The Southeast’s tallest cascading waterfall is situated in Dawsonville, but a majority of it cannot be seen through the surrounding trees.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Power and North Georgia Mountains Authority are partnering to improve views and fix other amenities at Amicalola Falls State Park, a major tourist attraction in the North Georgia mountains.
A common complaint over the years is the trees and shrubs block the view from the parking lot at the bottom of the 729-foot waterfalls.
Georgia Power arborists and crews will work to clear this overgrowth through the summer, according to Heath Carter, regional vice president of marketing for Coral Hospitality.
“You’re going to get a better view of the falls from the bottom parking lot, as you walk up the falls,” Carter said. “You’re going to have more vantage points to see the falls and the stream as you walk up the trail.”
There will also be improvements to the top and bottom of the falls, according to Carter.
“Where the falls start, there’s a kind of a creek area that, in the past, kids have enjoyed up there,” he said. “What’s happened is silt has washed in and down, so they’re going to work on the bank areas there, make it accessible and make sure it doesn’t impact the bottom fishing area.”
At the end of the project, improvements will also be made to the fishing area at the base of the falls, which is regularly stocked by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
“They’re going to dredge that area out and make it more suitable for fishing,” Carter said. “It’s going to be really nice.”
Some minor improvements will be made to the trails, bridges and overlooks along the falls, but the park will remain open to visitors throughout the summer.
“They’re not going to completely close down the hiking trail up and down the falls,” Carter said. “When you go in, there might be a certain parking lot that you park in to access the falls, depending on what work is being done that day.”
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, according to a news release from Coral Hospitality.
The park also includes cabins and campsites for overnight guests, and extensive hiking trails with access to the Appalachian Trail.
The park is operated by the North Georgia Mountains Authority, but Coral Hospitality has been contracted to manage the area.