from a water fountain near the restrooms. A shower is located in the nearby dayuse
area. Len Foote Hike Inn--located about five miles from the park by way of the yellow-
blazed Hike Inn Trail which begins near the lodge, and the inn is about 4.5 miles by trail
from the summit of Springer; 1-800-864-7275 or inquire at the park visitor center.
Additional information about all park facilities is available on-line.
The Approach Trail--an 8.8 mile blue-blazed trail to the southern terminus, called
East Ridge Trail inside the park, starts behind the visitor center, passes the "A.T. Golden
Anniversary Maple" (planted by your author and others in 1987), the Max Epperson
thru-hiker-only shelter on the left, the falls, and the lodge area before leaving the park
and heading toward Springer Mountain. You can also intersect the approach trail by
taking the paved Top of Falls Road across from the visitor center to the falls. At the falls
parking area, take the road to the lodge, which intersects the approach trail at a
yellow crosswalk before you reach the lodge. Both the East Ridge Trail and the roadwalk
involve a steep climb, so get a ride to the top of the falls if you can. Be sure to fill your
water bottles at the visitor center or lodge before leaving the park, since the approach
trail has few dependable water sources. Once underway, do not get caught up in the
initial enthusiasm of your trip and wear yourself out before you reach Frosty Mountain,
as have all too many eager thru-hikers in past years. Take it easy at first and enjoy the
walk to Springer, which can be quite delightful on a sunny spring day.
The Approach Trail
92 The Thru-hiker's Handbook 2003
For information about travel options to Amicalola Falls State Park,
Georgia, and the Springer Mountain terminus area, and for information
about individuals or businesses providing shuttle services to either
location, see the "Hiker Resources" section of our website

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