Amicalola River Trail | Dawsonville, GaDawson Forest Wildlife Management Area Hyw 53 West Dawsonville, Ga
I’m going to let you in on a secret; that’s how much I like you all. Amicalola River Trail/The Edge of the World/ Fern City…it goes by many names, but whatever you call it, it’s awesome. This large outcrop of rocks makes the perfect picnic place, complete with swimming hole, rock slides, and all out fun. We’ve been visiting here for almost eight years, and it only gets better.
Follow directions on the link above to get to the parking lot.
New since 2012, you will need to pay…this is a fee area. Here’s the catch: there is no fee station here. You must purchase a pass before you go. A day-pass is $3, or you can purchase an annual pass (which we have and love.) Do this online and immediately print out your pass or if your printer is broken like mine was, write your temporary ID on a large piece of paper and place it in your window. You can purchase either a GORP or WMA pass, whichever is better for you…they both work here.
UPDATE: According to the GADNR website, GORP passes are no longer available. We haven’t been since this change (July 1, 2017) so I am unsure of the implication for this trail. As soon as I can get in touch with a GADNR official, I will update the info here.
The trail is 2.9 miles long, but I’ve never hiked the whole thing. The rocks are the draw. From the parking lot, head down the stairs to the trailhead. You’ll follow the new ADA-compliant boardwalk for about a half-mile (my best guess.) When the boardwalk ends, you can catch a spectacular view of the rapids from a small observation deck.
Don’t stop here. Follow the rough-terrain trail for a few hundred more feet. It will split, with the Amicalola River Trail following the top split to the left. You want to take the fork to the right in order to head to the boulders. It’s not easy…but I managed it with two small kiddos, a pack, a camera, and a lunch bag. If I can do it, you can do it!
Bring your swim suits, a camera, and lunch. Don’t bring alcohol; don’t ask me how I know this law.
Disclosure: No one paid me to write this; I just like to hike and share. No one comped me the WMA pass, although maybe I should have asked (joking, joking.) As always, if I didn’t think it was killer, I wouldn’t write about. #keepingitreal
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.