Kelley LeExplorer

Wilderness therapy field instructor; loving people, nature, and the Creator of it all.

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about 5 years ago

Love The Views

Here, you get both canyon and several waterfalls. I definitely agree that this is a day hike. I like to bring lunch and snacks and plenty of water. There are several boulders to chill on with great views. And if you want even more hiking, I really enjoy the Sittons Gulch trail that departs from the waterfall trail.

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about 5 years ago

Good hike

I've never swam here but I do enjoy the hike. It's not too far from Kennesaw, where I live. So that's a plus. There are also great camping opportunities in this park.

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about 5 years ago

Sweetwater Creek Is Sweet

It's nothing absolutely spectacular but it's a beaut on its own, especially nestled in southwest Atlanta. The trails are fairly easy and nice. During the summer, it's nice to hammock along the creek and wade in the waters to cool off. But as always, be wary of snakes!

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about 5 years ago

Fairly Close To The City

I was surprised to find this place wasn't 2 hours from Atlanta or any metro city surrounding Atlanta. It's not in the Chattahoochee National Forest or anything but it's still a great forest/mountain hike. I enjoy the view. Although, since it's closer to cities and towns, it can be pretty populated. If you're ok with that, it's a nice hike.

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about 5 years ago

Beautiful Waterfall

The waterfall is stunning but the hike not so much. In my opinion. A lot of it is stairs ascending to the middle and then the top of the waterfall itself. Great leg day for sure though. And the creek that flows into it at the top is neat. We hung our hammocks over it and hung out - which I wouldn't recommend doing because we found out that was not allowed, plus there were water moccasin snakes in the creek. Also, if you want more mountain hiking there's a trail at the top of the falls that goes to Springer Mountain which is another 7-9 miles. It's the start of the Appalachian Trail.

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about 5 years ago

Solid Mountain Hike

It's a great trail that intersects the Appalachian Trail. Be careful if you end up having to hike in the dark. I have this habit of either going too late in the day, or taking my sweet time on the way up or at the overlook, causing me to hike back in the dark (with a head lamp of course). That happened here at Blood Mtn and my friend and I got sort of lost for about an hour. We accidentally turned on to the AT and had to retrace and find the Byron Reece trail... Could've gone forever. But anywho, it was a good experience. Met a girl in the middle of the night who was finishing her last 2 days on the AT. She started in Maine and had been on the trail for months straight. It was awesome hearing her story.

Neat Inner City Trail

You get to be outside, surrounded by a variety of people also outside - walking, biking, running, boarding beside you or past you. Then there's art all over the place, from structures to graffiti. Then there's Ponce City Market which has been booming and developing. It's located in a large, old warehouse made new. There are several restaurants and stores inside. Great place to stop during your trek/ride on the beltline.

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about 5 years ago

Super Chill Hike

This place is definitely dog friendly. Every time I go, there seems to be dogs everywhere. Humans, too. My favorite parts of the trail is the 360 view at the top of the mountain as well as the small ponds and puddles everywhere in the stone. There was one pond/puddle on top of the mountain where someone had put a spiral in it made of small rocks. It was pretty neat. Maybe it's still there.

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about 5 years ago

Stellarr

I really enjoyed the length of this hike and the elevation. I'm not sure, I have a thing for solid mountain hikes. But the views are pretty fantastic. I think one of my favorite things is the open meadow at the top of the mountain. I had a picnic with friends and puppies up there as the sun was setting. 'Twas beautiful.

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about 5 years ago

Several Waterfalls in One

One thing I loved about this trail is that there were 3-4 waterfalls that weren't too far from each other. So it's super family friendly. Also, the Cherokee Falls on this trail is pretty ideal for long exposure photography. I hear the coolest photographing opportunity at this place is during the winter when the waterfall is frozen.

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about 5 years ago

Awesome Place!

