Lisa, Ashley, Jolly and me.
Raven Cliff Falls to Amicalola Falls was another hour away. All back roads on curvy mountain roads. I almost turned around but how often do you get to go to one of Georgia’s tallest waterfalls? It is also the most southernmost point of the Appalachian Trail. It is also the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi at 720 feet! We were now 2 hours from our cabin but I kept going. I really did not know what to expect and should have done my research. But we probably would have done it anyway.
As we pull into the park there is a booth to pay the entry fee. Its on $4.00 per car. This having a maned both meant we are in for a lot of people. We paid and drove in toward the parking area. First thing is a visitors center and a ton of people. Every where! This is usually what we try to avoid. We park the car and prepare to walk although we have no idea where to go. I asked someone and they said up the road a bit. We head that way. There were a couple of options. We could have driven to the top and parked and hiked down, driven up closer and hiked up and back, or stay where we are and hike the extra half mile. We just headed in the direction they told us and came up on a fishing pond. There is a lodge here and I guess one thing to do is fish. There were quite a few people fishing. Beyond that is the trail up and to the side is a loop trail. I asked a couple going up the side trail where it went. He really didn’t say it avoided the stairs which it did. Then I asked someone else who were carrying a map. We took a pic of his map. We just decide to head the trail up. it has a nice walk although pretty steep for a ways then you get to….. The Steps!
The first sign says 175 steps. I’m thinking that’s not to bad. There are people everywhere. We start our climb taking pictures as we go. It is a lot of steps and of course its all uphill! This falls is so big someone decided to make a staircase with viewing areas all the way up.
About 1/4 up you reach step #175 where the bridge crosses the waterfall to the left. This was loaded with people taking pictures and viewing the falls. We took a bunch of pictures then went up the next trek of stairs.
Turns out the sign at the top said 600 steps! I tell you what it felt like it too! The steps go way off to the left and up. People going down looking all re-freshed. We look like a ball of sweat and tired! Well not Lisa of course. I hiked slot of miles this weekend but I must say my legs felt like I was walking on rubber bands!
At the top is a nice viewing area. Here you can see what is back beyond the falls because you cannot see down the falls at this point. You can also drive to this point. There is also a concession stand or something up here too because I see people with popsicles. People are lined up along the railing taking pictures or just standing there. I was patient for a while but then I just asked this couple to move so we could take our pictures and head back down. Then if that wasn’t enough I even asked them to take our picture! Ha Ha! Then I gave them back their spot so they didn’t have to loose it. I know sweet right? Turns out these are the same people I asked directions from at the bottom. Jolly said they were annoyed then! 😳
So now we get to take our trek down 725 steps! Down is easy though! It didn’t take to long to get to the bottom and we headed back to the car. That was a great hike. We couldn’t climb on the rocks or get in the water but it was good just the same.
We hopped back in the car and headed back toward our cabin which was 2 hours away. But on the way here we must have passed 8 winery’s! Its pushing 5 o’clock now and it turns out that most of them close at 5. We found one that was open till 7. It was called Cavender Creek Vineyard. We stopped there. They had a back porch with someone playing music on it. We walk in the door and its pretty packed. Everyone is dressed nice and here we are stinky hikers. There was a bridal party and a birthday party. Oh well what to do?? What to do??
Belly up to the bar and do a tasting. No one seamed to care how we were dressed. Not that it mattered to us anyway! We did our 7 wine tasting. They had what they called wine shooters. They were peach, blueberry and watermelon. It was 18% alcohol. So we got a shot of each. The birthday party girls were real nice and came and talked to us.
Next we went out on the deck and sat down at a table and chairs in front of the guy playing guitar and singing. When he finishes his song he looks at us and says “are ya’ll runners?” HAHA he knew we just didn’t look like the rest huh? I said no were hikers! We sat through a couple more songs then went back to the car and headed back to the cabin.
We stopped at a BBQ restaurant on the way home. Then went back to the cabin and just chilled for a while till we fell asleep. Tomorrow is another day and we have more waterfalls to find.