Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries

Destination: Dahlonega, GA

| Activities: Hiking, Wine, Cuisine

North Georgia, the jumping off point of the Appalachian Trail, is known for its gorgeous and rugged mountains, its towering waterfalls, and its ... wineries? Who knew?! Turns out the soil, climate, and elevation are not only great for hiking, they're also perfect for growing grapes for wine. So on this four-day getaway, we'll combine hiking to waterfalls with opportunities to visit wineries, learn about wine, and sampling some of the wonderful cuisine that can be found here. Maximum group size: 12


  • Learning about wines during a private wine-tasting
  • Visiting the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi
  • Enjoying moderate hikes in the north Georgia Mountains
  • Visiting several local wineries and the charming town of Dahlonega
  • Dining at some excellent local restaurants

Departures and Prices

April 24 to April 27, 2025
$1895.00 - Available
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May 15 to May 18, 2025
$1895.00 - Available
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  • 1 - 2 experienced AGC guides based on group size
  • Roundtrip transportation from the Atlanta Airport
  • All meals from dinner on the first day through brunch on the last
  • Three nights lodging in a beautiful vacation home shared by the group
  • All activities on the itinerary, including a private wine-tasting, hikes, and visits to wineries

What's not included: Travel to and from Atlanta, alcoholic beverages (other than the wine tastings which are included), guide gratuities, and travel insurance.

Trip Documents

Trip Info

This trip is suitable for any healthy active woman who wants to hike, look at wildflowers, learn about wine, and explore this beautiful area with its rich culture that ranges from its Appalachian roots to gourmet experiences. The hikes we've chosen are reasonably short, but they are in the mountains, so women should be in sufficient condition to hike uphill for a couple of hours.

The title pretty well sums up the trip: we'll be hiking on the Appalachian Trail as well as to waterfalls, stopping to enjoy all the wildflowers, and learning about wine with a private wine tasting and visits to local wineries. The day we climb Blood Mountain, 5 miles with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet, is longest hike. Other days are much less. This trip is suitable for novice and experienced hikers and drinkers. And even if you don't drink wine, learning about it is an interesting cultural experience.

We will spend three nights in Dahlonega, GA at two neighboring properties: The Retreat on the Ridge and the Rice Ridge Farm House. The main house has 7 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. Rooming options include: 1 Deluxe Single in the master bedroom with private bathroom and sitting room, 2 Single bedrooms with shared bathrooms, 2 Double occupancy rooms (each with one bed and one rollaway bed), and a Bunkroom with 4 beds (10% discount). The Rice Ridge Farm House has two Single rooms and two bathrooms. Please note that the Rice Ridge Farm House is a separate structure and involves a short walk to get to the main house. The properties are seven miles north of downtown Dahlonega with spectacular panoramic views, a saltwater pool, and two fire pits. The room type can be selected at registration.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

