View Full Version : Amicalola Park Shelter

02-12-2008, 15:54
My guidebook says there's a shelter at Amicalola Park reserved for the use of thru-hikers. Do many people stay in the park shelter (first weekend in March); are the 12 spaces likely to be filled? If they are filled, is there space for tenting at the shelter, or do you have to hike out of the park?

Lone Wolf
02-12-2008, 15:55
you'll likely have space

02-12-2008, 16:02
Its an ok shelter.... the "bed" is hog wire stapled to the cross beams. I would not recommend using a good sleeping bag on this material as it my snag/tear it...

Lone Wolf
02-12-2008, 16:05
you'll likely have space

or get a ride to the top of the falls and get a tentsite at the campground. they're very nice. showers, water, heated bathroom. and you can take the short walk to the lodge and eat a buffet dinner

02-12-2008, 16:33
The Amicalola Park Shelter is about 50 yards behind the Visitor's Center. Have you seen any pictures of the big stone archway where hickers start the approach trail? Well if you look closely in the background you might see the shelter. During the day there are a tremendous amount of people (tour buses, retirement home trips and pre-school children) just looking inside to see what a real shelter looks like. I didn't think anyone actually spent the night in that shelter. I take that back, I think Bill Bryson actually made it to that first shelter. He was exausted after those first 50 yards and had to rest, he also had to wait until his partner caught up with him. :-?

The only way I would imagine you would want to stay is after a rough time drinking all night, some type of hip injury, getting a very very late start or just wanting to tell people that you sleep in the first shelter. I guess there have been people that have hiked the 50 yards and called it a day, and then stop for the night. I know Grandma Gatewood would have carried her shower curtain and duffle bag up the hill before staying so close to a Visitor's Center.

On the bright side, I think there should be plenty of room for you to stretch out at the very first shelter on the approach trail. My suggestion: Go For It. It could be an experience you are not likely to forget. :rolleyes:

02-12-2008, 16:38
MMMMMMMMMM BUFFEEEEEEEEEET. (Sorry, no Homer Simpson icon :().

Mountain Man
02-12-2008, 17:50
Actually the shelter has recently been reworked. Wire for sleeping on is gone and plywood for sleeping on now. They are room for a couple of tents. Usually there is plenty of room in the shelter but the first weekend in March is the AT celebration at the park so it might be a little more crowded than usuall. Most of the hikers that use it are coming in to the park late in the evening. Like Lone Wolf said catch the all you can eat breakfast at the lodge before you head out.

Mountain Man
02-12-2008, 17:56
Sorry I just realized Lone Wolf was talking about eating the Dinner Buffet. Heck just go ahead and eat breakfast and supper you'll need the calories.:)

02-12-2008, 18:01
Excellent, thanks for all the info. I'll (most likely) be arriving late to the park, so I'll plan on finding a spot to sleep.

02-12-2008, 18:05
It took me all day to hitchhike from Gainesville to Amicalola and I got to say that Max Emmersons' was a welcome sight no matter how bad it was

02-12-2008, 18:16
Thanks for the update Mtn Man! I had no idea there was an upgrade since Hikernutt and I stayed there over a year ago...

02-12-2008, 21:01
I guess there have been people that have hiked the 50 yards and called it a day, and then stop for the night. Last year someone took a zero there:


Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Destination: Max Epperson Shelter, Amicalola Falls St. Park, GA
Today's Miles: 0.10

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Destination: Max Epperson Shelter, Amicalola Falls St. Park, GA
Starting Location: Max Epperson Shelter, Amicalola Falls St. Park, GA
Today's Miles: 0.00
Trip Miles: 0.10


Hung out in shelter all day listening to classical music. One Genre of music that I have not really ever listened to. Go figure? It makes as much sense as me hanging out in the shelter all day. Saw 3 people all day.

02-12-2008, 21:35
once i recorded my voice reading all the carved things on the walls for about an hour into my phone. it made funney listening down the trail.( down the trail where i quit like a woossy at neels!)

02-12-2008, 22:11
1998 i drove out to the trail from nebraska in my pickup truck. planned on selling my truck in dahlonega,ga. and hitch to a.falls state park. i stopped at a liquor store to ask about car lots, to sell my truck. the guy behind the counter, his car blew up a day or two earlier. wanted to buy the truck he called a friend over to the store and took what seemed like forever discussing something. thet finally come out.his friends a locol cop. they were calling in the truck to make sure it wasn't stolen. the officer says they ran the vin# couldn't find any info on the truck, thought it was stolen probably. he said i couldn't find any info in the alabama moter vehicle dept. i said i don't doubt that you wont find any info in alabama. that trucks from nebraska. anyway the clerk was off work about 1/2 hour later,drove me and bear to the visitor center in the truck so he could test drive it. that guy couldn't drive a stick shift worth a crap,grinding gears up and down all the hills but me made it to the park, he paid me (600.00) and to the max epperson shelter early evening. the second time i stayed there in 2002 wicked and wildchild were there also, wild child was dropping us off to start the trail,about midnight or so a couple hikers were coming up to the shelter with thier headlamps an my dog bear was sleeping by the campfire and heard them, she started to wolf like a bear will. she doesnt bark much but wolfs(for lack of a better term) real well ! and she was fat with a full coat. shes half lab/chow. i been told a hundred times she looks like a bear. anyway i yell bear no. so she'd be quiet! WHAT THEY HEARD WAS THERES A BEAR OVER HERE,no dont come over here! they ran away. so yeah hikers do show up at the shelter late sometimes, and also leave too once in awhile.