Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Winter break at FDR State Park

My parents and I spent three nights over the Christmas holiday at FDR State Park, hiking parts of the Pine Mountain Trail.  This was my first time visiting this area, and we were all really impressed by the Pine Mountain Trail system's network of well-marked, interconnected trails.

After settling into our nice cabin overlooking the lake, my parents and I set out to explore the area.  Whenever I hike with my parents, I am always reminded where I get my hiking tendencies from.  In this case, we set out for a "brief stroll" on a paved road around the lake... 
My Dad and I at FDR State Park
But then a forest path beckoned, and we hopped on the rather muddy Delano Trail.  Signs pointed back to the cabin areas, but instead we took a turn down another trail, in the opposite direction.  And instead of going back via the trails, we headed down a powerline cut, then, following Dad, we set off cross country. 
Dad finds the "short cut" through the woods.
What had started out as a little walk escalated to a bushwack.  Now I know where I get this from!  The grande finale of the hike was that when my dad finally got to the road, he found $30 on the ground.   He's always picking up loose change, but this was quite a find!
Dad finds $30 on the shoulder of the road.
The next day, we set up a shuttle and hiked 5 miles on the Pine Mountain Trail from the TV tower trailhead to the Rocky Point Parking lot.   Though this is the most popular hike in the park, it was empty except for us because of the holiday and the rain.  Well-graded trail took us through a range of forest types, to scenic waterfalls, and past bright lichen-covered boulders.
Mom and Dad charging up the hills.
Dad and me on the Pine Mountain Trail.
On our last day, we hiked the 4.3 mile Dowdell Loop from Dowdell Knob parking area, highest point in the park and a favorite picnic spot of FDR.  This trail had nice open views, and a small creek and falls. 

Views created by the 2011 tornado
After the hike, we had time to visit the Little White House Historic Site and Museum.  I really enjoyed learning how FDR came to the Warm Springs pools and area to be treated for polio. Apparently, FDR was really influenced by his time in Georgia during the Great Depression, and his experiences here meeting farmers and other polio patients helped to influence his New Deal (which includes the CCC).   Since I've been a kid, our family has always taken vacations and spent our holidays, like this one, at parks and trails built by the CCC.   It was especially interesting learning more about the origin of this incredible program.


  1. I love the photo of your dad crossing the woods to the road....I love walking through the woods in winter---no bushwhacking!

  2. Oh thanks-- that's my one of my favorite ones of my dad too. :) Yeah winter sure is nice for that.