Hiking Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Solo

2 Trail Map at Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.jpg

I enjoy having company on the trail, but hiking alone is just as fun. I appreciate the opportunity to stop at will to take pictures, and the time alone to listen to music and think. I think best while walking, for some odd reason, so the trails are always free therapy.

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As I’ve mentioned a million times by now, we’ve had an especially cold fall and winter in Atlanta, GA. So when Mother Nature saw fit to give us our first day in the 60s, I refused to waste it.

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Since everyone else was stuck at work and school that February afternoon, I took the day for myself in the woods. And what a day it was!

The Old Shack

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The first point of interest was this old shack, about half a minute after starting the trail. I really wanted to go up to it and see what was inside, but I could hear my mother’s voice in my head warning me about all the dangers. For once, I decided to listen.

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Some weeks later when I returned with both my parents, Mom was rather pleased to hear her voice had ruined my plans for adventure. We then both went up to the shack, while Dad kept watch. Turns out it was an old pump house, and as far as we could tell, there were no serial killers lurking inside.

9 Old Shack in the Woods Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.jpg

The Mini Mansion

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Such an interesting find this early on in a hike is always a good sign that more will come, and sure enough, it did. I wasn’t sure what this was on my first hike, and thought maybe it was a manor for some lucky stray cat.

But later on, I found it was a small pump house for the spring. I don’t know about you, but I like my explanation better.

Utoy Creek

10 Bridge Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.jpg

If you know your American Civil War facts like the back of your hands, then you may be familiar with Utoy Creek as one of the battle sites. What happened there, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t make a point of helping the south to glorify its fight to retain slavery, but I figure this was worth mentioning all the same.

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The creek itself was beautiful, especially in the twilight, as you’ll see in the subsequent pictures.

Unfortunately, while beautiful, Utoy Creek suffered from pollution. There was everything from food containers to broken glass and tennis balls in the water and along the banks.

Cascade Spring Waterfall

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While the creek was beautiful, it was the waterfall that I really wanted to see. I gathered it wasn’t going to be an Amicalola Falls. But when you’re an island girl in a land-locked city, you will get excited over a trickle of water from a drain pipe.

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The trail to the small fall was picturesque, I daresay more so than the falls itself. I loved the bridge, the stream, and the moss-covered rocks on the way up.

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Even so, pictures don’t do the falls justice. A video might, though. Check out a quick panoramic shot I did on my way up the waterfall.

In the Woods

15 Cascade Springs Nature Preserve in Winter.jpg

The water was a beautiful highlight, but I was really looking forward to my walk in the woods. It wasn’t the most beautiful, being winter and all, but it had a few picture-worthy points.

I especially liked the sitting areas, and promised myself I would return alone to get some writing done there.


41 Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Pond.jpg

The final high-point of this trail was the frog pond. I didn’t know one was on the trail, though a second look at the trail map does say it’s there. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear or see any frogs hopping about, but I was as fascinated by the colour and the stillness of the water. Isn’t it beautiful?

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While this park is a sight for sore eyes, and gets a lot of foot-traffic, it could use some maintenance work. The creek needs to be cleaned up, and many of the structures need to be replaced or fixed.

46 Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Dilapidated Bridge.jpg
Bridge breaking away from trail.

Still, the trails were well-maintained, and I never felt as though I was in danger at any point. This also seems to be a favourite local haunt for couples, teenagers, and adults just leaving work. I would love to see more artists make use of the trails, and the seats along the paths. But even if they don’t, I sure plan to!

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