We headed back up north for a hike through the Amicalola Falls State Park. We decided on a 2-3 mile loop hike that would take us to the top of the falls and thought it would be a breeze. We normally hike our local 3 mile nature preserve loop in about 45 minutes.
Apparently, walking up and down a mountain is not really the same. In fact, when we returned to the gift shop we saw that you could buy shirts heralding the fact that you made the trek. That should have been a sign. Our legs were independently shaking on the way down. Is that a thing? Does that have a name? Jiggly mountain leg? Lame-o Floridian limbs? Whatever our weakness, it was worth it!
Seriously, the hike was beautiful and challenging but comfortable too. At the top, near the falls, hikers can visit the lodge which is a hotel but also has a row of comfortable chairs overlooking the valley. There is a sandwich buffet, a gift shop with snacks, bathrooms and water fountains. We lucked out and arrived in time to take in a presentation on owls and birds of prey. We were up close with a barred owl, great horned owl, screech owl, red tailed hawk and black vulture. All of the birds were rescued for various reasons and their stories were fascinating. I especially liked the story of the red tailed hawk who was raised with a flock of ducks and still made duck noises.
This hike was well worth the morning spent. Afterwards, I wished that we lived closer, as the workout was so great, I could imagine scheduling it into my weekly hiking routine.
Next time we are going to give the Hike Inn a try.
There are many waterfall hikes in North Georgia. Do you have a favorite?