This campground has everything you need. The tent pads are new with nice and level gravel. The facilities are great and the camp host was helpful, even during the cold winter months we were there. If the weather decides to turn on you, you can head into their lodge or rent a cabin. You cannot beat all this being next to one of the largest cascading waterfalls on the east coast and the beginning/end of the AT.
We had a blast. Perfect time of year and a great way to start our 24 hour adventure challenge!
Ranger Review: Primus Micron Lantern - Steel Mesh at Amicalola Falls State Park
Campground: Amicalola Falls State Park, GA
"It" all doesn't start here…but for those desiring to begin the AT from the Southern Terminus Acces Trail it sure does. The Approach trail is 8.3 miles to Springer Mountain from the lower Amicalola State Park parking lot. So there is more history and lore here than meets the eye. This in and of itself makes this State Park unique…but there is much more.
If you enjoy hiking, even the least little bit, Amicalola State Park is for you. http://gastateparks.org/AmicalolaFalls If you visit their website it sends you to Adventure Lodges, which then reveals all this State Park has to offer. Zip Line, Team Building Course, Fitness Trail, The Rock Climbing Wall, Birds of Prey, Survivalist Camp, campground, cabins, and a beautiful mountaintop Lodge.
The Lodge is nice…very nice. Front desk personnel are very friendly and helpful, as is the ground crew (they always know the best places to go and how to get there). The entire back of the Lodge has long mountain views and faces West, so you can enjoy gorgeous sunsets from your room, the dining area, or an outside deck. We did not stay at the lodge, so I cannot comment on the rooms, but it appeared full from the parking lot.
Even if you registered for your campsite online, you still go to the front desk of the Lodge to register and get your Park tag and site tag. At the time of this writing, I paid $30 which included a $5 Park fee.
Just so you are aware, the road leading up the hill to the campground is a 25% incline. It's steep. So if you are bringing your bicycles and ride down the hill…keep it mind the climb back up. In fact, there is little flat terrain in this entire park. All foot trails go up or down…with the exception of one trail leading from a parking lot to the middle of Amicalola Falls (which is where most photos are taken). Interesting sidenote: that trail to the middle of the falls is made entirely from recycled tires…and I believe it is ADA accessible.
There are several rental cabins (14 total) in two different areas. Five cabins on the lower entrance level, just below Reflection Pond and across from picnic pavilions and playgrounds. Nine cabins are on a roadway just below the campground. All the cabins appeared large and well-equipped.
The campground has 24 sites…17 sites along the outside of the loop and 7 sites on the inside of the loop. The showerhouse/restrooms/laundry is to the right upon entering the loop, just past the host site (which was vacant during our visit). Absent a host, may have accounted for the unkept restroom and filthy showers (2 per gender). A small picnic shelter is located in the center of the loop, and there is basketball hoop oddly placed between two handicap parking spots. Horseshoe pits are between the basketball hoop and the picnic shelter.
Staying at site 15 afforded us some privacy, as the campground was half full on a Tuesday night. The campground sites have been masterful carved out of the mountain…and are pretty near level. Each site has a parking pad, large enough for a RV/Camper…a picnic table, lantern post, a fire ring w/grate and a separate charcoal grill…a water spigot, electrical box and a tent pad. Well thought out. The parking pad and picnic/grill area was a fine gravel chip and the tent pad was a fine pea gravel. Because the sites are hewn out of the mountain, 3/4 of the site is surrounded by timber retention walls with a timber fence around the top…masterfully done, I might add.
When choosing a site online…google earth the campground…this will give you a pretty good idea of the layout. Keep in mind the flow of the roadway, headlights shine directly into sites like 5 and 6 as people drive through. The campground was pretty quiet during the day and graveyard quiet (with the exception of owls hooting) and black as ink at night. Sleeping without a rainfly rewarded us with wonderful stargazing.
If you are ambitious and enjoy vertical hiking, the Falls trail will meet your needs. However, if you want to enjoy the Falls with half the effort…simply drive to the three different parking areas with minimal walking to get plenty of photos. The Falls were beautiful in late August, but I imagine with spring rains it is more impressive.
A great campground to visit and explore!
Product Review: Primus Micron Lantern - Steel Mesh
As a product reviewer for theDyrt.com, on occasion I am given products to test and evaluate…such is the case with the Primus Micron Lantern - (Steel Mesh). https://primus.us/products/micron-lantern-steel-mesh
Primus actually makes five different lanterns, three burn butane and two are battery operated.
I have owned and still own several large camp lanterns of various brand and fuel source…and back in the 80's owned what was, at the time, considered a small backpacking one mantle lantern…but none compare to the miniscule size of the Primus Micron Lantern.
