Last weekend was beautiful and I took full advantage of it. Saturday I hiked with a group at Tallulah Gorge State Park, about 1.5 hours north of Athens. We walked trails along both rims of the gorge, and followed the stairs down into the gorge, across a suspension bridge, and up the other side. Something like 1500 to 2000 stairs before the day was done! The weather was perfect and we had a fun group of three hikers, with two joining us for another trail and post-hike pizza while watching the Georgia basketball game. I didn’t hike much when I previously lived in Georgia; that really started when I moved to Colorado. I am happy to be back and have the opportunity to go see some of the wonderful outdoor recreation that the South has to offer.
The Gorge is spectacular, and is not something most people would look at and associate with Georgia. The park itself is very developed, as I’m sure is necessary to keep visitors from tearing it up. The trails were wide and had wood chips over a base of recycled tires. Steeper portions of the trail were composed of rugged stairs with plenty of rest stops. My fear of heights (or falling actually) kicked in going down, but was fine going up. (A great quote from this clip of the Big Bang Theory: “a fear of heights is irrational; a fear of falling, on the other hand, is prudent and evolutionary).
I haven’t done lots of hiking with a group, but I enjoyed it. While it does distract from the nature somewhat, it is fun in other ways. I’m happy to have some folks to get outdoors with.