My First Mother-Daughter Hike: Clayton County International Park

I’m proud to announce that I finally converted my mother. After two years of making fun of my hiking habits, and mocking me about the snakes and the poison ivy, she finally decided to join me for a hike.

To be fair, this wasn’t her first time on the trails. She went hiking with my Dad in the mountains sometime last year. It was memorable, but not in a good way. They got lost on the trail… after the rain… in the dark… at night.

They had a good laugh about it once the worst had passed, but Mom seemed none-too-fond of trying it again. So imagine my surprise when I woke up to a text two weeks ago, suggesting we take a hike!

Starting off Easy

Clayton County International Park 1

After hearing my rave reviews, she wanted to see the Clayton County International Park for herself. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because I took my first solo hike there last month. Don’t worry. This isn’t more of the same; I took a totally different route this time.

I was eager to get on the dirt trails again, but Mom still had some lingering paranoia about venturing into the woods. By the time I worked up her courage to try it, the dirt trail running parallel to us had ended, so we continued on the paved path.

Clayton County International Park 2Clayton County International Park 3

Spring Blossoms

We had barely gone a quarter mile down the trail when I noticed spring blossoms up ahead.

I have no idea what these trees are actually called, but they are stunning in the Georgia springtime.

After seeing them for the first time last year, I find myself seeking them out wherever I go in the spring.

I should really plant one of these in the yard. I can’t imagine a more welcoming sight outside my window. I’m sure Shadow would like to give a tree like that a good climb, as well.

Alexis Chateau Spring Blossoms

Into the Woodlands

At the end of the wooden fence, we realized we were leaving the park, but the trail continued and so did we.

Mom was a little put off by the signs that popped up, asking, “Do you have a hiking buddy?”

Of course, she then looked at me, and told me that this was why I should not go hiking alone. So while we were on the subject, I pointed out the serial killer sheds and cottages to our left and right.

She was not amused – well… maybe just a little bit.

Greener Scenery

The further along the path we went, the further into the woods it took us. After a while, we no longer saw houses and serial killer cabins. Instead, we were bordered by the trees on either side.

The trees in Georgia are tall and majestic – gorgeous things. They are half of what won me the very first time I set foot in Atlanta, in 2004.

One tree stood out from the others, as we walked. Someone or something had gutted out the trunk. I joked with Mom that it must have been werewolves in the wild.

Werewolf Eaten Tree

Retracing Our Steps

This trail was a short one and led to a golf course in a wealthy neighbourhood. Once we had reached the end, there was nothing to do but turn back and pick our way through another path.

On the Waterfront

We had spotted a bridge across a lake just before leaving the park, and decided that would be our next course. But before seeking out the bridge, we stopped at a dock looking out onto the lake.

Mom kept trying to make me look at the camera, so I gave her my best monkey-face. I think it worked.

I then left her at the lake to make common cause with the ducks. We had some urgent matters to discuss – mostly how perfect the weather was for spending a day on the trails.

Georgia Ducks on the Hiking Trail

Bridges and waterscapes are two of my favourite finds on a hiking trail, so finding both together made my day. The bridge looked brand new, and had a nice curve as it stretched over the water.

The Tiki Goodswood Trees

After crossing the bridge, we happened across the strangest trees I have ever seen. They stood out at the edge of the forest, because they looked like they had faces carved into them.

They reminded me of two things: a Tiki Man, and the Godswood in A Song of Ice and Fire. What do you guys think?

Into the Godswoods!

Soon, the asphalt gave way for another dirt trail. By now, Mom had grown comfortable and was ready to take on the woods.

Twisted Roots on the Hiking Trail

Seconds later, we came to an intersection by a blue well. We debated about what course to take, and then turned right.

That trail was a trickster; always bringing us close to the roads running through the park, but never close enough so we could get off the trail. It weaved in and out of the woods until finally bringing us to a tennis court, and then back into the woods again.

By the time, it ended, we were back at the blue well, but coming from the trail on the left.

Blue Well on Hiking Trail

That was the last of the dirt trail we could find, so we returned to the paved path, and made our way out to the car. Along the way, we passed another lake with ducks.

I tried to befriend the black one closest to me, but he promptly headed for the lake, and left me in his dust.

Black Duck

The other ducks were more friendly, and weren’t the least bit bothered when I ducked down behind them to take pictures.

Ducks by the Pon GeorgiaWhite Duck on Georgia Hiking Trail

Behind the lake was a mountain bike trail running right by the water’s edge. I made the mistake of saying out loud that I wanted to bring my bike back to test it out. The look my mother gave me could have curdled milk.

But… I’m still taking the bike out there one of these fine days, before the winter rolls around again and makes it impossible.

By now you guys are probably wondering:

Ummm… where are the pictures of her Mom???

We took many, but I won’t be posting them. Sorry guys. My parents have their own business and brands, so we’ve decided to keep their “image” separate from my own.

Have you ever gone hiking with a parent before? How did it go? Did you notice any changes in your relationship with them afterwards? 

My Mom and I have definitely been closer since our Girls’ Day on the trails, and she’s super excited to head out with me again.

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63 thoughts on “My First Mother-Daughter Hike: Clayton County International Park

  1. How odd that I used to live in Clayton County (Riverdale) and never even heard of this park! I’ve still got two sisters in Georgia. I’ll have to let them know to visit. That one tree you showed looked as if a bear had marked it with his/her claws.

    1. Bears? Better not let my mom hear that one. Let’s stick to werewolves. 😂

      It’s my third time there. I went to the beach there last summer, and then went hiking their twice.

      The trails are fairly new as you can probably tell by the wood on the bridge. I think they just started them in 2013. So maybe that’s why you didn’t know. 🙂

  2. Great pictures. We don’t even have leaves yet. I respect not showing your mom since I don’t show my daughter who also has a life of her own. We don’t hike together. Our fun is every several months going to the casino and playing penny slots. We laugh and laugh while all around us people are seriously looking miserable. We never win much, if at all, but we love our little excursions.

    1. That’s great that you get to hang out with your daughter. Too bad you don’t hike together though. I’ve never played the slots before but I’ve watched other people do it.

      I have great news, by the way! DD’s policies aren’t sticking so if the offer still stands I’d love to try to make it out to New England on this summer trip you had planned. Am I remembering the details correctly??

      Shoot me an email when you can!

  3. It certainly is a lovely trali and I think those trees look like cherry tress, at least the flossom is very similar; I’ve got one in my garden. So glad to know your mum went along with you. What a trooper! And you should totally do that cycle ride (you know you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t). 👍

    1. Cherry trees! That sounds about right. I think I heard someone call them that before. Cherry trees definitely don’t blossom like that in Jamaica.

      I’m glad mom came, too. I’m excited to see what other trips we can take together.

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