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 went for a hike today by myself and took one wrong turn. Ooops! It’s easy to do. Looks like your hike was in a beautiful place so, like me, you took a turn to a place you were meant to see.

  2. Sounds like you had a fun hike anyway. Lots of nice photos! I got lost on a trail at High Falls in Jackson, GA. Ended up in somebody’s back yard.

  3. I am going on a hike with a friend this Sunday. We’ve tried the trail before but we got lost, we’re going to try again. See if we got better at reading maps and train signs than half a year ago 😉

    That being said, I am incredibly jealous of your photos: NOTHING in my country looks remotely like any scene you passes. Gosh I wish we had mountains and greenery like you do! 🙂

    1. Hiking with friends is always fun. I’ve never gotten lost on a trail before. I tend to know my way around in nature. But I will get lost 3 blocks from my house, lol.

      And thank you! Remind me where you are again?

      1. Haha, well you don’t need mountains for a good hike. I always associate mountains with cold and northern climates so that’s a shocker for me, about the Netherlands.

    1. Haha, I did in a sense. I found a local to go hunting for Fernbank with, the next time around. I suppose that makes him a Druid of Druid Hills. 😂

  4. Awesome post Alexis. The place we are hankering to visit and explore. You can’t go wrong when visiting an Olmstead Park. They are all over Rochester, NY and you can count on beauty abounding. Good luck when you return to Fernbank and we’ll be waiting for the story.

      1. I checked the link. Wow. I had no idea about that.

        I would love to do something similar, and already have an architect on board. I have a lot of land back home. I would love to turn it into a giant park with trails, camping grounds, etc etc

      2. Awesome Alexis. This is great that you have this desire. We know you can do it because you are a person with a gift for getting things accomplished. One day we will walk that park and joyfully claim we know you!!!!

  5. Almost! But I had a hiking “expert” with me who knew to ask directions to get straight to the waterfalls.

    I love your photos so much! I have to go!

  6. Alexis, if you ever get the chance I urge you to take a trip out here to colorado there’s a whole world of discovery in my backyard!! Thanks for reminding me to get out and hike today! I’ve been a touch depressed and this post reminded me the answer is 5 minutes up the road!

    1. Hey Joe! I’m sorry you haven’t been doing well. But I’m glad I was able to provide a healthy reminder for you.

      I’ve gotten quite a few recommendations for Colorado actually. So it’s on my radar!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  7. I wouldn’t say lost so much but I ended up on a completely different trail then the one I started on…lol!! It was on Rainbow Mountain in Madison, Al absolutely gorgeous trail but they have 4 different trails that interconnect so even if you end up on a different one you end up at the same place.

    1. Haha. That happens to me all the time, but I always find my way back. I’ve never gotten lost on a trail before. But apparently I’m perfectly capable getting lost trying to find them. 😂

      Were you able to make your way back to the car?

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