By Candy Cook
Sometimes, the season can make a destination amazing! These four places are extra special when spring is just on the horizon.
Sope Creek CRNRA
Metro Atlanta’s Sope Creek trail system offers easy to intermediate trails for hiking and mountain biking visitors. One of the many trail networks of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, the Sope Creek trails feature tranquil moments alongside Sibley Pond, a gravel loop for mountain bike beginners, and the historic ruins of a paper mill. The old paper mill ruins are the reason I recommend hiking in winter and spring. Visiting while winter has the vegetation in check allows for better views and exploration of these impressive ruins.
Now is the perfect time to visit the site of the largest archaeological dig in US history. “All things are connected,” at this memorial to the relationship between people and nature. Macon’s mild winter keeps bugs at bay for visitors traversing fields, exploring wetlands and enjoying a sacred view from atop the Great Temple Mound. Enhance your visit by watching the short educational film before setting off on your adventure.
Bear Creek Trail to Gennett Poplar
Hike or mountain bike to one of the largest poplar trees in Georgia. The giant, old-growth Gennett Poplar is certainly a Georgia gem that shouldn’t be missed. The Bear Creek Loop follows the creek closely, for a time, making several fun crossings for mountain bikers. This trail system, in North Georgia’s mountains, includes a junction with the Pinhoti Trail and offers several options for longer outings.
Water Trails of the Okefenokee Swamp
Get a head start on summer by joining the Park Paddler Outdoor Activity Club at Stephen C Foster State Park! Explore 15 miles of mysterious Okefenokee waterways and the Trembling Earth Nature Trail before the summer heat sets in. I’ll warn you that gliding a canoe or kayak through the legendary blackwater will only make you thirsty for more.