Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Big Trees

Kathryn and I have been taking walks around our neighborhood just about every day for the past few weeks. She's been wanting to get back in shape and I'm almost always up for a ride or a walk.

She's fit enough to walk all over our neighborhood now, so today I suggested we go walk somewhere else. I used to see this place called Big Trees on the way to work every day. I always wanted to check it out, but I never had the time before or after work and there aren't enough miles there to make it worthwhile as a weekend outing with the kids so I kept kicking it back to the end of my list. Today seemed like an ideal opportunity to get out there though, so we went for it.

 Kathryn at Big Trees

Google said it would take about 25 minutes to get there, but I should have studied the suggested route rather than just following the route I used to take to work. It ended up taking about 35 minutes, due to both traffic and a wrong turn at a new traffic circle on Warsaw Road. Ugh. Don't trust me to get you anywhere.

Despite being off Roswell Road, in Sandy Springs, effectively in the middle of town, Big Trees was alleged to be a "visual, mental and spiritual oasis." The entrance to the trails was definitely all cute and woodsy.

 Big Trees Entrance

And after the first hundred yards of pavement, it began to deliver pretty well on that allegation.

The trail system did turn out to be a bit of a maze though and while just about every intersection is marked, the signs can be confusing. For example, the same trail may be marked differently on each end. We suspected that maybe in some places the signs refer to the trail and in others to a route that you can take which includes several trails, but it was very confusing. I think it would have helped if I'd been able to download a map from the Big Trees website ahead of time but the link was dead.

Adversity notwithstanding, we managed to explore just about every inch of trail out there. Given that there were only about 2 miles to be explored, it took less than an hour, including a couple of stops to take in the sights.

Kathryn wants to come back and take photos of the girls here soon.

 Beech Hollow Creek  Roswell Road Bridge

There were some interesting rock outcroppings but no "cliffs" as the website suggested there would be.

 Rock Outcropping on Backcountry Trail

The rubble along this creek looked cool from across the draw. It turned out to be man-made but it still fit in very naturally.

 Spring Hollow Creek

On the way out we noticed this odd daddy-long-legs. He had stripey legs and a strangely shaped body.

 Whip Scorpion


It was a perfect walk. Not too long, not too far away, just the right amount of both for a mid-day diversion. The only minor disappointment was that on the way out we passed by at least 5 interesting local restaurants but we didn't have enough time, or money to eat at any of them. Maybe next time.

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