Amicalola Mountain (Cherokee for "Tumbling Water") is a massive ridge rising from near Dawsonville on its southwest flank to Nimblewill Gap not far from Springer Mountain at its northeast point. Its highest section is known as Frosty Mountain and was once the site of a Forest Service fire tower which has been disassembled and removed. All that remains of that tower are concrete footings partially hidden by vigorous undergrowth in the old clearing where it once stood.
Best known as the ridge line that serves as the source of the stream
that produces Amicalola Falls, it rises abruptly from a valley floor at roughly 1500 feet above sea level, offering an impressive forested face. The south facing slopes of Amicalola Mountain are extremely steep; deceptively so as they are covered in a fantastic array of hardwoods that hide what would appear as cliffs in a less temperate zone.
A fair portion of the mountain is protected as state park lands and as National Forest areas. While the actual Appalachian Trail does not traverse the ridges of Amicalola Mountain, the very strenuous Approach Trail does pass over the peak. Some thru-hikers make a point of hiking the Approach Trail, and thus Amicalola Mountain, while others avoid and instead use a Forest Service road to access the AT at a point not far from Springer Mountain, thus sparing themselves from such a tough beginning for north bound hikers.
Wildlife is abundant on the mountain, and bear populations have increased greatly over the past twenty years. It's not unusual to encounter black bears along the ridges and in the coves from Amicalola Falls State Park to the Springer Mountain vicinity. Wild turkey have made a tremendous comeback in the area, also, and are now commonly seen when they were all but extinct on the peak as recently as the early 1980s.
For directions use any mapping site and the following address:
418 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd Dawsonville, GA 30534
There is a three dollar parking fee for private non-commercial vehicles entering the park. Parking fees are waived for guests of the park lodge, campers in the park campground, guests of the cottages in the park, or guests staying at the Len Foote Hike Inn.
There is a developed campground in the park which charges $25 for sites with electric and water hookups. There is also ample free camping on Chattahoochee National Forest land which is accessible from various park trailheads.