Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #164 6/18/2008
#164 - Cloudland Canyon State Park (Watt Thoughts)
Yesterday afternoon I went up to Cloudland Canyon State Park. It is a Georgia park located on the west side of Lookout Mountain about 15 miles from my apartment in LaFayete.
After getting to the park I drove around the entire park by accident. I paid the parking fee at the entrance and when going to the booth in center of teh road I failed to notice the sign pointing to the visitors center by veering right. I went straight and saw signs to the campgrounds and rangers houses but no hiking trails. I went to where there was a sign for the other direction with the park name on it and a gate that said closed at 10 PM. I turned around and took only road to my now right and it went down to some nice cabins and ended. When I came back up that left one road in the park which was straight ahead, but it was one way the other way so I ended up back by booth and saw the other road and it led to the visitors center.
Went in and asked where the hiking trails and water falls are; the park advertises both. The guy gave me two maps and said to go straight when I left. I got to corner and looked at map and told myself I have already done straight, he meant right. Went right, drove down it again past entrance sign (had seen on map trails were beyond houses). Got to a large nice parking area with sign for the hiking trails.
I was about 100 yards at most from the canyon edge but did not know it due to the trees. I got out and headed on the trail and was on the canyon edge. Saw signs to the waterfalls and several signs warning the trails were steep and not to go if not in good physical shape and not for bad hearts. Discovered that it was a ton of steps on trails across steep areas to the falls.
The first falls looked like if we had water, it would really be nice. However it was just several trickles. We have been in a drought for over a year. We have been getting rain up here this early summer, but apparently not built up the ground water. Ponds around are generally filled. I then hiked to the other falls, further down and lots more steps. It has the potential to be beautiful also. Once we get ground water up I will go back. I then climbed up the side of mountain on ton of steps and returned to car. It is a nice park located almost in Tennessee and Alabama but is in Georgia. The park entrance is on top of the mountain. I did know today that I normally walk on flat ground as my lower legs were feeling sore. I do walk regularly for several miles at the college and ride my bike. I would seriously advise anyone visiting it, to follow advice for the park.
I took a number of pictures and they are at http://www.photoworks.com/photo-sharing/shareSignin.jsp?shareCode=A73F182C5BA&cp=ems_shr_alb_pml&cb=PW
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