Hurricane Damaged Stairs at Amicalola Falls Set to Reopen


Photo by Cannon Crompton

After taking damage from Hurricane Ida, the stairs at Amicalola Falls State Park are finally opening again after weeks of repair.

The culprits of the damage were two trees that fell due to the high winds and rain from Ida at the end of August. The stairs were damaged in two different places. 

“When the last hurricane came through it uprooted a tree and it slid down, which took out a portion of the stairs.” says Keri Greeson, an assistant park manager at Amicalola Falls State Park. 

“The first one was the one that closed the West Ridge Trail and that’s actually opened up now.” says Greeson. The West Ridge Trail is the paved trail that is ADA accessible and leads up to the waterfall.

Photo by Cannon Crompton

In reference to the second tree that fell, Greeson says, “It looks like the tree just fell. It snapped, it didn’t uproot or anything. It hurt the railing, but not the stairs. They are actually working on that right now. The stairs from West Ridge to the top of the falls are still closed, but West Ridge itself is open now.”  

They hope to have the stairs reopened on Sept. 20, “That’s what we’re aiming for. It’s a play it by the day project,” Greeson says. “Weather affects it, how they can access it affects it, and all of those things are a factor.”

Before, the only way to access the stairs at the waterfall was through the Appalachian Trail approach trail from the reflection pond. “That was the only way to see the falls, but now that West Ridge is open you can actually access it from the West Ridge parking lot,”says Greeson.

Two contractors were hired to repair the stairs, “One for the tree and one for the structural repair,” Greeson said.

Photo by Cannon Crompton

While the stairs are closed, they have many activities that are still open that visitors can enjoy. Some of the activities they offer include zip lining, trout fishing, guided hikes, GPS scavenger hunts and 3D archery, as well as a lodge and campsites, according to their website.

Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Georgia, is open year-round during daylight hours. They also have a visitor center that is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.