Last Sunday I went with a few friends and knocked out another hike on my list. This one was Paper Mill Trail, #10 from the book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Atlanta. The trail is part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area and winds along and over Sope Creek and wrapping around Sibley Pond. In addition to Paper Mill Trail there are many other trails that can be combined to hike over 12 miles. In addition to hiking the trails are also open to mountain biking, be warned that mountain bikers definitely make use of the trails and in some sections the trail is narrow, stay alert for bikers coming around corners while hiking.
As I’ve found with many of the trails it wasn’t possible to follow this exactly as listed in the book. The trails have changed recently with areas marked off for reforestation and erosion control. The terrain is listed in the book as “Moderate to Difficult” however I found it to be just moderate most places. There’s some interesting terrain along the trails with large tree roots and rocks scattered throughout, a couple of nice hills give you a bit of a workout. Most of the trail is heavily shaded however at one point you walk into a clearing for about 100 yards as you walk along Sibley Pond. In total we hiked 1.81 miles in 48 minutes, although there’s a bit of disagreement in the distance as my friend believes the hike was longer than that. He’s much more familiar with the trail than I am so that’s possible. I used my Runkeeper app on my iPhone however I did lose GPS signal for a good while.
The trailhead is easy to get to off of Paper Mill Road. There are also some gorgeous homes to view along the drive, although with the tree cover it’s mostly fleeting glimpses. There is a large parking area with a fee of $3.00 per day. I’m amazed every time I go out how many amazing trails there are buried within the city and suburbs of Atlanta, looking forward to checking out the next one.
I’ve got a new adventure coming up this Saturday where I’ll take part in my first 5K! We’ve put a team together for the Firefly Run in Atlanta, a nighttime 5K with a party vibe to it. The week after that we plan to visit Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia and one of the best places in the country to view fall foliage. Judging by the forecast we should hit it right at peak viewing so hopefully I’ll have some awesome pictures to share.