Black Rock Mountain State Park

Mountain City, Georgia has a jewel of a state park. Making our way up the narrow, curvy road to the top of the mountain was definitely a challange, but once we settled at our campsite, the trip was well worth it. We stayed at campsite #11 and our area couldn’t have been more perfect. The one thing we wished we would have known was that to get to our site, we had to make a round through the camping area so that we would be at the right angle to back into the campsite. We should have taken the longer loop instead of the shorter loop. It was a bit dangerous with our size camper, but we made it.

Other than the rain and winds from Hurricane Ida that we experienced for one day, the weather was amazing. We were able to cook outside on what I call our “front porch” most nights, and the temperature was comfortable enough to eat outdoors as well. We made good use of our Blackstone griddle and Ninja Foodie grill. We had hamburgers and homemade air fried potato chips, steaks with air fried baked potatoes, and blackened mahi mahi with parmesan crusted shrimp and air fried broccoli. Chowing down with Chapmans (that’s us) is always a good time when we are camping.

Black Rock Mountain has several hiking trails. On the day we arrived, we wanted to do a short trail. With the distance of just a quarter mile, the Ada-Hi Falls Trail won the pick. Keep in mind this was a short distance, but it was an extremely tasking trail. After making our way down several sets of steps and a narrow trail filled with roots, we reached our destination of a small water fall. This was the highlight of our day. It reminded us of why we love to camp at state parks; nature at its best, beautiful, peaceful and always a wonderful experience.

The park had several overlooks for us to check out the majestic views of the mountains that surrounded us. I loved them all, but my favorite was as the visitor center. It was called Black Rock Overlook. We were at an elevation of 3446 feet and we looked over the city below us and enjoyed mountains on moutains as far as we could see. Different shades of green, different shades of blue, different shapes of clouds, different levels of sunlight….. all of these differences made for breathtaking views.

I’m so thankful to have been able to spend a few days at this state park. Black Rock Mountain is a great place to camp and has plenty of places to explore within the park. Also, there are really cool places to visit within 15-20 miles from the park. Whether your thing is enjoying wineries or distilleries, hiking, shopping, or trying different restaurants, Black Rock Mountain is the perfect getaway.

The second day we were there, we experienced some tire trouble. I wanted to give a BIG shout out to Pritchett Tire & Alignment in Clayton (on Seed Tick Road) for their help and kindness in getting us the tire we needed as quick as they could. If you are in the Clayton area and are in need of help with tires, we highly recommend them. Their website is https://pritchetttiresales.com/ .

On the day of the tire issue, we ate lunch in town. A friend of mine had recommended the Universal Joint when I told her where we were going. It looked like an old gas station turned into a restaurant. It had a variety of foods to choose from and was actually really good. Check them out at https://www.ujclayton.com/ .

Watkins Mill Bridge State Park

In planning our trips for the year, I wanted to go somewhere that I had never been for my birthday trip. A friend of mine has sent me a pin from pinterest that was a video of Watkins Mill Bridge. People were all over the rocks enjoying rushing waters from the water fall. I instantly knew that I wanted to see this place first hand.

We love the state parks here in Georgia, so of course we looked forward to staying at this camp ground. We were on site # 2. It was a nice pull through and it required little to no leveling. While #2 was good for us, we said that when we go back we would like to stay on either 14,15, or 17.

We enjoyed our evening walks after dinner through the hiking trail that carried us to the covered bridge. From the various wildlife sitings to the beautiful vegetation in the middle of the woods, it was nature at it’s best. There is a man-made waterway channel that runs from the bridge to a second dam just above the ruins of an old power house. This power house was the source of electricity for a textile mill in Crawford, Georgia. The sound of rushing water in the woods gave excitement for what were about to see.

Within 20 miles of our home is a covered bridge that Horace King built. Although Mr. King was born into slavery, he became a highly respected bridge builder. With that being said, we found it very interesting that Watson Mill Bridge was built by Horace King’s son, Washington King. This bridge is the longest covered bridge in the state of Georgia, with a span of 229 feet. It was really cool to be able to actually drive through it as well as walk through it.

Watkins Mill Bridge State Park did NOT disappoint. I love seening new things, but I also love to revisit places that I’ve enjoyed. I hope that at some point I’m able to make another round to this beautiful and traquil State Park.

Georgia Guidestones

Out in the middle of nowhere in Elbert County, stands a granite monument that is called the Georiga Guidestones. It has been there since 1980, and is referred to as an “American Stonehenge”. The amazing design of this monument allows it to be a compass, calendar and a clock.

On each side of the four tablets, a set of ten guidelines are engraved. Each side is engraved in a different language. Apparently these guidelines are seen as controversial, which encouraged some people to vandalize it in 2008. It has been restored and is currently under camera surveillance.

The ten Guidelines are as follows:

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion – faith- tradition- and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the Earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature.

The author or authors of these guidelines are unknown.

According to the explanatory tablet, there is a time capsule below this spot, but there is no date engraved as to when this capsule should be opened.

It is definitely a site to see. Being off the beaten path, I was amazed to witness several people visiting and admiring such a structure.

