My birthday was September 16, and beyond turning another year older, I actually really love my birthday, because it usually heralds a change in the weather. Sure, it’s pure coincidence, but sometime in the middle of September is when Autumn arrives in the North Georgia Mountains. It means cooler weather, spiced foods, warm drinks, fire pits, s’mores, and so much more. But the biggest reason I love Fall is because that means I can get back outside into nature without dying of heatstroke.
As part of my birthday celebration (hello, 41!), April and I put on our hiking gear and headed to the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Dawsonville, Ga. Despite living in this area for over a decade, this WMA is one we’ve never hiked before, so it was a new adventure! We chose to do a 2.7 mile loop called The Amicalola River Loop. You can tell this area was recently logged (say 15-30 years ago), so there’s tons of new growth, but there’s spots along the trail that are also covered by a deep forest canopy. There’s also a nice, handicap accessible section of the trail that goes along the river.
The highlight of this hike was the abundance of both late summer wildflowers and flower garden escapees (Butterfly bushes lined the trail, and they are definitely NOT native to the area, but they sure do smell nice). Some of my favorite trails are just meandering paths through the forest, admiring the small things like plants and insects. You don’t have to seek out a roaring waterfall or vast vista to get that feeling of awe and wonder. Savor the details and enjoy the little, more mundane pleasures in life.
This was just one of many adventures to come. I expect April and I will be hitting the trails a lot more in the upcoming months, and we may even get a few lake kayak trips in. I’m definitely looking forward to it!
My love of the outdoors is one of the reasons why I started making maps in the first place. Hiking trails and places where we can calm-water kayak are special to me. Maps are one way to honor the memory of those places and remind me of the good times to be had.
If you want a map of a location that’s special to you, be it a state park, a lake, or even a city, reach out to me and let’s have a conversation! Or you can request a FREE MOCK UP.
Oh, and because it’s my birthday month, I’ll throw in a little extra gift to anyone who purchases a map between now and the end of September. If you buy a map, you’ll get a free G. Loebick Woodworks hat!