We decided to take one last camping trip of the summer for our Labor Day weekend. Right after school let out on Friday, we headed out to Tallulah Gorge State Park.
The gorge is 750 feet feet deep and has beautiful waterfalls and gorgeous scenery. One of the most exciting things to do once you hike into the inside of the gorge is to brave the very long and slippery sliding rock at the end of the trail.
We decided to attempt this hike Saturday morning. They only issue 100 passes per day, so early in morning we showed up at the ranger's office at the beginning of the trail to get our permits. The rangers inspected our shoes to be sure we had proper hiking apparel and warned us to bring plenty of water. They also said that they did not recommend taking a 4 year old into the gorge, but we could turn around and head back if it became too difficult.
The beginning of the hike was quite deceiving. We started inside the air conditioned Interpretive Center where we wound our way down long ramps toward the bottom of the building. From there, we headed outside where we walked on a cushioned trail made of recycled tire material. We were feeling really good at this point! The views from the overlooks were gorgeous and the air felt cool as we looked down at the rushing water.
At one point we had to crab crawl our way across this huge rock!
The kids had a blast sliding down the rocks and playing in the water. We had a picnic lunch from our backpack and then it was time to head back the way that we came. However, one of the other hikers told us about another trail that was on the other side of the river that was easier than the one that we had just traveled. The only tricky part would be getting to the other side of the river. I was already wet from my fall, so I figured I could just carry Anna on my hip through the deep parts and carefully pick my way across avoiding the slick parts of the rocks. Mike put my camera and his phone into one of the leftover sandwich bags from our lunch and tied all of our shoes onto the backpack. He lifted the backpack up over his head and waded across. Of course, the boys beat us across so they played while they waited for the rest of us to catch up.
We changed back into our shoes and started up the "easier" trail.
However, we very quickly realized that this trail was shorter because it went straight up the gorge and was made up of nothing but fallen rocks! Anna Grace was physically unable to stretch and climb up most of it! Whoever told us about this "easier" route was clearly playing some kind of joke!
By the time we made it back to our camper, we were exhausted and our muscles were aching!
I think we will always remember our hike down into the Tallulah Gorge. We had a great time on our adventure, but had we known it was going to be such a difficult journey we would have waited until Anna Grace was older.
Wow!! It's been a long time.
2 years ago