Last week, my brother Brrrian was here for Easter. He is an art teacher in Asheville and was on spring break. Since he has been to Atlanta so many times to visit us, we wanted to find somethin' different to do. He loves to enjoy the outdoors, and his dog Bruno does too.
Brrrian got online and found Amicalola Falls State Park in North Georgia. The park has 12 miles of hiking trails and, as the name suggests, a huge waterfall too. In fact, the Appalachian Trail starts just 7 miles north of Amicalola, and ends over 2000 miles later. Someday, I would like to hike some of it. Ernesto and I have been in Atlanta almost 10 years and only hiked in the GA mountains once! Despicable, I know.
The visitors center offers maps and there are rangers available to answer questions. You can leave your car in the lot and get started up the stairs to the falls. 425 stairs to be exact.
Our original plan was to hike to the AT trailhead (7 miles and back) on the AT Approach Trail, as it is cleverly called. The trail was very well maintained, and because the leaves were not yet out on the trees, the views were exceptional!
As we progressed and realized how little water we had left, we had to rethink our route. There was a break-off trail called Hike Inn Trail which leads to none other than the Hike Inn, a secluded lodge with great views, and water! We refilled our bottles and continued on.
Only after we had stopped and refilled our bottles, Brrrian pulled out his water filtration gear and filled his water bottle?! Oh, that crazy Brrrian! What a cool little gadget it is though. You drop one end of the little hose, which has a filter, into the water and pump. It fills up the bottle with clean water in no time!
Hike InnTrail took us on a 5 mile loop back to the AT approach trail and ended back at the top of the waterfall.Crossfit instructors' blog who runs this trail often and has named this workout "The Meat Grinder". He said it is for "ultra-runners" and an ultra-runner, I am not. We ran parts of the trail and got worn out quickly. Nonetheless, a great great workout!