Out and About

pondA beautiful day! I was able to get out with my wife to a local property that has some nice trails. It was wonderful to see the trees are full of leaves. The last time I was walking out in the woods, a few weeks ago, this was not the case.

We visited a small pond and a vernal pool. There were small painted turtles and ducks hanging out in the pond. The vernal pool had something unexpected, a few children walking around. They had boots on and were literally walking around in the water. Not a real good thing to be doing to a vernal pool around here.  They are fragile habitats and there are just not that many of them around anyway. Their mom was there too. Apparently the kids were trying to catch frogs.

Besides that little bit of disturbance the woods were glorious. It is so nice to be able to get out and about again in some warmer weather.

Red Top Mountain State Park

One place I have a connection with is Georgia. I lived there for 4 years when I was in my twenties and some of my family are now there too. So I go there about once a year. I love exploring new natural settings and Georgia provides lots of opportunity for that.

One place I have been to several times is Red Top Mountain. The place is generally busy and the park sees a lot of visitors. This has several causes. One is its proximity to Atlanta. It is less than an hour away. Another is Allatoona Lake. The park is surrounded on three sides by this man made lake and it is very popular. Not as busy as Lake Lanier but still plenty of folks visit on a regular basis.

The park has lots of amenities – a swimming beach for the kiddies, a campground, cabins for rent, a lodge with rooms and restaurant, a privately run marina, picnic facilities, two party halls for rent, hiking trails, a bike trail, historic buildings and site and more.

One thing I really found unusual here is a gated campground. You have to have an entry code to get behind the gate and into the campsite. I have been to parks where you find your own spot if you arrive after hours, and drive through even if you don’t know where your way around the camp area. You then go pay in the morning. This is such an extreme opposite!

The hiking trails I have been on are nice. Like most places if you get more than a little ways away from a trailhead the crowds thin out. Even so, there can be more people hiking around the trails than many other places I have been.  I don’t mountain bike since I have hurt my back but one of the longest trails in the park is shared use – hiking and biking – and it does see a lot of traffic from the mountain biking crowd.

The lake is always either within site or not far away, where ever you go in the park. I like that a lot, and so do many other people. The south has a lot of recreational lakes and they can be funny places, in that there is not only people around in the park, but also lots of different boats going by. Sometimes people are hanging out right off shore and it is like you when you have a neighbor at a campground or large picnic area. You can hear their conversations and pretty much you know what they are up too, and they know the same about you. The oddity of the whole boating thing (me not being a boat person) is that it is nice to be around and see the water everywhere. There is something relaxing about it.

So that is my little blurb about Red Top. I will likely go there the next time I visit GA.