Dawson County

Amicalola River Trail

Beautiful trail that follows Amicalola River towards Dawson Wildlife Management Area also known as Edge of the World trail

This trail is accessible from the north side of Highway 53 on the east side of Amicalola River. It starts off in the parking lot descending down to to the river. Once you reach the river the trail heads south following the whitewater river closely. 

One of the first things you will notice about this trail is there has been a tremendous amount of work done building out pressure treated walkways for the river portion of the trail. This allows people with walking disabilities to still enjoy the trail. The section of river along the start of the trail is serious whitewater, known as the Lower Amicalola, and is a popular place for fishing and for the locals to cool off. 

The trail heads back into the forest at a spot in the river named Edge of the World rapids. This is the first major rapid in the lower river and is actually a series of drops and slots with several major cataracts. The trail then turns 90 degrees into the forest which is marked by interpretive signs at interesting points. Many of these signs have been torn down by vandals, and the ones that are left sometimes point to features that have been destroyed over time. Two features that were no longer visible were an old still site from moonshiners and a old home site. Hopefully the work being done to make the trail accessible to individuals with disabilities will be extended to redo the interpretive signs. The trail follows old logging roads along stream beds, with frequent stream crossovers. The trail is lightly used and is very quiet once you are out of earshot from the river. 

The trail then heads back north to take you back to the parking area off Highway 53 and joins a park ranger access road before heading back off into the woods again. You end at a small footbridge over a stream on the south side of Highway 53. The road is busy so use caution when crossing, keep your kids and animals close once you arrive at the footbridge it's just a few more feet to the road. 

Parking is limited so get there early.

Taken from the Dawson County Board of Commissioners site: In Dawson County, the great outdoors is accessible to everyone, even those with physical disabilities. A new riverside nature trail under construction will be ADA compliant and provide access to viewing, fishing and canoe launch areas, as well as a river's edge trail. The first phase of the Amicalola River trail system has been constructed at the riverside turnout, on the north side of Highway 53 as it crosses the Amicalola west of Dawsonville. Complete with handicapped parking and easy river access, the new platforms are ADA compliant and are part of a planned trail system that will extend from the parking area and existing platforms downstream to End of the World Rapids, one of the most picturesque and challengingstretches of whitewater in the entire region. The first phase of the new platforms are connected by gentle, graveled trailways that begin right at the parking lot and parallel the river for a few hundred yards. Popular with anglers, paddlers, tubers and swimmers, the Amicalola River hasseveral sections of whitewater along the river's 15-mile length. The section below the Highway 53 bridge is serious whitewater and should be scouted and approached carefully. Other sections provide easy tubing or floating opportunities, and trails run alongside the river for most of its length, although these vary in quality and may or may not be listed on your maps. In fact, much of the country surrounding the river is backcountry, with miles of mountain trails, old roads and rugged ridges to explore.

Length: 2.6 miles

Difficulty: 3

Good close in Trail

Day Hike

This is a good trail for kids, it has a variety of scenery from the Amicalola River to the old logging roads. It's not too long for them to get bored. The trail is closer to Atlanta than many of the others, and from the northern suburbs you can be there in less than an hour.

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