allatoona falls, forest, georgia, memoir, nature, olde rope mill park, park, toonigh creek falls, waterfall
Getting to Toonigh Creek Falls involves taking trails in the opposite direction of the ones I took the previous time I visited Olde Rope Mill Park. But the specific trails to the waterfall aren’t marked at all, and it’s easy to take a wrong turn, get spooked by No Trespassing signs, or just walk right past the correct path entirely. Unlike some other nature walks I’ve taken recently, this was a fairly strenuous trek where the path was often covered with rocks, or roots, or mud, and it involved climbing over fallen trees and jumping over small streams with muddy banks. The trail also resembles the proverbial path my grandfather took to school during the Great Depression: It’s uphill both ways.
You need to walk under the bridge that supports highway 575, then through a mining area that is ugly and stinky. But just past the mine, you will be rewarded with a gorgeous forest path alongside the Little River. You might, like me, see some fish in the muddy water, a crane or heron, and a couple of deer. One of my wrong turns took me to a mud flat where I found mollusc shells, flowers, and deer tracks. Eventually, exhausted, I found the Falls, and though they are not the most spectacular falls in Georgia — an honor that belongs to Amicalola Falls — they were well worth the journey. I could have laid back on a rock and just listened to them for an hour, but I’d started out late, and both the temperature and the sun were dropping quickly. I’d like to visit again when I can spend more time with this lovely little waterfall.
Today’s musical waterfall appears in a gorgeous interpretation of Jimi Hendrix’s May This be Love by Emmylou Harris, with guitar layers by Daniel Lanois, and U2’s Larry Mullen Jr. on drums.