May park: Tallulah Gorge State Park.
Originally, I didn’t have Tallulah on my list for this year.
I have been to Tallulah a few times, but all of those times were before we had kids.
And what I knew about Tallulah was that it has this really spectacular bridge, that you have to take many steps to get to — and I wasn’t sure that the kids would do it or that I wanted to carry them.
But then I saw a couple of things on blogs that said they had taken their kids!
They had either taken them down the steps and to the bridge and stated that it wasn’t too bad, or they had skipped the bridge, just hiked around the top, and had a good time doing just that.
So! At the very last minutes, I added Tallulah back for May.
And I decided that we’d hike around the top a little, and if the kids seemed good, we’d try the steps to the bridge.
And now there is one other thing I’d like to disclose before I tell you exactly how it went…
I was sick for a week leading up to this trip.
As in, the day before this trip was the first day I started feeling slightly better.
So I’m thinking, I probably should NOT have gone this day. But I did because I was scared the rest of our May was busy with Tom’s soccer and end of the year festivities!
From our house, it took about an hour and 40 minutes to get there. The kids are good travelers and that was the same this day. They watched a movie in the car, and we stopped once for an Alice potty break. No problems and I think the drive there is really nice and easy. And once you get close to Tallulah, it’s beautiful.
WHAT WE DID
As soon as we arrived, we ate our picnic lunch in the parking area. That sounds worse than it is — the parking area has a really pretty grassy area that is perfect for picnicking! It’s right in front of their visitor center, and even has a cute little path you can walk through and rocks for Alice to climb.
We decided to hike the North Rim Trail, which took us to two overlooks. The overlooks are perfect for amazing views!! So pretty! It was just gorgeous green trees and the amazing gorge! So great! The first overlook was super easy to get to. It also has the remnants of the tower that was used to hold the wire that Karl Wallenda walked on across the gorge (crazy/amazing!!). The second overlook required us to walk uphill a ways, but the view was spectacular. Tom used the walk on the trail to occasionally set up his dinosaurs and make a “dinosaur world,” which is his favorite thing to do. It was during the hike up to the second overlook that I knew we wouldn’t be doing the stairs/bridge thing. The kids were having fun and were fine, but I could tell that it wasn’t their absolute best day. Alice wanted to be carried. Tom said that he wanted to stop. And of course, I wasn’t 100%. So I knew that we would just be doing this and that was fine! The overlooks were cool, I was glad we got to see the gorge, and it was a beautiful day.
After the hike, we visited the visitor center which is GREAT. Lots of animals to see, so the kids had a great time.
After the park, I decided that since we were already in the area, we should visit the famed Goats on a Roof roadside attraction. We’d seen it many times on our travels, but had never stopped! Every time we drive by, we see — you guessed it! — goats on the roof! So we went, and guess what? No goats!!! I mean, they were there, up on the roof, but they were like…napping or something? We didn’t see them! People were actually buying food, and using this conveyor belt thing to take the food up to them, and the food just dumped out into a big pile. NO GOATS! Ha ha! The kids had no idea what we were doing, or why we were there, but they got ice cream so they thought it was an amazing place.
Okay, so in the past, I’ve never really “ranked” our state park visits, and that’s because I have honestly loved them all so much for different reasons. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to really rank them, but if I was, this would be my 5th place out of five. Sorry, Tallulah! I love your name, and you are beautiful!!
But I didn’t think it worked because:
I have young kids. I’m thinking this would’ve been better if we had been *staying* there for the weekend. This place is great and amazing, but for young kids, I just don’t see it being a one-day destination if you live more than an hour away. If we were to pass it on our way somewhere, I would stop, for sure! If I lived closer, absolutely! But it’s a long way to drive for what basically ends up being a short hike with littles (if you don’t do the steps!). And then there were NO GOATS! 😉
With that said, every visit to a state park with my family is so special to me, and this one is no exception. I love going on these trips with my family. I love that we are discovering so much together. And I love that this visit made me think about how awesome a visit will be here with my kids *next* year!
Goats (no goats)…
Read about our other Georgia State Park adventures so far this year!
Follow our adventures on Instagram! #12parksin2015