We did, and we had a great time! Sometime last year, we decided we needed to come up with something fun that we could do as a family. Somehow hiking was chosen. We just did our third hike this past weekend. The first one was October 2006 in Texas at Enchanted Rock State Park. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/enchanted_rock/ I didn't get to hike too far when we were there, as it was quite a climb, and I didn't think I would get too far with a one-year-old in a stroller! The rock was very pretty, and all I could think about was what pretty countertops that pink granite would make. That and the warning to be on the lookout for rattlesnakes!
The last two hikes have been a little easier. A few weeks ago, we visited Sweetwater Creek State Park. I've lived in Georgia all my life, and I can't believe I never knew about this. I have found that I enjoy hikes that have an end goal in mind. I mean, a walk through the woods or up a small mountain is nice, but it helps if you know you're going to "see" something when you reach your destination. From their web site, here's a brief explanation of what we were going to see. "A wooded trail follows the free-flowing stream to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. Beyond the mill, the trail climbs rocky bluffs to provide views of the beautiful shoals below." It was a beautiful day, and the weather was wonderful. There were a few tricky places now and then, but we made it through just fine. Instead of turning around when we reached the mill, we continued on the circular trail that eventually led us back to where we began. It was a lot of fun and sort of seemed like a field trip since we were able to see a piece of history. When I was telling my mother afterwards about our hike, she mentioned to me that she use to go there a lot as a teenager. She said the boys would carve civil war bullets out of the trees, and that she had quite a collection that she had given to her brother many, many years ago. There probably aren't many bullets left in those trees, but if we ever go back, I'll definitely be looking!
This past Saturday, we visited Cheaha State Park in Alabama. The leaves were not quite at peak yet, but they were still very pretty. We parked at one of the entrances to a trail and proceeded to walk into the woods and up the mountain for about 1.5 hours. We were looking for a small abandoned plane that had crashed there in the 1950s. We never found it and decided we better head back before it started getting dark. I think we may have taken the wrong trail. We will have to go back another time and find the right trail that leads to the abandoned plane. We always take a snack and water and stop half-way for a little picnic, which is always fun. There were not nearly as many people on this trail as there were at Sweetwater Creek Park. It actually seemed a little strange at times to be that alone with my family so deep in strange woods. We passed a few people as we were heading into the park and eventually someone finally came up behind us and passed us. Several minutes later they passed us going back the other direction, and I think we were on our own from that point on. On the way back out, I was fine until I started wondering if bears lived in those mountains. I think I started walking a little faster! Other than my crazy thoughts getting in the way, it was a fun, beautiful day also and we had an enjoyable time.
At one point we reached a clearing, and this is the view that we saw.