This is a great place with a beautiful waterfall. Camped at the state park, which I loved. My favorite part was hiking to the base of the falls. It was certainly cold but being at the bottom and looking up at such an awesome waterfall was pretty sweet. There's a boulder at the bottom in front of the waterfall which is great for photographing people in front of the falls. There are other great spots, too. Fair warning though, if it's not summer, it can get pretty cold down there. It's also pretty slippery, so tread carefully!

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about 5 years ago

All Time Favorite

I'm not sure if it's due to personal experience that I love this place so much or the fact that it really is pretty amazing. I've been to this place about ten times. It's my go-to. I'll have friends that want to get into hiking or seeing cool waterfalls so my first thought is always Raven Cliff Falls. It's not too difficult, there are several beautiful sights, there are several areas made out for camping that are awesome, and there are so many opportunities to climb around and explore. Aside from the main fall at the end, there are other waterfalls along the trail. One of my favorites is about halfway on the trail, to the left. However, the trail drops off like a cliff form so you have to shimmy and climb your way down to get to the base of the waterfall. But no worries, it's not a crazy or scary climb. It's easy if you're feeling adventurous. I love this place because not as many hikers go down here. (Still a lot during certain times of the year but compared to the rest of the trail.) There's a swimming hole at the base that's pretty shallow and it's a great area to wade in the water and chill. Several trees nearby are ideal for hammocks, too. I've also climbed along the sides of the waterfall to get to the top, which is a pretty spectacular view. During spring and summer, there are these little spring/summer azure butterflies that flutter everywhere. I've had one land on me almost every time I've been there. I'm telling you, it's a great place. Spectacular primitive camping as well. No reservations required, first-come first-serve basis.

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about 5 years ago

First Solo Backpacking Trip

About two years ago during spring, I set out to backpack the trail to Amicalola Falls, to the top, then all the way to Springer Mountain, and possibly further. I had 2-3 days to explore and inhale some good nature. I couldn't find anyone who wanted to go with me during the time I planned the adventure, so I went by myself. This was one of the first long hikes (5 miles+) I've been on. It was incredibly rough since I was new to a lot of it but it is one of my most memorable experiences. I enjoyed the quietness of the wooded trails and the challenge of occasional steep climbs. But my favorite was reaching the Springer Mountain summit as the sun was setting, feeling rewarded with beauty for treading so fiercely for hours alone. But I didn't end that evening alone. I got to the shelter and found a handful of others setting up camp for the night. After some time, more backpackers kept arriving. It was a kick-off weekend for those backpacking the Appalachian Trail. I got to sit around a huge fire with fellow lovers of the outdoors and talk about the journey ahead. Even though I wasn't actually backpacking the AT, they gladly included me... Even tried to persuade me to drop my plans for the next months and join them. I couldn't, because I was unprepared. But maybe soon. One day. Anyhow, for an experience like mine, of solitude and connection with nature but also connecting with new, adventurous friends, try hiking this trail during spring around March-April!

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about 5 years ago

Escape From The City

This is a trail that isn't too far from the city at all. The hike is easy with no incline since it's following along the Chattahoochee River. Which makes it a great for bird watching, plant observations, macro photography of insects, waving to passing kayakers and tubers, occasionally splashing in the water, and more. I recently went a few weeks ago to photograph birds with a friend. My friend got an amazing shot of this blue heron that is often in the shallow areas of the river along the trail. Now that it's warmer, we will probably go back soon to capture more birds!

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about 5 years ago

Favorite Local Hike

I love nearby Kennesaw Mountain but Pine Mountain in Cartersville has a beautifully nuanced feel to it that I can't fully describe. The hike up to David Archer Overlook isn't the easiest but it isn't incredibly difficult either. The overlook is well worth the miles tread. Especially if you go to catch the sun rising or setting. There are also a lot of large rocks and boulders at the summit which makes it a great place to sit and take in the panoramic view of nearby cities, far off mountains, colorful horizons, Lake Allatoona, and more.