You can get the Micron Lantern in two models, one with frosted glass and this one with stainless steel mesh. Not being known as particularly gentle, I chose the Steel Mesh version. Weighing in at a diminutive 4.4 oz, it weighs nothing in your pack.
I preferred the robust stainless steel mesh version over the frosted glass globe version. There are great reviews on the frosted glass globe version, slightlty heavier at 6 oz, yet puts out more lumens…but I would certainly be too rough for glass. Even though the steel mesh version of the Micron Lantern is more durable and can take a beating…the mantle is what can suffer. With that in mind, always carry a couple spares.
Speaking of the mantles…you need to purchase additonal "two hole" or "two opening" mantles, which I found at a local big box store, and keep them as insurance. Tear a burned mantle, and its worthless…you must remove the fragments and put a fresh one on.
I was pretty impresse with the durability of the Micron Lantern-Steel Mesh. It stuffed nicely into my backpack, and took as much space as a rolled pair of socks. I couldn't see it happening, but even if you could crush the stainless steel mesh housing…you can pick up a new one directly off Primus' site for a tad more than a Franklin.
I will encourage you to read the provided instructions for operation and set up. Without doing so, you may fumble around a bit and waste time. After following the instructions, it is quite simple and straightforward.
You will notice there is a conveniently, handy integrated piezo electric " Easy Trigger Ignition"…and it couldn't be any easier.
Permit me to walk you through set up, if you will. I found it easier to attach it to an isobutane cannister to make it more stable and stand on its own. After attaching it to the cannister, observe that at the bottom rim of the steel mesh "globe" there are two symbols stamped into the metal…one of a closed lock and one of an open lock. You will also observe a small tab on the steel mesh…that is your position indicator, depending which symbol it is behind. The bottom rim with the stamped lock symbols is actually part of the base. I am assuming that the lantern has either just been pulled from the box or has not been operating…because you would be incredibly unwise to touch the steel mesh anytime soon after its operation. A trip to the hospital would be high on the list with third degree burns.
By holding the base, twist the steel mesh globe in the direction of the unlock symbol and pull straight off…simple. You'll notice the "locking" cutouts on the rim. It is possible when reassembling the steel mesh globe back to the base to put the marking tab on the opposite side, thus foiling your indication if its locked or unlocked…though it'll still function that way.
Once the steel mesh is off, take your time to slide the larger of the two mantile openings over the fuel post. You will have to use care in weaving the piezo electric starter wire through one of the small holes in the side of the mantle. If I could do it easily, you can too. There is a small rim on the fuel post for the bottom of the mantle to fit snuggly on…as there is one for the top mantle opening. Once into place, pull the sides of the mantle outward to make it as round as possible. Now you are ready to light the mantle and "burn it down." This may sound counterintuitive, if you have not done this before, but its just how its done. With a sturdy lighter, keep the flame on the mantle until it burns completely and uniformily white…and when 99% done, open the fuel valve which will ignite the mantle and light your world. Allow it to burn for a few minutes and then shut off the fuel. Reattach the steel mesh globe (properly) and twist it to the lock position. Done!
Now you can turn on your fuel valve, "trigger" the piezo electric ignition and Bingo!..you have light. It is adjustable, if you want it lower for some abiance. While there are varying reviews over the lumens and wattage the Micron Lantern puts out, it appeared to me to be a little brighter than a 70 watt bulb in total darkness.
The Primus Micron Lantern - Steel Mesh is a lightweight and packable light…worthy for both your backpacking adventures or your campground visits!
Each year we take a trip to celebrate the anniversary I was supposed to be born haha
Love the falls and the AT start!!!
Loved my visit to this wonderful park. I enjoyed hiking parts of the trail and seeing the trail head for the Appalachian Trail, inspiring. The hike to the Falls was amazing. There is a wonderful Lodge at the top of the Falls too. So much beautiful scenery along the way. I am ready to go back!!!!!
great park has good trails that can give you a good workout , you can take a trail to start the Appalachian Trail or go t the Hike Inn a backwoods resort, and many other things
This 730ft cascading waterfall is accessible by stairs and bridge from top to bottom. It's proximity to Atlanta can cause the area around the falls to fill up quick so the earlier or colder the better. Besides camping this park also accesses Len Foote Hike Inn one of Georgia's only backcountry lodges.
If you're taking off on the AT, then you need to get walking. However, if you want a small taste of the AT and would like to camp out near the starting point, then this is a great place to be. Even if your adventuring has nothing to do with the AT, and you want some great north Georgia camping, it's still a great spot.
Loved hiking here and the cabins are awesome.