Picture of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries
Picture of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries
Picture of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries
Picture of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries
Picture of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries
Picture of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries
Picture of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries
Picture of Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries

Destination: Dahlonega, GA

Northern 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 wine growing. 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 30 to May 03, 2020
$1195.00 - Available
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  • Two experienced AGC guides
  • 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.


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 1300 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 at the Retreat on the Ridge , a luxurious 7-bedroom 5.5 bath majestic mountain home where you can enjoy the north Georgia mountains in luxury, style, and convenience. It's seven miles north of downtown Dahlonega with spectacular panoramic views, a saltwater pool, and a fire pit. There are seven bedrooms that are a mix of single and shared rooms, plus a "bunkroom" with four beds (two singles and one bunkbed). There is a discount for the bunkroom, and three single rooms are available for a single supplement ($150); otherwise, rooms will be assigned randomly.

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 1 PM 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
After a hearty breakfast at the hostel, 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 ft 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. We'll return to the hostel in time to relax and clean up before going out to dinner that night at Shenanigan's Restaurant in downtown Dahlonega. B,L,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. 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 and served with one glass of Estate wine. 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 PM. B, Brunch

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

The trails selected were absolutely beautiful!

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries 4/25/2019-4/28/2019

Beautiful weather, great guides, friendly group of women.

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries 4/25/2019-4/28/2019

The location was spectacular

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries 4/25/2019-4/28/2019

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

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries 4/25/2019-4/28/2019

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.

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries 4/25/2019-4/28/2019

Meeting women from all over with varied backgrounds.

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries 4/25/2019-4/28/2019

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.

Waterfalls, Wildflowers, and Wineries 4/25/2019-4/28/2019

  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.