Improvements are planned for Amicalola Falls State Park in North Georgia, home to the Appalachian Trail's Approach Trail and the famed 604 steps on the Stairway of Death adjacent to the waterfalls.
No, they're not putting in an elevator. Sorry, campers and/or hikers, but that's a heck of an idea!
Three agencies -- the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Georgia Power and North Georgia Mountains Authority (NGMA) -- are partnering to improve conditions and views of one of Georgia's most iconic landmarks and popular destinations: Amicalola Falls State Park.
At 729 feet, this is the Southeast's tallest cascade and a major tourist attraction in the north Georgia mountains.
Because the rushing waterfall is the park's main feature, one frequent visitor concern is the inability to fully see the falls from the bottom parking area or many sections of trail. Over the years, trees and shrubs have blocked the view, and stream banks above the waterfall have begun to erode. Additionally, silt has filled the "base-of-falls" fishing pond and negatively impacted fishing opportunities at the park.
The state will soon begin a multi-year project to improve these conditions which involves:
The state park will remain open during these projects. Some sections of the trails around the falls may be closed briefly for a few hours; however, visitors will still be able to see the waterfall from other parking areas and sections of trail.
The project is being funded by a $109,000 grant from the Amicalola Falls chapter of the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites which includes substantial financial support from Amicalola Electric Membership Corporation. Arborists and crews from Georgia Power will assist with tree removal.
Once the project is completed, Amicalola Falls State Park visitors will enjoy much better views of the falls, better photography opportunities and improved fishing from the pond.
Guests can also enjoy the park's newly renovated lodge and conference center. Sitting atop the mountain with spectacular views of the Chattahoochee National Forest, the lodge features 57 guest rooms, a restaurant and conference space.
The state park is operated by the North Georgia Mountains Authority, which has contracted with Coral Hospitality for management. The park also offers 14 cabins and 25 campsites for overnight guests, plus hiking trails with access to the famous Appalachian Trail.
Tags: Tourism, Appalachian Trail, News, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer
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