Northeast Georgia Mountains

April 22nd, 2022 by admin Leave a reply »

Family adventure, natural enchantment, lush green forests, sparkling rivers, thundering waterfalls, and blue mountains awaits visitors here in the Northeast Georgia mountains. Visitors can connect with nature with the 1,000′s of acres of forest land, mostly in the Chattahoochee National Forest and numerous state parks found throughout the area. Here in The East Georgia Mountains there is no shortage of the spectacular sight of waterfalls, where some are big and bold, others are more delicate; however, only a few can be viewed from the highway with most falls requiring some degree of a short walk or a hike deep into the forest.

Diverse trails, 829 acres of pristine wilderness and wildlife, and the tallest cascading water fall in the Southeast makes Amicalola Falls State Park one of Georgia’s most popular parks and a true wonderland for the nature lover. There are several choices for visitors to best view the tumbling waters from an accessible walkway to view the falls from afar, a short drive to the overlook parking lot, to a challenging trail with staircases. Starting at the visitor center a short distance from the base of the falls are two trails, the East Ridge and West Ridge Trails where both end at the Amicalola Falls overlook and can be combined to make an incredible challenging loop.

The 1.1-mile East Ridge Trail starts behind the visitor center where it traverses through the woods on a rugged trail of roots and boulders gaining 800-feet in elevation in its quest to reach the summit of the falls. Near the top are several overlooks where the views of the valley and surrounding mountains are beyond spectacular. Descending down the West Ridge Trail leads one down through the gorge with spectacular views of the cascading falls. The trail starts on a staircase where 425 steeps leads to an asphalt walkway on the cliffs edge to a bridge which crosses over the gorge, providing dazzling views of the cascading water. The staircase continues down for another 175 steps with some impressive views of the cascading water tumbling its way deeper into the gorge. Near the base of Amicalola Falls the trail returns to asphalt passing by the reflection pond where it gives way to a more rugged trail ending at the parking lot in front of the visitor center.

Vogel State Park, the second oldest state park in Georgia sits at the base of Blood Mountain, which has the highest summit on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and is surrounded by the Chattahoochee National Forest. This park has a rich history where many of the facilities were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression and the surrounding mountains were linked to Native American people before European settlement. The park’s popularity comes from the range of accommodations and outdoor activities including a 22-acre lake and a variety of trails from which to choose.

The best hike for the thrill seeker is the rugged 4.1-mile partial loop Bear Hair Gap Trail that winds its way up and over the lower ridges of Blood Mountain gaining over 1,000- feet in elevation. As the trail traverses through the woods, the only sounds to be heard is the rushing waters from the mountain streams and the sight of the many colors of fall leaves falling to the forest floor are unbelievable. At the summit of the trail, a short winding side trail leads to the outer edge where the view of the valley and Trahlyta Lake is pure breath taking. For a short leisurely walk, the 1-mile loop Trahlyta Lake Trail winds its way along the wooded banks of the parks 22-acre lake. Crossing the earthen dam provides a photographic opportunity of Blood and Slaughter Mountains which provide a spectacular back drop to the lake.


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