The Widow Maker Trail at Sprewell Bluff

Being within 25 minutes from my house, I could not believe what awesome hiking trails that Sprewell Bluff Park had to offer.

http://www.sprewellbluff.com

The first trail we hit, was a walk along river banks of the Flint. There is nothing better than hearing the water rushing over the rocks. Loved seeing the massive stones, (some I climbed up on) along the side of the river. Just a relaxing walk before hitting the uphill climb to the top of the mountain.

We were able to do a little bit of several trails. We did get a little confused and ended up on the “Widow Maker” trail. It was very challenging with a narrow, steep incline, rocky path along the side of the mountain overlooking the river. While it was a bit intense, I’m glad we made our way on this one. A few “get my breath” breaks were necessary, but those stops gave me some amazing views. Challenging and rewarding are great words to describe this trail.

As with most hikes I’ve been on, there always some unique sites to see. There were a couple of old abandoned cars, an old chimney still standing, and of course an old liquor still. But then the odd trees and beautiful flowers always catch my attention as well.

Sprewell Bluff Park is a not only has hiking trails, but it also is a great place for family gatherings and picnics. It is a great place for kids and adults to cool off with swimming and playing in the river. It is a very popular place to either put in to float or get out from a float down the river. Various fund raising events are held here throughout the year from running the trails to floating the river.

Hiking is one of my hobbies that I get to enjoy with my lifetime best friend. While we enjoy our time catching up, we also enjoy getting our steps in and resetting our attitudes from our busy lifestyles. There is nothing like nature to bring a level of inner peace.

So thankful we found this treasure of a hike. It is definitely one I would love to do again.

Albany RV Resort

Financially, this campground is very reasonable. I’d say it definitley has a lot of bang for the buck. If we are ever in the area again, this will be our go-to place to stay.

Each site has full hookup, a concrete pad, picnic table and plenty of room to enjoy our outdoor cooking. The campground is nestled in a large section of trees on HWY 19 in Albany. They did not have fire rings at each campsite, but there were two brick fireplaces for the the campers to share.

A pond is located on the front side of the park. It was the home to quite a few ducks, geese and turtles. Fishing was allowed. We saw several taking advantage of that activity.

This campground was pet friendly. Around the edge of the resort was a “Dog Walk” that led to an area that was called the “Bark Park”.

We enjoyed day trips to things we had wanted to see. Within just a matter of a few miles was Radium Springs. We took a day to explore and learn about the prisoners of war at the Andersonville Civil War cemetary. WE made a trip to Tifton to visit my niece at Rutland Farms. We enjoyed their petting zoo and purchased strawberries. The Flint River Aquarium was on our list of must-sees, but we ran out of time. Hopefully we will make it back one day to visit the aquarium.

Five STARS…… Friendly staff, spacious campsite, full hook-up, pet friendly, quiet and relaxing.

Radium Springs

Radium Springs is the only one of the 7 Wonders of Georgia that we had not seen. At the end of April, we made our way down to Albany to check out this fascinating wonder.

Beautiful….Historic….Amazing…. are just a few words to describe this place. Back in the day, the crystal clear blue water was believed to have mystical powers. In the early 1900’s a restaurant was built along with some guest cottages surrounding the Spring and people came to vacation here and experience the mystical powers of the water. In 1927, a casino was built. Guess what? It wasn’t a gambling casino. A casino at that time was just a place with entertainment. After fire and a couple of floods, the casino was not repairable, so it was removed.

I was amazed at quite a number of facts about this place. Radium Springs is the largest natural spring in Georgia. It produces 70,000 gallons per minute. Can you say WOW? I did. There is a cave that is completely under water and extends 1532 feet underneath a state highway as well as other roadways and underneath houses.

While currently you can’t get in and enjoy the mystical powers or check out the cave; it is a beautiful place to visit. The rockwork around the spring and the garden area is breathtaking. While there, we witnessed a wedding, a girl having her graduation pictures taken, and a girl having her 21st birthday pictures taken. It was not crowded, but seemed to be the happening place.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you’ve not been there before, it is definitely a place to put on your bucket list of things to see in Georgia.

Skidaway Island State Park

Skidaway Island State Park is a great place to visit. The intertwined trees are covered with Spanish moss. The campsites are very spacious and clean. State Parks are really my favorite places to stay because their campsites are not on top of each other. You have your own space to cook and kick back. This little getaway took place in February 2021.

We love Savannah and Tybee Island, so staying on the outskirts of Savannah at this state park was perfect. We got up our first morning and took a trip to Tybee to have breakfast at the Sunrise Restaurant. Their breakfast buffet is off the chain. Although it was extremely cold and windy, we made our way to the beach just to say we saw the beach.

Of course, we had to take an afternoon on the River Walk in Savannah. The views of the water, the massive bridge, and the huge cargo ships are always intriguing. We love walking through the various shops and the open market area. There many choices of restaurants and we can never leave without a visit to the candy shop. Savannah is beautiful and full of history. We like to visit at least once every other year. If you make it to Savannah, you should definitely go on a haunted walking tour (at night).

