Travel #TBT // Unicoi State Park

Helen/North GA

Unicoi State Park is a luscious green WONDERLAND. With creek beds at all levels of the mountain surrounded with picnic tables and banks to scuttle down, it was convenient and beautiful. There are several hiking trails, all at varying levels of difficulty. One of the easiest trails, paved and only a half mile up, leads you straight to Anna Ruby Falls. It’s a double waterfall, rare and spectacular, with two spacious viewing platforms. We read it was dog friendly, so we took our two mutts along for the outdoor adventure. However, neither Maggie nor Gizmo are especially fond of physical labor or the outdoors. At least not for long durations. We had to carry them back down.

On another day we had a picnic by one of the creek beds. With fresh veggies from Jaemor farms, our sandwiches were next level delicious and the dogs were glad to stay back at the cabin with air conditioning and cushioned surfaces. We waded through the creek and enjoyed the fresh, chilly stream. Down the creek we could see silhouettes playing in the water, tossing rocks and splashing around. The sun illuminated the tree canopy overhead – nature’s kaleidoscope.

Unicoi also has a small beach, canoe rentals as well as zip lining and biking trails. Watching bikers control the corners of the park's road was horrifying and amazing. There is a large lake for fishing and small boats to travel across. I went to check it out one day. I rounded the corner of a small office building to see a handful of nuns. This is another great perk of the state park, there is an incredibly diverse audience. We interacted with more nationalities on the way up to see Anna Ruby Falls than I do in a week in my town. That’s not even an exaggeration.

We saw people of all cultures making the journey to see Anna Ruby Falls. There is something there that unites us. Something pulsing that carves its way through the earth that also reaches us. Whether it's a symbol of the everlasting, resilience, beauty, life-giving or something more, I'm not sure. All I knew then is that we are all more connected than we think.

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