Location Spotlight: Vogel State Park, Georgia USA - Dreamstime
A crisp breeze moves through the pines. The continuous climb of the stream-side trail elicits some heavy breathing which can be seen in the chilled air, cleansing the lungs. An array of crystal spikes hang inverted from the fallen trees that straddle the waterfall and drip shimmering, crystal drops. What a beautiful day for a hike! What a beautiful place to do it!
Vogel State Park is located at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest in North Georgia. It is one of my favorites as it embodies that Appalachian Mountain beauty. The well-laid trails are perfect for even young hikers like my daughters. As we learned at an interpretive lesson that evening at the park headquarters, much of the park was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s. Those were tough depression days, but they spared no gift in laying out this park.
After several hours, we make it to the peak of Bear Hair Gap Trail. An overlook through the trees reveals Lake Trahlyta far below. At 2,500 feet elevation it is one of Georgia's highest altitude state parks. My desire was to backpack the Coosa Backcountry Trail, which leads to the Appalachian Trail near Neel Gap, but my girls are still far too young. But still, this day hike is quite fulfilling, soaking in the mountain landscapes.
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