Project 365: 16/365

I wasn’t able to upload a sunset picture, so this will have to suffice. Looks like Ricky Raccoon was prowling around for a seafood dinner.

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George T. Bagby State Park, Fort Gaines, GA
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Unicoi State Park, Helen, GA

Largest and most popular of all the state parks in GA.
Largest and most popular of all the state parks in GA.

Unicoi State Park is north Georgia’s largest and most popular state park. With over 1000 acres for fishing, camping, hiking and biking, there are activities for every everyone’s pleasure.

My first visit to the park was to participate in the Dirty Spokes Trail Run Georgia State Park Series. This was the second of four races in the north Georgia state parks.

Flabbergasted to win 2nd place.
Flabbergasted to win 2nd place at the Dirty Spokes Trail Run
2nd place medal in Dirty Spokes Trail Run at Unicoi State Park, Helen GA. The start of a new tradition!
2nd place medal in Dirty Spokes Trail Run at Unicoi State Park, Helen GA. The start of a new tradition!

Established in 1954 with 278 acres, residence of north Georgia worked to produce an outdoor recreation experiment station. Through the years, changes in administration have resulted in upgrades and increased opportunities for adventurers to enjoy the magnificent beauty of the area.

Ana Ruby Falls
Ana Ruby Falls, (left)
Ana Ruby Falls
Ana Ruby Falls (right)

AnaRubyFalls, which is located within Unicoi State Park, is just one of the spectacular sites to visit.  The hike up to the falls is part of the attraction.

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This tree...
This tree…
... was growing out of this rock.
… was growing out of this rock.
Love this rock, it looks like a horse getting drenched in a waterfall.
Love this rock; reminds me of a horse getting drenched in a downpour.
Aperture F/22
Aperture F/22

With Fall in full swing, now is the best time to get out and see what nature has to offer.

Get out and enjoy your neighborhood!

Pauliana

Red Top Mountain State Park, Cartersville, GA

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I finally had the chance to visit Red Top Mountain State Park, in Cartersville, GA. My younger daughter and I participated in the Red Top Roaster 5K/10K trail run, presented by Dirty Spokes – Trail Running.

For the past 25 years, our family has passed the exit to this state park off I-75 on our way to visit relatives in other areas of Georgia and Alabama. Each time we passed, I would wonder about the park and what mysteries it held. I got my chance to find out a few weeks ago when my younger daughter and I ran in the first of four state park races sponsored by Dirty Spokes Trail Running. Read more about that here.

Red Top Mountain State Park is located along the shores of Lake Alatoona in Cartersville, Georgia. Established after the creation of the lake in 1947 with the damming of the Etowah River, it is one of the most visited state parks in Georgia, due to its close proximity to Atlanta and I-75. The park offers a wide variety of activities for all outdoor enthusiasts, from the adventures to those out for a bit of relaxation.

Visitors can be seen enjoying boating, kayaking, fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, geocaching, and camping.

Accommodations include the Red Top Mountain Lodge, which includes 92 guest rooms, which range in price from $75-$130 per night, space for conference groups, reunions, weddings, and other parties. Also included is a restaurant and swimming pool which are exclusive for lodge and cottage guests. Other accommodations include 18 cottages, two of which are dog friendly, and camping sites for tents and RVs.

There is an entry fee of $5 per vehicle for day use, or you can purchase an annual pass for $50, which gives you full access to any state park in Georgia for one year, from the date of purchase.

During our visit, we explored the swimming area, a few campsites, and the various trails throughout the park. I’m hoping to return for a lengthy camping trip to uncover more of the park’s attractions.

You can read more about Red Top Mountain State Park by visiting this site, and the official Georgia State Parks website.

Cheers,

Pauliana