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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

Primitive Camping and Hiking (Dog Friendly)

The Basics:
Event Type:Camping
Event Location: Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest near Amicalola Falls State Park   Camping: Primitive Camping and Hiking (Dog Friendly)  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Apr 3 2020  12:00 pm >> Sun, Apr 5 2020 12:00 pm
Registration Opens: Mon, Feb 17 2020 7:07 pm
Registration Cut Off: Tue, Mar 31 2020 7:07 pm
Event Duration:2 Days
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Trip Leader(s):
Chris L
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:16
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 11 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


It's our favorite season of the year: Camping Season! The weather is warm, the dogs are frisky, the mountains are calling, and frankly, that tent in the attic needs airing out! If you know this feeling, join us at Amicalola Falls State Park, you know, the park where all north-bound AT through-hikers begin their journey? Amicalola is also famous for the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. In other words, an awesome park for an awesome, outdoorsy weekend.



THURSDAY: Chris will drive up in the morning to find a good camping spot, and set up camp. If anyone wants to begin the weekend early, you are welcome to join her at the campground on Thursday.

FRIDAY: The rest of the group arrives at the campsite after work. We set up camp, cook dinner, and enjoy our creations by the fire. Later, we sit around the campfire toasting 'Smores, and telling (mostly true) stories. Accomplished musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments.

SATURDAY: Campers have several options:

a) Hike the 10-mile Len Foote loop trail to The Hike Inn. We're posting this hike on the AOC website so if you're interested, sign up for the hike at the same time.

b) Hike the 425+ steps down to, and up from, the waterfall

c) What the hey! Do both, you fitness freak, you!

d) Hike to the Amicalola State Park lodge and hang out on the back porch sipping iced tea

e) Drive to nearby Dahlonega or Ellijay for some knee-slapping good times, or 

f) Sleep in, eat in, decompress, whittle a stick, read a book, or play "Poke a Black Bear and live to tell the tale"

Toward nightfall, we regroup around the campfire and prepare mouth-watering meals that are the envy of campers everywhere. As we enjoy our edible artwork, we continue the fun, friendship, and relaxation around a toasty fire.

SUNDAY: Two Options

a) Our camping trip officially ends on Sunday, however, anyone wishing to camp longer may stay on at the campsite, or, like us

b) Wake up, eat up, pack up, clear up, and head out.



We want this to be a relaxed, dog-friendly, PRIMITIVE camping trip. In other words:

We enjoy our spirits, but we DO NOT promote a wild, "party" atmosphere, and politely ask that you drink responsibly. And please, NO drugs, OK?

We welcome and spend quality time with our four-legged friends.

We intend to unplug and "rough it" for a couple of days so if you're into "glamping," this event is not for you! TOILETS are a 15-minute walk and there are NO SHOWERS at the campsite - however, you could drive to the nearby campground and pay for a shower. Also, because there is NO electricity, NO potable water, and NO shelters, please come FULLY EQUIPPED (see list of "REQUIRED ITEMS to BRING" below).

The good news is that our campsite is a stone's throw away from the cars so in addition to the necessities, now you can pack all your favorite luxury items including that space-age nylon tent, that double micro foam-filled air mattress, that battery-operated, sub-zero hyper-thermal cooler, that reclining camp chair imported from the Swiss Alps, etc. Bring it on!



Dogs are welcome, as long as they are supervised at all times by their accompanying human. Park rules state that all dogs entering Amicalola State Park must be leashed. Also, dogs are not allowed in or around historic sites, cottages, lodges, group camps, and swimming areas. However, while at our campsite in the National Park area, our four-legged friends can run free. As always, humans are responsible for the care and feeding of their dog and should ALWAYS clean up after their dog. Humans are solely responsible for their dog's behavior, and dogs that do not respond to commands may have to be leashed. In cases of serious, aggressive behavior, the dog may have to leave the event, along with their human.


Required Items to Bring:
  • Tent with rain fly
  • Air mattress or Sleeping Pad
  • Sleeping Bag or bed linens
  • Camp chair
  • Jacket and Thermals
  • Change of clothes
  • Camp footwear
  • 2 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 2 Dinners
  • Camp stove or burner
  • Camp stove fuel
  • Plate, mug, and untensils
  • Water bottle
  • TWO gallons of water (minimum)
  • Headlamp or Flashlight
  • Rain gear
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • 2 bags of firewood  (wood is scarce in the area, so this is important)
  • A sense of humor!


Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Hiking gear
  • Snacks
  • Camera
  • Personal items

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

In your favorite nav app, enter:

Amicalola Falls State Park Visitor Center

Drive to the Park

At the park gate, DO NOT pay the parking fee - tell the attendant that you are driving through the Park to the Chattahoochee National Forest.

At the Visitor Center, turn LEFT

At the top of the hill, turn LEFT (follow the signs for the campground and cottages).

Turn RIGHT at the sign that says "Cottages 7-14," and "Hope Shoals Church."

Past the end of the row of cottages, the paved road turns into a gravel road, indicating the start of the National Forest.

Our campsite will be about 0.5 miles along this gravel road - we will update you with the exact location and distance after Chris sets up camp on Thursday.


Old-School directions:

From Atlanta, take 400 North

A few miles past the North Georgia Premium Outlets, turn LEFT onto Hwy. 136

Follow the signs to AMICALOLA STATE PARK

Hwy 136 merges with Hwy 183

When they split, stay on Hwy 183

Turn RIGHT onto Hwy. 52

Turn LEFT into Amicalola Falls State Park Road.

At the park gate, do not pay the parking fee - tell the attendant that you are driving through the Park to the Chattahoochee National Forest.

At the visitor center, turn LEFT

At the top of the hill, turn LEFT (follow the signs for the campground and cottages).

Turn RIGHT at the "Cottages 7-14," and "Hope Shoals Church" sign.

Past the end of the row of cottages, the road will turn into a gravel road - which is the start of the National Forest.

Our campsite will be somewhere along this gravel road - we will update you with the exact location and distance after Chris sets up camp on Thursday.


This event is open to only those members who have registered for this event on the AOC website! In other words, please, no "plus ones" or "invited guests."

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

If you cannot attend the event or have to leave before the end of the event, please TEXT me at 4-oh-4-seven-5-four-5-zero-0-five BEFORE the event and I will gladly remove your name from the roster. Note: Calling me won't work because my iPhone refuses to ring for unknown numbers.

Exception: If there is a waitlist, you must cancel BEFORE the registration closes.


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