First hike of 2013! Between the weather and the holidays it’s been a while since I’ve been hiking. My Christmas and New Year were spent with great friends and filled with plenty of food and drink, it’s definitely time to get back at it now. This wasn’t a long hike, it was only supposed to be 3.1 miles going in but with some trail section closed I ended up with 2.37 miles total.
Pickett’s Mill Trail at Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site
$4.00/person for adult admission
Trailhead Coordinates: 33.973908, -84.759223
Distance Hiked: 2.37 miles
Hiking Time: 1:11:20
Click to download GPX file
There’s a good bet that unless you live in the area, or are a Civil War buff, you’ve never heard of The Battle of Pickett’s Mill. One reason being that Sherman got his butt kicked so thoroughly at Pickett’s Mill that he decided to leave mention of it out of his notes and memoirs, and as we all know it’s the victors that write the history books. It’s understandable he’d want to forget it, the Union lost 1,600 troops compared to the Confederacy losing just 500. I use “just 500 lives lost” only as a reference to the fact the Union lost over 3 times that many. The battle took place on May 27, 1864 and covered a rather hilly and heavily forested area. In some cases the soldiers were entrenched less than 100 yards from each other.
Hiking Pickett’s Mill Trail I can imagine what it must have been like to do battle there. Most of the terrain is hilly with a couple rather steep sections where the soldiers faced each other on opposite sides of a ravine. There’s a small creek that runs throughout the area and it is heavily wooded. Almost 150 years later it made for a very nice hike, it’s humbling to think that over 2,000 men lost their lives on and around these hiking trails. The trails are very well marked with like-new blaze markers up as well as numerical points of interest which you can refer to on your map. There’s also a nice visitor center with a small museum and gift shop and restrooms, water and a soda machine are available just outside the center, there are no other facilities at the park.
Overall this is a nice, leisurely hike with a great history lesson. Definitely worth checking out.