We pick you up at the Atlanta (ATL) airport at 12:30 p.m. and begin our adventure with a visit to Amicalola Falls State Park for a short hike on a paved trail with a series of steps. Amicalola Falls, at 729 feet, are the tallest cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi River and often the last stop for hikers before they start their Appalachian Trail Thru Hike. After our hike and waterfall gawking, we continue to our hostel for dinner and a private wine tasting. A knowledgeable woman from the Dahlonega Tasting Room will educate us and our palates about wine as we taste several varieties. Well-fed and well exercised, we will be ready for bed tonight! (D)
Our hike today is the Raven Cliff Falls Hike, a 5 mile out and back hike. This trail follows Dodd Creek through the Raven Cliffs Wilderness Area to a massive dark bluff near the headwaters some 2.5 miles from the parking area. Because of the size of Ravens Cliffs and the lack of human interference, the area has abundant bird life including grosbeaks, vireos, and wild turkeys besides the ravens that give the area its name. From there we visit Cavender Creek Vineyards to check out their wines. We will also spend a few hours in Dahlonega; every Saturday folks bring their instrument(s) and just start playing and/or singing on the Dahlonega square, a weekly event known as Appalachian Jam. If Appalachian music is not your style, there are also lots of shops to check out. We'll return to the lodge in time to relax and clean up before going out to dinner that night in downtown. (B,L,D)
After a hearty breakfast at the lodge, today we're going to see the very beginning of the Appalachian Trail - Springer Mountain! We'll look at the plaque there and imagine what it's like to stand there knowing you're about to attempt to hike 2200 miles. We'll be happy our hike today is only 5.2 miles! Our hike starts with a 500-foot ascent from the parking lot to the top of Springer Mountain, on a gradually ascending rocky and rooty trail. After taking pictures at the top, the rest of the hike is a gentle downhill, about 1200 feet, to 3 Forks. Along the way we'll pass Stover Creek Shelter where we can stop to eat our picnic lunch. We can also stop to soak our feet during several stream crossings, one of the true pleasures when hiking. Right before the end we'll pass through old growth hemlock - soaring trees that have disappeared along many sections of the trail. Dinner is at our lodging tonight, followed by s'mores around the fire. (B,L,D)
Our breakfast will be light this morning because we need to save room for the brunch at Wolf Mountain Vineyards. Brunch is typically buffet style with a theme that varies month to month. Before brunch, there is an optional 2-mile hike at DeSoto Falls. After savoring our last meal together, we head to the airport where you can plan a flight out after 5:30 p.m. (B, Brunch)


(59 reviews)
4.9 Food
4.7 Lodging
4.9 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

Sort By:
Most Recent

Joan G.
2 months ago

Desiree D.
2 months ago

Fellow travelors. The group was very friendly and welcoming. Although we had one day in the clouds, the weather was just right. And the location was beautiful.

Jean C.
1 year ago

Ruby S.
1 year ago

The guides, the fellow travelers, the beautiful waterfalls….all of it ! Oh, and the wine was pretty nice as well !

Laura C.
1 year ago

Janice P.
1 year ago

Loved that our guides were thoughtful and so laid back!

Teresa B.
1 year ago

Barbara C.
1 year ago

Karen A.
1 year ago

Guides were wonderful.

Lauren P.
2 years ago

The Friendliness of all 3 AGC Guides. They were nothing short of AMAZING! We had an amazing group of woment who were happy and friendly. We all shared a williness to help each other. The ability to laugh together and share a special adventure together was beyond wonderful for such a short time we were together.

Karri S.
2 years ago

Meeting women, hiking in nature, trying different types of wine. It was a great mother-daughter trip for us.

Melanie O.
2 years ago

Great group of women and guides. Lodge was lovely.

Mindy S.
2 years ago

Several things made this trip memorable, I thought the guides were very knowledgeable each one sharing different aspects of their knowledge. I love the people that were on the trip with me it was great bonding going on and I find that to be one of the reasons I like going with this company

Maryann J.
2 years ago

Great leaders, good, location!

Susan B.
2 years ago

The beauty of the lodge, and hikes and meeting new people, the food and the wonderful guides!

Pat E.
3 years ago

Pam B.
3 years ago

Jeannette G.
3 years ago

The trip excelled my expectations. The variety of Wild Flowers in blown, the beautiful Monarch-like yellow butterflies that greeted us at the Stover Creek Shelter were precious.

Jenny M.
3 years ago

Way beyond my expectations.

Carla R.
3 years ago

Mary P.
3 years ago

Robin S.
3 years ago

It exceeded my expectations! The lodging and food were outstanding. The hikes were just so much fun and educational.

Laura S.
3 years ago


Melissa J.
3 years ago

Ruth K.
5 years ago

The trails selected were absolutely beautiful!

Michelle M.
5 years ago

Beautiful weather, great guides, friendly group of women.

Barbara S.
5 years ago

The location was spectacular

Linda S.
5 years ago

Bonnie T.
5 years ago

The scenery, the other trippers, the guides, our living arrangements, the Bear on the Square Festival, the wine tasting. All was great.

