These Georgia State Parks with Smooth Paved Trails Make It Easier for All to Enjoy The State's Natural Wonders

DeanLand

At Amicalola State Park, a rubberized trail suitable for walking and assistive wheeled devices including wheelchairs, walkers and strollers extends .25 miles to the mid-falls bridge spanning the plunging falls. It's the perfect location for gazing at the full length of Georgia's tallest waterfall, which cascades more than 700 feet from the top of Little Amicalola Creek into a small lake below.

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An ADA-rated rubberized trail gives those with limited mobility access to the mid-falls bridge for fabulous viewing.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

The West Ridge trail hold the distinction of being an Americans with Disabilities Act-rated trail. On July 26, 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications and state and local government services. ADA provisions paved the way -- literally -- for accessibility features like Amicalola's West Ridge trail, access ramps to many scenic areas and other accommodations that granted improved access not only to the disabled, but to families with young children and others with mobility limits.

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An easy paved path leads directly from the parking lot the canyon's rim at Cloudland Canyon.Photo: DeanLand / Our Travel Cafe

Today, eight of Georgia's state parks feature hard surfaced trails that improve access to many of Georgia's natural wonders. In addition to Amicalola Falls, other Georgia state parks with hard surfaced trails include:

  • Cloudland Canyon, from the parking lot to the majestic canyon overlook
  • Mistletoe, another rubber surface trail
  • Fort Yargo, where the 7/10-mile Birdberry Trail reaches a birding area, a lakeside birding platform, and a gazebo.
  • Panola Mountain, where the five-mile paved PATH Foundation trail provides access to view the granite outcrops, and Panola Mountain overlook.
  • Red Top Mountain, a short loop trail that offers lakeside views and vistas.
  • Stephen C. Foster, where an Okefenokee boardwalk let's visitors view the spectacular swamp and inhabitants like alligators, turtles, and more
  • Tallulah Gorge, with a paved path following an old railroad bed.

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I'm a trained journalist, global traveler and retired business executive who worked for more than 20 years with some of the world's best and largest restaurant enterprises. I left the business world behind, living in Northwest Georgia and writing about avocations including outdoor excursions, family-friendly travel, road trips, exploration ideas for active seniors and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries, and I'm still counting up. I'm a traveler, hiker, cyclist, blogger, marketing consultant, community volunteer and local high school band nerd who previously has lived in Florida, Ohio, Indiana and Mississippi. I'm a South Louisiana-born French Cajun whose great-grandparents were sugar farmers, bar owners and reputed bootleggers. My upbringing in food-rich Louisiana and my restaurant industry career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. That also inspired the name of my blog, OurTravelCafe.com. There, I offer up a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA
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