At Skidaway, we enjoyed a walking trail. On the trail we chose, we were able to look out over the marsh lands in a look out tower. We actually saw a bald eagle in a distance here. The trail led us through an area labeled “Earthworks”. This area was built during the Civil War to help guard against those coming through the back rivers. Being such a remote island, moonshiners used this area to make liquor. One of the exhibits on this trail was an old liquor still. Being found by a police raid, there were axe markings on the barrel. Overall, this was a very easy relaxing hike.

I hope that some of our pictures will encourage you to get out and visit this historical city. If you camp, know that Skidaway Island State Park is the perfect campground in that it is off the beaten path, but close enough to enjoy the beach, the history of Savannah, and the natural beauty of the Georgia coast.

Little Ocmulgee State Park

We love to stop at Little Ocmulgee State Park for a night when we go to Crooked River State Park. It is the halfway point, and it has of a lot of beauty and activities to offer.

We love it. It is a very clean park with so many things to to. As you pull into the entrance you will see their beautiful golf course. I’m not a golfer, but I enjoy seeing people out playing the game and taking in some good fresh air.

The park has pavilions, a playground, a lake and plenty of parking area. This would be a great place to have a family reunion or a birthday party. The lake is very large. You can enjoy boating, kayaking and fishing. There are swings, benches, and piers there for you to kick back and enjoy the lakeside view.

The campsites are spacious, clean, and some of them have full hook-up. Nestled in the wooded area, you are bound to stay cool and enjoy nature at its best. Even though we live in the country and enjoy wildlife daily, we still get excited watching deer, squirrels and birds at the campground.

I’m so glad we found this campground and we look forward visiting it in the future.

Our New Ride

Over the past 5 years, we have gone from tent camping, to a pop-up, to a couple of campers that really didn’t suit us. Our last camper, a Starcraft Autumn Ridge, was nice but we didn’t have the room we really wanted.

As it happened, we received a recall notice from Starcraft for some electrical issue so we took it to Camping World in Bryon to have it taken care of. Donna had been looking at other campers for some time now and we had made a list of the models we wanted to look at while we were there.

We had some things in mind that we wanted in a new camper. The Autumn Ridge was a bunk house model, without a slide. Eventhough it was 28 or so feet long, there just wasn’t enough room. We knew that we wanted either a rear living or rear kitchen, a slide-out, and the bathroom had to bigger and the sink had to be inside of it – in the Autumn Ridge, the sink was outside of the actual bathroom. We also were looking for a floorplan where the TV was not in an awkward place. Again, the Autumn Ridge’s TV was placed in a way that you couldn’t see it from the dining table.

Now, by this time, you may be asking if the Autumn Ridge had all of these things we didn’t like, then why did we buy it? Well, at the time we had not been out enough to really know what we wanted in a camper. We thought it would work and in our minds we saw things differently.

So, after looking at several on the lot at Camping World, we found the Keystone Outback 299URL. One step inside and we could tell that this was the one. The floorplan checked all the boxes. Follow this link for the floorplan. It is a rear living, with recliners and an entertainment center in a place where the TV (it came with the camper and it’s a 50″!!!!) can be seen no matter where you sit. The bathroom not only has the sink inside of it, it is large enough to change your clothes in and then some.

The slide extened out further than most, so the living space is very generous. The galley is laid out very efficiently and it has a stainless sink – something you don’t see very often.

This is an “Ultra-light” model. One of my concerns with having a slideout was the weight. I have a 2012 F-150 King Ranch with a towing package, so the recommended weight is 8000 lbs and the max is around 11000 lbs. The Outback comes in at just over 7600 lbs. Another box checked.

So after falling in love with the camper, we decided to pull the trigger and get it. All I can say about Tony and the crew at Camping World is that they gave us a great deal and really went all out to make sure we got the most for our Autumn Ridge. So thank you guys – Tony, Paul, George – for making buying our new camper so easy and painless.

Crooked River State Park

Crooked River State Park has become one of our favorite places to visit. We have stayed there 3 times on the same campsite, which is full hook-up. My husband has family in that area and we love catching up with them, but even if he didn’t have family there, we would love this area regardless.

The campground is clean, quiet and relaxing. It has a boat ramp where you can put your boat or kayak in to enjoy some river time; either fishing or just looking at the sites. There are hiking trails to follow to enjoy some fresh air and some wildlife. There is an open area in the middle of most of the campsites where the kids play. While it is quiet most of the time, I truly enjoy hearing and watching the kids play their games in that open area.

One thing we love about this park is that we make day trips to various surrounding areas. Cumberland Island is a very interesting place to visit with it’s ruins and wild horses on the beach. Jekyll Island has beautiful beaches, but it’s most famous for Driftwood Beach. St. Simons offers variety of shops and restaurants. I think a couple of the restaurants have been on the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives television show. The water front is a absolutely beautiful at St. Marys. We have even traveled to the Okefenokee Swamp and have taken a very interesting boat ride through the swamp to see some alligators.

We have made Crooked River State Park our “go-to” place. It’s our place to slow down, smell the coffee, and reset our minds.

Our greeter to the campsite ! 🐢
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