Friday, December 27, 2013

Heritage Park

Man, I love how fit Kathryn's gotten over the last year. She's ready to go running around in the woods every day now.

Today we went to Heritage Park, the absolute closest trails to my place.

Heritage Park Sign

Calling it a "park" might be a bit of a stretch. I guess since it's managed by Cobb Parks and Rec, it has to be called a park. There's a pavillion, a swamp, a creek, some trails and some old ruins there. I guess that's a park.

There appears to have once been a messy trail network running through the swamp, but by the look of things, it's recently been refurbished.

Heritage Park Trail Heritage Park Trail Boardwalk

That trail led to a right-of-way along the sewer line, running parallel to Nickajack Creek.

Heritage Park Trail  Right Of Way

Heh, heh. Spruce up the sewer line and call it a trail. Win-win actually. The people get a scenic place to walk their dogs and the city doesn't have to worry about miscreants up to no-good up and down the sewer line.

It was pretty too. The sewer line ran along Nickajack Creek and there were several spots that provided good views of it.

Nickajack Creek Kathryn at Nickajack Creek

There was actually one funny thing too. There were signs encouraging people to harvest invasive species tagged with pink ribbons and dump them in a particular spot near the swamp. But, in every direction, choking the earth between every tree, lay the most massive undergrowth of Autumn Olive that I've ever seen. It was everywhere, for miles. The land manager could buy out every Home Depot in Georgia and not have enough pink ribbon to mark it all. It would take an army of landscapers waging no less than Total War to remove it.

And speaking of Total War...

Way down the old sewer line we ran across the ruins of an old factory.

Ruffs Mill Factory Ruins Ruffs Mill Factory Ruins Inside

My mom told us it was out there, so we didn't really "run across" it, but it was still cool.

According to the internet, it was part of a woolen mill complex that made, among other things, uniforms for the Confederate army. When Sherman's March came to town, he burned it to the ground, along with everything else in the area.

There were actually two buildings there, on either side of the trail. It wasn't clear how the mill was powered. There were no indications of a dam or any other power source. That building was allegedly the factory, so it's possible that the wool was spun upstream a bit and then carted down there to be sewn. I'm not sure. I'll have to do some more reading on the subject.

The trail beyond the factory was a bit less maintained but still pretty clear. It led past a scenic little shoal on Nickajack Creek...

Shoal on Nickajack Creek

...and ultimately to the old covered bridge on Concord Road.

Concord Road Covered Bridge

I've ridden my road bike through that bridge a dozen times and noticed the historical-looking facilities nearby but never had the chance to investigate until today.

There was a big building on one side of the road, along the creek itself. Maybe that was where the wool was actually spun.

Ruffs Mill Building

Remnants of a dam remained on the other side of the road.

Ruffs Mill Dam

Maybe there was a raceway running under the bridge some time ago.

The house across from the old building appeared to have been constructed similarly, but much more well maintained. Someone even still lives there even.

That appeared to be the end of the trail though, so we turned around and headed back.

About halfway between the old mill buildings and the trailhead, there was some kind of old rock wall structure on the other side of the creek.

Rock Wall Structure on Nickajack Creek

Man, I'm going to have to try to find an old map of that area or something. I'm really curious what everything out there was once supposed to be.


We walked for almost 5 miles as it turned out. Kathryn is strong and fast these days. A year ago she'd have been complaining after 2 or 3. Today I was actually working to keep up with her. Ha! She wins! I guess now that I have someone to run around in the woods with though, we both win!


We win!

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