Last Hurrah of the Holidays
It seems like the holidays had come and gone in a blur. Hard to believe I’ve been away from work for almost two weeks. We had plenty to keep us busy with family visits, dinners with friends, and hosting a small New Year’s Eve with neighbors.
The one thing we were missing was a little outdoors time. We’ve had a ton of rain around here for the past couple of weeks and have been pretty much indoors the whole time. Luckily, the weather cooperated and cleared up for the last day of the break.
With the Christmas decorations packed away with scary efficiency, we set our sights on a hike and looked for a destination.
When we look for a day trip destination, there are two resources that we like to use for our area. I’ll paste links for those here:
50 Hikes in the North Georgia Mountains
This is a great resource for those looking to get away from the city and head up into the mountains. The trail descriptions are great and the difficulty assessment is very handy for us since we have younger children.
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60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Atlanta
Another great resource that we use when we’re looking for something a little close. There are a lot of local parks and great trails listed. There is an entire series of these written detailing a lot of areas in the US.
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We settled on entry number 32 in the 50 Hikes in the North Georgia Mountains book. It’s listed as the “Martin’s Mine Meander at Smithgall Woods”, but there are several other loop trails off of the main trail.
The entrance listed in the guidebook (and in Google Maps) is no longer the main entrance to the park. We had to double back and follow the state park signs on the highway to get there. It looks like they closed to old entrance and converted the road into the main trail through the property.
Since we had the children with us and also had to get back home in time for dinner with another friend, we opted to only hike the main trail as far as the covered bridge. The first hill from the visitor center was a little strenuous, but the rest of the hike was pleasant.
We arrived at the covered bridge with mostly no complaints and the children enjoyed playing down on the bank of the trout stream for a bit. Our daughter looked for rocks and found a couple of pieces of micah. The boy decided to dig a hole.
All in all, it was a really good day for a hike. It was a little cool at first, but as we got moving it felt good. It was nice to be out of the city and back into nature if only for a couple of hours. The kids were champs and we completed 3.09 miles round trip. Total hike time was 1 hour 47 minutes.
To top it all off, we got to come home to the pulled pork that I had smoked the day before (maybe a future post on that). It was delicious!
I’ll leave you guys with about 30 seconds of river Zen.
I’ve used a couple of affiliate links in this post because these are products that I really enjoy and want to share. The only time you’ll see me use affiliate links is when I have something to share that I’ve used and have first-hand experience.