Day 34: A Loopy Day

Autumn

time of year

We took a slight detour to drive through downtown Dalton, GA

It seems like a nice place, hopefully we’ll be back to visit it properly soon.

https://visitdaltonga.com

And then another short detour to do a loop around Ellijay, GA downtown

It’s a very cute town, smaller than Dalton, built around a roundabout. It looks like it would be a great place for a weekend getaway.

https://www.exploregeorgia.org/city/ellijay

We made it to Amicalola State Park

($5/car). It’s the off-season but it’s the weekend and we’re at a very popular spot. There are a fair number of people out. The trail to the falls is 3/4 miles to the 1st 175 stairs where you’ll find the best view of the falls, then it’s another 425 stairs to the top. I’m regretting the pizza and cobbler we ate last night.

After admiring the view from the top we came down the 425 stairs and took the Spring Trail (0.4 mile) to the Mountain Laurel (0.5 mile) Loop Trail to the Creek Trail (0.6 mile) to the car. (combined elevation 789.8’). The leaves were so deep it was hard to tell the footing. The trails after the waterfall were so peaceful, we really enjoyed them.

https://www.exploregeorgia.org/dawsonville/outdoors-nature/state-parks/amicalola-falls-state-park-lodge

8

difficulty: 8.2

Another quick detour to Ingles to get dinner

then on to Helen, GA to check back into Quality Inn Helen, GA this time for a hefty $193/night (just under a week ago we paid $75/night for the same hotel). This is one reason why we prefer to travel during the week. It’s still the cheapest place to stay around here and this room is in better condition than the one we were in earlier in the week.

After so many stairs earlier today we decided that we needed a mellow stroll now

so we drove the few minutes it took to get to Unicoi State Park, GA to walk the Lake Loop Trail (2.5 miles, 157’ elevation). We were able to use our Georgia State Park Pass from Amicolola here as well. After our walk we ate dinner by the lake. The lake is pretty but a little busy and some of the people fishing were also smoking. Also, you need to walk across a fairly busy bridge so while I was glad to be there it might not be my first choice for next time.

https://www.unicoistatepark.org/

5

difficulty: 2

We drove back to our hotel and walked across the street to Betty’s Country Store

to get another giant oatmeal cookie (it was that good) and sit by the fire pit outside. There is just something special about sitting outside in the cold by a cozy fire.

https://helenga.org/bettys-country-store/

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