Georgia weekend explorations

You guessed it, another volleyball weekend and my random explorations…

We headed up to Suwanee, Georgia after work on Friday. I had made a dinner reservation for us at our favorite dinner spot there, Trattoria One 41. It is a very nice authentic Italian restaurant. Before dinner is served, they bring out a fresh bread with a tomato and cheese sauce that is delectable. I had the Short Rib Cannelloni and my husband had the lamb chops for dinner.

Short Rib Cannelloni

Both of us were ecstatic with our dinner choices. We were full, but made an attempt at dessert, a mascarpone cheesecake. Our attempt ended with a clean plate as the cheesecake was light, fluffy and delicious! It was a perfect end to a perfect meal.

We stayed in Suwanee because Saturday morning was an early start for volleyball and my husband had to be at the venue at 7:00 a.m. This also meant my explorations started early. I had researched good sunrise locations in Suwanee, but it was very foggy, so instead just went to a closer park to get out and get moving to start my day. I stopped at Sims Lake Park to walk. The park is located at 4600 Suwanee Dam Road. Sims Lake Park is one of Suwanee’s most popular parks; the 62-acre park includes a seven-acre lake and 1.2-mile looping trail.

My daughter goes to school in Dahlonega and our plan was to meet up for lunch, but I wasn’t sure when, so I decided to head closer to Dahlonega and see Amicalola Falls in the fog. Amicalola Falls never disappoints. It is a beautiful set of falls in Dawsonville, Georgia.

It is a magnificent 729-foot waterfall that’s the third-highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. There was a slight mist and it was pretty early, so the park was relatively empty compared to how I have seen it in the past. Having the park mostly to yourself is always the greatest experience because you can just bask in the beauty, take all the photos you want, and just listen to the water cascading down.

Top of the falls

While I was hiking here, my daughter let me know lunch would be at noon after she finished a lecture; I headed to another set of falls, Cane Creek Falls. When I arrived, it was marked closed to the public. I did read that when camp is in session, the falls are closed, so camp must have been in session. So I regrouped and found Lake Zwener; it has a trail that runs all around the lake. I hiked there until my daughter let me know she was ready for lunch.

We ate at Shenanigan’s Pub in downtown Dahlonega, then I dropped her back off at her apartment to finish lectures and studying.  I was back on my way.  I had quite a few Historic Rural Churches to explore, but I only made it to a few.  The first one I visited was Rockwell Universalist.

The Rockwell Universalist Church near Winder Georgia is a rural church built in 1881 in simple Greek Revival style. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. It was deemed architecturally significant as a “good example” of its type of post-Civil War rural churches, being a one-room wood frame church with no ornamentation and Greek Revival styling. It was also deemed significant as one of few Universalist churches ever to exist in the Georgia.

Rockwell Universalist Church

My next stop was planned to be Omer Christian Church, but while I was driving there, I came up on Ft Yargo State Park, so I decided to stop.  I felt like I could use a hike at this point as I felt a little stiff and needed to stretch my legs. 

Ft Yargo State Park boasts a 260 acre lake, camping sites, yurts, cottages and over 20 miles of trails. The Fort is a remarkably preserved log blockhouse that was built in 1793.

I hiked for a few miles and then decided it was time to get back on the road…so many things still to see.

I headed to Omer Christian. Omer Christian was organized and constructed in 1883. It was then moved to this location in 1910. It is located on a dead end and it is fenced off with No Trespassing signs. I respected those wishes, took a few photos from outside the fence and headed to the next church, Prospect Methodist.

Omer Christian Church

When I arrived at Prospect Methodist, a church that is still in use, there were people in the parking lot. Prospect Methodist is one of the oldest churches in post-Revolutionary War Georgia and its origins can be traced to the earliest rise of Methodism right after the war. It was organized in 1788. I drove through the parking lot, looked at the grounds and then headed toward Athens. I do my best not to disturb anything when I visit these historic churches, to include attendees. If there is an activity or church in session, I respect that and do not get out or photograph anything.

I arrived in Athens to view some of the Antebellum Trail homes. The Waddel-Brumby House is the Athens Welcome Center. Once I arrived here, it was around 3:00 p.m. I had mapped out quite a few more stops for the day, but I knew it was getting close to the end of the volleyball tournament. I was very tired too, so I decided to head back to the volleyball venue to watch the championship game and to get my husband. His team won 1st place in the Gold Bracket; this was the fourth Gold championship that they have won this year (4 out of 4). We are all extremely proud of the team, coaches and volleyball club for this great accomplishment.

But our weekend wasn’t over yet, we planned on heading to Evans, Georgia to celebrate a few family members’ birthdays. It was a nice time to see the family and be able to celebrate with them. Late Sunday afternoon, we headed back home.

On to the next weekend and more explorations.

XOXO

-S