Growing up in Valdosta, Georgia, hiking was not a common activity for me. Once I moved up to Kennesaw for college, it still wasn’t my go to thing to do on a free Saturday. If I’m being honest, as a college student near Atlanta, I thought Saturdays had to be for attending frat parties and going to not-so-clean Buckhead bars. Therefore that is what I did. However, once Covid-19 spread to America, that was no longer my routine. Like most people I became weary of the virus and tried to stay away from people. Even when a lot of people decided that going back out to the bars was an okay thing to do, I felt uncomfortable going back. How I chose to spend my time instead, was going on hikes. Here are some of my favorites so far, in no particular order:
1. Tallulah Falls
Tallulah Falls was definitely one of the prettiest hikes I had ever been on. It was very easy to navigate since the trail is actually just a bunch of stairs. However, the stairs were no joke especially when it is super hot outside. They are almost no easier to go down than they are to go up. While I appreciated the lack of ability to get lost, the super steep inclines were making me question my current state of health. Nonetheless it was a doable hike, and the views are definitely worth it. It’s not often that the view from the ground is just as nice as the view from above. Just remember to bring your water bottle.
2. Bell Mountain
Sometimes the best hikes are the ones you can drive. Bell Mountain in Hiawassee, Georgia fits that description. I know that based on how I talked about my Tallulah Falls hiking experience, you would think I am not too keen on the actual hiking part of hikes, and you would be correct. I am not ashamed to say I really just hike for the view promised at the end, and Bell Mountain has a beautiful one. For the most part you can just drive up and down the mountain, but make sure you’ve got some great brakes. Bell Mountain is unique because once you get to the top there is a giant pile of rocks covered in graffiti. The mix of so many colors makes for a cool look in my opinion. However, I know graffiti is a pretty controversial art, so it might not be for everyone. If the art is up your alley then Bell Mountain makes for a great spot. Past the rocks is a magnificent view of endless trees and a large body of water. It really is a nice place to watch the sunset and look at each individual painted rock’s personality.
3. Yonah Mountain
Another view that you actually have to work for is Yonah Mountain. It is a 4.5 mile hike that is much easier going down than going up. Once you get to the top, you feel so accomplished and practically on top of the world. Laid out in front of you are so many trees and more mountains to conquer in the future. It is very easy to get close to the edge of Yonah Mountain, so be careful with what risks you take. The hike starts out very easy and fairly flat, almost tricking you into thinking this is going to be easy. However, soon enough parts of the hike are very steep and strenuous. Thankfully there are quite a few stops along the way where you can rest and admire a unique view before getting to the top.
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