West Ridge Falls Access – Amicalola Falls

January 10, 2009

Length: 0.3 miles

Difficulty: Easy

Blaze: White

The West Ridge Falls Access is a shorter approach to trail to Amicalola Falls. The upside to the trail is that it is a quick walk to a beautiful waterfall. The downside is that you miss out on the hike alongside Amicalola Creek, and the reflection pool at base of the falls.

The hike along the West Ridge Falls Access Trail runs along the ridge of Amicalola Mountain. The pathway is made up of recycled tire, and is very soft on the feet.

West Ridge Trailhead West Ridge Amicalola Falls Access Trail Amicalola Trail Material

The trail begins at a parking area that straddles West Ridge Falls Access Trail and Spring Trail. Along the ridge, one can see a beautiful forest.

Amicalola Falls West Ridge

Amicalola Falls West Ridge

As the trail approaches the falls, it begins running parallel to Amicalola Creek below. From the height of the ridge, there are beautiful vistas of the valley below.

West Ridge Falls Access Trail

Follow the West Ridge Trail’s white blazes, and just before the Top of Falls Access stairs. There is an old truck relatively intact wedged between some trees. I cannot fathom how this vehicle ended up where it is, but it is one of two vehicles or portions of vehicles I saw while at Amicalola State Park that I could not figure out how they reached their final resting point (the other vehicle is under the stairs on the Base of Falls Trail, and had obviously been there long before the stairs were installed.

West Ridge Falls Access Truck

Just before the trail arrives at the falls is another set of stairs that goes to the Top of the Falls. This West Ridge Stair provides for a long 425 step climb, which is more worth while on a clear day. Look down below the stairs for some wonderful views of Amicalola Creek.

West Ridge Falls Access

West Ridge Staircase

West Ridge Staircase


Continue a few feet past the stairs, and the cascading Amicalola Falls opens up. The bridge/ overlook that straddles Amicalola Creek is a wonderful point to enjoy the falls from. To return to the trailhead, simply turn around and follow the path. For some more hiking continue past the overlook to the long descent of stairs that is part of the Base of Falls Trail.

Amicalola Falls Amicalola Falls


The West Ridge Falls Access Trail is a nice short trail if you just want to see the Falls quickly, but for a more enjoyable hike, although somewhat more strenuous, I have to recommend taking the Base of Falls Trail. If limited on time, start the Base of Falls Trail from the Reflection Pond parking area, and skip the true trailhead hike from the Visitor’s Center. You will miss out on some views of Amicalola Creek.

Nearby Trails:

Base of Falls Trail – 1.0 Mile

Spring Trail - 0.4 Mile

Creek Trail – 0.6 Mile

Mountain Laurel Trail – 1.0 Mile

Driving Directions:

Directions from Ellijay:

Follow GA-52 approximately 21 miles to Amicalola Falls State Park.

Directions from Dawsonville:

Take Hwy. 53 west to Hwy. 183 north to Hwy. 52 east.


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One Response to West Ridge Falls Access – Amicalola Falls

  1. Outdoor Travel in the South | SouthernHiker on January 22, 2012 at 9:32 am

    [...] West Ridge Falls Access Trail – 0.3 miles [...]

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