When we moved to Georgia, we decided to go to every state park in the state. At this point, we have a few more left to go to, but we’ve been to 49 of 64 state parks (and state historical sites). Every state park has been interesting and unique, but some stay in the memory more than others. Of the 49 that we’ve been to, Black Rock Mountain might be our favorite. We visited in the middle of June and camped one night, so we were able to experience much of what the park had to offer.
In order to visit the park, you must drive up a winding road that gives you an idea of what might be in store for you at the top. When you reach the visitor center at the top, you can stare at the valley in front of you, and then look up to sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains opening up before you. There are several smaller trails at the park, such as the Ada-Hi Falls Trail, which leads to a pleasant weeping wall, or the short trail circling Black Rock Lake. During this visit, we actually decided to backpack a short way to Creek Ridge site #4 near Black Rock Lake. In the evening we spent quite a bit of time at Black Rock Lake and, to our delight, had the opportunity to watch a family of beavers in the lake. Animals frequent the area, so make sure to check out the lake in the morning or evening if you would like to see some wildlife.
Even though our campsite was only a short distance away, there were few people on the trail, so we felt secluded. Our campsite was also situated a couple hundred yards off the main trail past a small, tranquil waterfall. We were surrounded by trees, nature, and solitude at our campsite, which made for a peaceful night.
The next morning we hiked a longer (but still not too long) trail, the Tennessee Rock Trail, a 2.2 mile hike that takes you to the summit of Black Rock Mountain and even more spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trail slowly winds up and around the mountain until it reaches its peak. The trail up is wooded with plenty of plant life all around. At one point the plants so surrounded the trail that we were scared by a turkey no more than 2 or 3 feet from us. The turkey exploded out of the plants, and we backed up the trail, where we watched as the mother turkey escorted several of her babies across the trail. Shortly after the trail reaches the summit, there is an overlook that offers perhaps the best vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains that we have found in the state of Georgia. We tarried at the overlook, drinking in the views. If you enjoy hammocking, there are a few great spots along the overlook.
Black Rock Mountain is one of our favorite state parks and offers some of the best views of not just the Blue Ridge Mountains, but of any natural area. Black Rock Mountain is a must-visit for anyone in the area. When you’re there, make sure to check out some of the other state parks in the area, such as Moccasin Creek State Park, Tallulah Gorge State Park, or Traveler’s Rest Historic Site, or some local wineries, such as Tiger Mountain Vineyards, Stonewall Creek Vineyards, or 12 Spies Vineyards.