Located about an hour from Milton is a great place for a family hike. Amicalola Falls State park is an 829 acre park in Dawson Count. They have an amazing 729 foot falls, the highest in Georgia and highest in the eastern United States.
This is also the unofficial start to the Appalachian trail.
There is not much in this area, so have gas and snacks and make sure to use the bathrooms when you see them.
When you arrive you pay a parking fee. It $5 cash only. You then drive in and on the right is a visitor center and playground. We always stop to make sure our son uses the bathroom. They have a few animals to look at in aquariums in here. They are very helpful here if you have any questions. They had a soda machine to buy water and soft drinks but many times I have seen it run out so don't depend on it. We usually keep a cooler in the car with cold drinks for after and carry a water bottle up.
We then drive a little bit further straight and find a parking spot. Many times you have to wait till someone leaves if it is crowded as there is limited parking here. My son lovs to watch the fish here, they have cute seat swings, and you can use quarters to look using the binoculars at the falls. People who do not hike, this is a great area to wait for those hiking up.
They have a nice walking trail, it does have an incline, but not hard. You get to the lower observation deck which is great for a family picture with the falls behind you and some benches. I have knee problems so I usually sit here why my son and husband go up the steps.
Next up is a set of steps to the next level which is half way up the water fall, another great place to take pictures. You can go all the way up to the top by steps if you want, it is 604 steps from the bottom to the top. The boys usually turn around half way up at the walkway bridge where you can look up to the top of the falls and down to the area below.
We sometimes park at the top so when you first pull in, take a left and drive up. This is great for views of the top of the falls for people like my mom who use a cane and cant do the walk. It is a great place to take pictures too!
We sometimes bring a Frisbee to throw here and have picnic. You can walk down to the falls if you want. You could drop someone off at the bottom and you drive to the top so they do not have to walk up and down it.
There is a lodge here if you drive left a little further up. The Amicalola Falls Lodge. We have gone here for a meal after and hopefully you are lucky to get a window seat to over look the trees. Saturdays at 1:00 they have a great presentation on birds for kids in the lobby. They have a great southern buffet (this was pre-covid not sure if still buffet). They also have a gift shop with dippin dots, drinks, sweatshirts, t shirts and more. My son loves to get dippin dots here.
We like to go in the fall or spring when it is cooler. Most of the walk is shaded. My son likes to watch the fish at the water area where you first start walking at the bottom. Bring a few quarteres at the bottom to use the binoculars. They also have seats here to sit and watch the falls. In the fall remember it is colder than Atlanta, but walking up all those steps sure works up a sweat.
If you go to the lower observation deck you could use a stroller, but its up hill and dirt trail, but have seen people do it. I would suggest you use a backpack or some kind of carrier for small children.