Catherine D.
5 years ago

This trip was fabulous in every way--great hiking locations that were well suited to my fitness level, beautiful accommodations, delicious home-cooked meals and great wineries for dining out, knowledgeable leaders and a great group of women.

Kathleen M.
5 years ago

Meeting women from all over with varied backgrounds.

Renae G.
5 years ago

Trip was great overall. This was my 4th AGC trip, but first where we all stayed together in one building. I believe that led to even more group cohesion and enjoyment of one another than I've experienced in the past when we were spread out among buildings. Schedule was well-paced (i.e., never felt rushed to wake, eat, get ready). From the trip description, I expected the "wildflowers" part to have us looking at fields of blossoms, rather than a plant here and there along the path. What we saw was lovely and interesting; it was just different than my expectation.

Yolanda L.
6 years ago

Lana M.
6 years ago

The Falls were gorgeous.

Jacqueline A.
6 years ago

Hikes, all women group, guides are great.

Kimberly E.
6 years ago

Debbie C.
6 years ago

Barbara D.
6 years ago

We so enjoyed seeing the beautiful north Georgia area! Both my sister and I are outdoorsy and it was just great to be guided by very knowledgeable ladies! It’s our first “leg” of the Appalachian trail!!

Randa E.
6 years ago

I just had the best time. Such a wonderful diverse group of women, good weather and beautiful surroundings. I'll be back next year!

Stacy A.
6 years ago

The guides were great and GA was beautiful

Sonja B.
7 years ago

Sandra W.
7 years ago

I loved the wine tasting.The big rocks and roots were too much for me. The guides were great

Lissette C.
7 years ago

The guides were excellent, the group was friendly, enjoyed meeting them. Food was good, the wine tasting at the hostel was great, and the brunch at Wolf Mountain was THE BEST, loved the place, and food was awesome. The restaurant dinner was also very good, very enjoable. The weather was unfortunately not good, there were no wild flowers, but the weather was the worst.

Jennifer K.
7 years ago

The hiking trails and waterfalls were beautiful! I learned quite a bit about the AT that I didn't know. The guides were wonderful and other participants great to get to know. Had great fun!

Brenda M.
7 years ago

Denise M.
7 years ago

Linda W.
7 years ago

very well organized even with rainy weather

Tina H.
7 years ago

The company of wonderful women, the great guides and the beautiful trails. It was a great get away weekend.

Elizabeth M.
7 years ago

Difficult to point to one highlight, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. The third day was the best, the weather was gorgeous and the hiking dry.

Vicki M.
7 years ago

Cecilia H.
8 years ago

Finishing the Blood Mountain hike!!!

Dorothy H.
8 years ago

Everything was terrific. Great camaraderie-what else would you get when you put a group of women together and give them all the wine they want to drink?! Food/restaurants were great; shopping was fun.

Barbara T.
8 years ago

I enjoyed every part of the trip and enjoy strenuous hikes but felt that the trip should not have been rated a "2" for the people that had never hiked before. This was not fair to them and they could have been injured trying to do the more strenuous hikes that weekend e.g. Blood Mountain.

Kaye O.
8 years ago

Obviously the highlight of this trip was the hiking, but I also enjoyed the wineries and the interactions with the other women. Our trip guides were knowledgeable and fun to be with. North Georgia in the spring was absolutely gorgeous!

Cynthia C.
8 years ago

Everything was great - the food, fellowship, and activities.

Deles W.
8 years ago

Everything!!! Each day improved on the previous day!

Sydney H.
8 years ago

Loved the hikes, even tho they were so difficult.

Joye R.
8 years ago

Yes, I enjoyed seeing the waterfalls.

Pamela S.
8 years ago

Leigh was wonderful host and guide. The hiking was beautiful.

  1. Where do we eat?

    The guides will be cooking breakfasts and most dinners at the lodging. Before you leave in the morning the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch. You will go out for one dinner where you can order off the menu; other nights you'll relax in the lodge and have dinner there.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise you'll be randomly assigned to one of the remaining rooms.