Whether you go to The University of North Georgia, Dahlonega campus, or you are just visiting the North Georgia Mountains, there are plenty of close, fun, beautiful hikes to spend your free time doing.
Preacher’s Rock is a part of the Appalachian Trial (which conveniently runs through Dahlonega, GA). You can drive from Dahlonega, 30 minutes North on Highway 60 to Woody Gap. At Woody Gap there is parking and an absolutely stunning view of Dahlonega, then all you have to do is simply follow the white blazes north to Preacher’s Rock. It is about a 2.3-mile hike to Preacher’s Rock from Woody Gap.
Once at the top, after you’ve taken in as much of the stupendous view that you’d like, you just turn around and go back the way you came from. The last half mile of the hike is strenuous, but the first few miles are easy. It is family friendly and a ton of fun. Dogs are also welcome.
Three Forks a beautiful hiking and camping spot, right off of the Appalachian Trail. As you hike along a trout stream, you can stop and three different waterfalls along your hike; each more beautiful than the last. In the fall, the colorful trees, breeze, and cool temperatures make this hike a perfect day-trip getaway. To get there, go from Dahlonega towards Ellijay, but then turn onto Forest Service Road 58. From Dahlonega, Three Forks is about a 45-minute drive, depending on how fast your car is able to take you up Forest Road 58. It’s best to take something that has a 4 Wheel Drive option. But it is worth the time it takes to get there. It is also the perfect spot for some beautiful, relaxing weekend camping.
Caving at Yahoola Creek Park
Behind the softball fields at Yahoola Creek Park is a trail that leads to several natural caves that were used during the Dahlonega Gold Rush to pan for gold. There are also rusted pieces of the machinery they used to do so along the trail. It is really cool to be able to get to take a look at some history while on your adventure. The caves are relatively easy to get to, but most have water inside. So it’s best to take some water shoes and wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and muddy. Actually going into the caves and exploring/climbing is the best part. It’s best to take several flashlights and even some rope if you’re interested in going really deep into the caves. Be careful on your adventure into these areas.
Amicalola State Park
Like Three Forks, leave Dahlonega and go towards Ellijay, but this time just keep going straight! Amicalola State Park will be on your right in about 45 minutes. This park is very popular. Once there, you can hike up the 600 stairs to the top of a 729-foot cascading waterfall, the tallest in the Southeast. Or you can take the 5 mile hike to the Hike Inn Lodge. There are 12 more miles of trails available from inside the park. All it costs is your time and a $5 parking fee. Pack a lunch and go enjoy the beautiful scenery that Amicalola has to offer!
These beautiful hikes throughout North Georgia are some of the best around. Go out and have a new adventure!