Hiking Cloudland Canyon State Park
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Hello Dear Friends!! Have you been missing my blogs? I'm not doing very well on my plan to blog each day in October, but I AM meeting my other goals!! That includes ST while on vacation - cardio isn't an issue when hiking is the featured part of our trip!
Last week we made a spur of the moment decision to take a hiking vacation to Cloudland Canyon State Park in Northwest Georgia. Its about a 3-1/2 hour drive from our home and we've never been here. Actually hiking is a relatively new sport in our family - our first hiking trip was a 3 week trip out west (to many of the national parks) in May of 2011. Since then we've come to really enjoy hiking and we are looking for more places to hike closer to home.
Neither of us had ever heard anyone talk about this park, but we had signed our grandsons (and us) up for a Georgia State Parks program called Canyon Climbers. You get a card and each time you hike one of the canyon trails you get your card punched. When you've got all of them punched you get a teeshirt to signify that you've done it.
We had heard of and (at least Phil and I) visited all of them except Cloudland. We've since taken the boys to three of the parks and decided to check this one out before we bring them (unlike us who in retirement can go any day of the week they have school to work around.) We were able to book a cabin in the park for Sunday and Monday nights and since the colors of fall are beautiful now we counted this as a bonus. Then we got here and began hiking - and OH MY! This place is BEAUTIFUL!! In addition to the hikes into the beauty of the canyon, where beautifully colored trees abound, there are trails that go to waterfalls - five of them in all.
After our hike yesterday we realized three days isn't nearly enough time to spend here so we checked with the office to see if they'd had any cancellations (when I booked the cabin it showed not available for Tuesday and Wednesday nights.) I was told that Tuesday night was available but Wednesday showed 'hold' so she had to check out why. She said if we'd stop by later she'd let me know if we could have it Wednesday too. And we COULD!! So we still have another night to enjoy this lovely 'home away from home'!
We have hiked on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (today) so far and each day the hiking gets better and more beautiful! As you may know, I've been having a knee issue so I was a bit concerned since the waterfall trail has something like 1200 steps going down to it (and of course what goes down must come back up!) But my knee is holding up fine -a little soreness but nothing to worry about. If you'd like to see more about our hikes here is a link: gastateparks.org/Cloudla
After hiking down to the waterfalls again today we took another trail (that we'd seen yesterday but chose not take since we had the long rim trail hike back to our cabin AFTER we climbed all the stairs) SITTON'S GULCH LOOP TRAIL. OMG - I don't know about you, but to me a gulch trail didn't sound all that beautiful. IT WAS!! The water from those waterfalls flows all down the creek along side the trail. The SIGHT is beautiful and as enjoyable to me is the SOUND! What a fabulous experience - I'm ready to go back and do it again.
When we finally got back to the top (today we parked the car at the top of the waterfalls trail so we didn't have to do the rim hike back to the cabin) it was 3:00pm so we headed into Trenton (about 6 miles away) for a Subway sandwich. Wow it tasted good (we had only had some trail mix since breakfast.) Opps - I'm being called away from the computer so I'll be back to finish this later (or tomorrow - come to think of it PROBABLY tomorrow!!) Note - this isn't my picture, its from their website.