Once a year my dad and I get together for a week. This past week was my birthday (Wow, I’m 41 now… sheesh) so he came over to Atlanta to spend the week with me. My dad and I normally get together at the holidays, but that’s with all the family around, we still make sure to squeeze in a week each year for the guys to hang out.
My dad has also started trying to live healthier so I tried to plan our activities here based around being more active rather than what we’ve done in the past, which is to eat everything in sight. When I suggested a hike to my dad he was game and said he’d like to go somewhere with waterfalls. I looked around Amicalola Falls area and found a trail I haven’t hiked, I took him to see Amicalola Falls but the trail there would have been to steep for him so we hiked Wildcat Creek Trail first then checked out the falls. We had a great time but I think my pops got a bit more than he bargained for.
At the trailhead to Wildcat Creek Trail there is a sign showing the blaze colors for the four trails there. We were taking the Green trail, marked at 1.6 miles just like the book says… this was the last green blaze we saw the whole day. I’ve discovered that the book is more of a listing of trails rather than a guidebook. I’ve found many of the trails don’t match up with what’s listed in the book, fees have changed or places that didn’t have fees do now. At Wildcat Creek we found the state has implemented a pay to access system where you must have a pass or license to access. The pass is called a GORP Pass (Georgia Outdoor Recreational Pass) and is now required in 32 areas across the state. More info can be found here.
My buddy Brian joined my dad and I and my dog Boo came along as well. Although we couldn’t find the green trail we didn’t let that stop us. We followed a trail off into the woods and before long we were doing more trailblazing than hiking. There was somewhat of a trail around but we spent more time climbing over logs, under limbs and avoiding hidden holes covered with leaves than anything, it was actually quite fun. Once we came up along Wildcat Creek we followed it back up and ended back at our destination. In total we did about 1.4 miles, less than we anticipated but I think as far as my dad was concerned that was a good thing. We found some neat items along the way – a turtle hanging out on the creek bank, a fallen limb that looked as though it had been set up as a torture device and a squirrel’s acorn stash in a hollow log, you could even see where he’d been gnawing on one of the acorns.
The weather was awesome and the hike was fun. We didn’t get remotely close to the trail as listed in the book but from here on I’m going to consider finding the trailhead to count as me making that hike. This makes 7 hikes down, 53 to go! I may detour some from the book as we’re making plans to hike and stay at the Len Foote Hike Inn and also to hike Brasstown Bald (highest point in GA) here in the early fall. North GA gets some amazing fall colors so we want to get these hikes in soon.