Start Parking with an 18 year old is a different experience all together! The night before we decided to head north and visit some of the parks I had missed the last time I was up there. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and these parks were meant for me to explore with my son.
Andrew just loved Three Rivers, the whole day actually. Georgia is his favorite state (at least for now) and this park is right on the state line. We hiked every trail that was opened in the park. There was a controlled burn going on in part of the park so we were not able to hike one of them. We continued to discover just how dry the area was. We could see where there were once streams flowing on the trails and walked across bridges they were now just used so you did not fall in the dry holes. Andrew could hike for miles and he did. I chose the shortest path to travel and somehow we ended up hiking the longest ones. I didn’t mind because we just laughed and admired the beauty of nature. He kept my snails pace, as best he could. Luckily Andrew is never on a mission to finish anything fast! Many hours past and although he could have stayed for days it was time to move on to the next park.
Torreya State Park was just beautiful. Torreya is a tree that only grows at the Apalachicola River and like so many other resources, it has been depleted by humans. There is a huge plantation there that Andrew wanted to tour but we had Casey and I could not leave her in the car. He was not interested in touring by himself so that was going to have to be done at a later date. The plantation is on the top of a bluff that overlooks the river. The view was just incredible and a little scary too. I spotted a 45 minute trail and off we went. Somehow it was getting hotter out and by the time we looped back to the picnic area I was hiked out! Andrew offered to go get the car and I gladly hopped in giving my legs a much needed rest. The time escaped from us quickly as we headed from the Central time zone back to Eastern. We made a final stop at Lake Talquin. Oh this park did not disappoint! There is a really cool boardwalk that is 650 feet and is right at water level. We were unable to find the entrance to the hiking trails but that was probably best because the sun was setting rapidly. I will be back to this park as well. We did not have nearly enough time to soak in it’s beauty.
It was time to begin our journey back home. Andrew told me these were his favorite parks so far and I am so happy we got to explore them together. I’m sure without him, there would have been miles of land I would not have seen!