My Second Solo Hike: I Got Lost…

A few weeks ago, while looking up trails in Georgia, I came across Fernbank Forest. It immediately piqued my interest. I loved the massive trees and the deep-green foliage.

I suppose this sounds like every hiking trail, but the pictures online of Fernbank were exceptionally beautiful.

The Odyssey Begins

So one Friday afternoon, I headed out to find this forest for myself. It was an hour and a half trip, but I made it to Druid Hills in one piece. Unfortunately, Google Maps brought me to an old, deserted building with a bolted gate.

Other available addresses showed me where the museum was located, but not how to find the trail heads.

1 Deserted Building.jpg

Stiff Competition

3 Sunny Depende Park Hiking Trail.jpg

As I wandered around Druid Hills, I realized I was passing many other beautiful parks on my way to this elusive forest.

I knew I had to make a decision. I could continue the hunt with just two or three hours of daylight left, or I could visit one of the amazing ones flanking me on both sides of the street.

I chose the park I had already passed a whopping three times: Deepdene Park, which is a part of Olmsted Park.

I was not disappointed. This is arguably the best hiking trail I’ve ever been on – especially in the city. I outlined the path I followed in purple, below.

Depende Park Map.jpg

So what did I find at Deepdene Park?

Stunning Waterscapes

I know. I know. I must have said it a thousand times by now, but I love waterscapes! Can you blame me? I’m an island girl!

Lots of Dirt Trails

I also much prefer the dirt trails to the paved ones, and Deepdene Park had plenty. There weren’t a lot of other people on the trail, so the dirt padding my footsteps and the wind in the trees was so peaceful.

Beautiful Bridges

Another good find on any trail is a bridge. This park didn’t have massive beauties like the Clayton County International Park, but I loved the medieval theme of the bridges.

Plenty of Benches for Sitting

I have never seen a park with so many benches. I started to wonder if people visited Deepdene to hike or sit. After I had finished walking out [almost] the entire park though, those benches came in handy.

I found a shady spot by a creek where I could listen to the water flowing over the rocks, and spent an hour or so reading. Such peace!

Macro Shot Ops

One of my favourite things about springtime photography is that there are much better opportunities for getting pictures of plant and animal life – more specifically, macro shots.


So am I disappointed that I didn’t make it to Fernbank? Definitely not – especially since I plan to go back soon to find this elusive forest.

This time, I’m bringing a Druid Hills native with me. If I get lost again, well I suppose I have someone to share the blame with. Wish me luck!

Have you ever gone hiking only to end up on a totally different trail? Did you enjoy it, or was it a disappointment? Share your story in the comments below!

Alexis Chateau Black Cat

48 thoughts on “My Second Solo Hike: I Got Lost…

  1. I often inadvertently switch trails mid-hike, and more than once have settled on a trail since I couldn’t find the one that I was supposed to. But there’s really no “supposed to” when it comes to hiking alone, is there?

    1. I’ve done this as well. Some parks in Atlanta lead into each other. I’ve started in one and ended up in another before haha.

      And you’re right. There’s no supposed to in hiking.

  2. It’s so cool.., I too want to go somewhere , away from everyone!!! GET LOST JUST FOR SOMEDAYS TO IMAGINE WHAT ACTUAL LIFE IS..😃

  3. Getting sidetracked can be better than the original plan sometimes! I’ve taken so many wrong turns, gotten off trail, realized I didn’t know my exact location, and otherwise just not been where I intended. I always have a really good time anyway. Here’s to more hikes!

    1. You are so right, thank you! I’ve been lucky not to get lost on a trail so far, but definitely got lost trying to find the trail head so many times. Larger parks should really make better maps for non-locals!

      Next week’s post will be about round 2 of seeking out Fernbank forest. 🙂

  4. I was born and raised in southeast Georgia near Savannah and have always loved the scenery there. So much nature that is just not being appreciated like it should be. My grandfather lives at the base of the Appalachian mountains in north Georgia and I am just amazed every time I get to visit.
    There is nothing wrong with changing plans, I’d get lost here anytime!

    1. Thank you! I love Savannah. I’ve been there once, and I’ve been dying to go back again. I’m not sure about the area you grew up in, but Savannah really reminds me of home (Jamaica).

  5. It is good to get sidetracked, Alexis, and it is always a good excuse to go back and do the original plan. We do it all the time in our motorhome and, sometimes, the best adventures are the ones that haven’t been planned. Here is to spontaneity and improvisation.

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