Going on Faith

Spring 2017

The Magazine for faith-based travel planners.

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going on faith [ goingonfaith.com ] 39 Out of 21 miles of hiking trails, the Cedar Falls trail continues to draw the most crowds, passing a beautiful overlook by Petit Jean's gravesite. The park was named after a French girl who attempted to travel to the region disguised as a cabin boy, only to die from a mysterious illness upon arrival. www.petitjeanstatepark.com CHEAHA STATE PARK ALABAMA Featuring some of the best mountain views in Alabama, Cheaha State Park has activities to keep everyone entertained. "Hiking is the No. 1 attraction here," said Kelly Ezell, district superintendent at the park. "There are trails for all levels of hikers." The most recognized trail is the Bald Road Boardwalk hike, which is ADA acces- sible and covers only three-tenths of a mile, making it easy for any visitor to enjoy the boardwalk and the spectacular overlook. Due to the park's elevation, there are stunning views to appreciate in every direction, particularly from popular hiking points like Bald Rock, Pulpit Rock and Rock Garden. To enjoy dinner with a view, the Cheaha Restaurant provides a sweeping panorama of the Talladega National Forest. "People don't always think of mountains in Alabama, but it's a very special place," said Ezell. To spend the night at the crown of the mountain, visitors can lodge in a cabin, chalet, campsite or one of the 12 rooms at Bald Rock Lodge, which offers meeting space for corporate groups, reunions and wedding parties. Other attractions are the Walter Farr Indian Relic Museum, the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum and a statue called Iron Might that honors the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park is also home to one of the few scenic byways in Alabama, the Talladega Scenic Byway, which travels to the peak of Cheaha Mountain. There is a tower at the summit where people can climb and gaze out at the endless expanse below. www.alapark.com/cheaha-state-park SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK GEORGIA Paddle boarding and kayaking are popular activities in Georgia's Sweetwater Creek State Park, which is known for its rocky terrain and teeming rapids. The paddle season lasts from around March until the end of October. "We provide a great recreational opportunity," said David Jordan, state park manager. "It's only 15 minutes from the thriving city of downtown Atlanta, so you can come out here and once you start hiking and experiencing the creek, it really makes you forget the nearby metro city." Visitors can hike to the ruins of a Civil War-era textile mill once owned by New Manchester Manufacturing. After the mill burned down during the 1860s, the local community eventually abandoned the area, which is what allowed the land to become a state park. The park hosts numerous events and programs throughout the year, such as night hikes, wilderness survival classes and photography workshops. Over Father's Day weekend, the park hosts a two-day living-history event called New Manchester Days, re-enacting a union encampment and other aspects of the mill's history. www.gastateparks.org/sweetwatercreek ' y y y Naturally Made G A

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