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Fri, Sep 28 2018 - 10th Annual Dauset Trails Fall Camping and R&R Retreat: Free Kayaking & Canoeing and miles of Hiking & Biking trails! (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Charlie Cottingham
Participants:Charlie Cottingham, Huiling, Fred J, Jackie C, Pat E, Irina P, Terry S, KatePJ, Liz, Laura, Susan, Matt, lraymer, Jennifer Miles, Lisbelle C, Kim Wilson, Guillermo Crespo, Andrey K, Lee Ann, John Stirman, Jon Reese, Steve K, Gayle M., Dave R, Tiffani H


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Write Up:

We Dauset Trails adventurers had an unforgettable good time together on the AOC's tenth annual fall weekend retreat at the wonderful nature preserve just south of Atlanta.  Special thanks to Andrey Kundin for sharing his online album of colorful trip photos.  They're easy to access either by clicking "Photo Album" above or this link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gGguQQBWgNucQNv97

As usual for the festive "multi-sport camporee" we had an unbelievable assortment of delicious contributions to our family-style meals - also enthusiasm for our group hikes and for paddling, cycling, sightseeing, or just chillaxing occasionally by the  lake.  Although the weather turned out to be a bit warmer than ideal for late September it was fortunately almost rain free, with just a couple of brief light showers all weekend and clear enough skies for some great stargazing from the beach by our beautiful "private lake."

After breakfast on Saturday we took a leisurely group hike through the woods beyond the lake to the Nature Center's Visitor Center, Museum and Wild Animal Trail.  Dozens of Georgia's amazing native critters are on display there and available for free for viewing by the general public year-round.  Georgia's famous "General Beauregard Lee" groundhog is now happily at home in his "plantation mansion home" enclosure with a female companionOther popular attractions that we enjoyed during this traditional "orientation hike" were the live alligators and other amazing reptiles in the Museum's "Wonder Room" plus gorgeous botanical gardens and a restored old-time barnyard complete with pigs, chickens, mules and other fascinating animals.

On Saturday afternoon we had a good time together exploring nearby High Falls State Park and its dramatic cascading waterfalls on the Towaliga River.  A big plus about Dauset Trails is how conveniently accessible it is both to this beautiful place and to Indian Springs State Park - both less than a 10-minute car caravan ride (or relatively short hike) from our group campsite!

On Sunday after breakfast several of us took a short drive over to historic Indian Springs Village which adjoins the main entrance to this oldest state park in the nation.  Numerous treats reward visitors there including a "whimsical botanical garden" a couple of general stores & ice cream shops, and the State Park's namesake spring where believers in the curative powers of the water line up for filling hundreds of jugs each day. Jennifer and I got a kick out of visiting a few of the lesser known attractions in the village, including the butterfly garden behind the historic Indian Springs hotel and what once was a "gnome garden" behind the amphitheatre.

We look forward to more of our event participants sharing their online albums and verbal comments & anecdotes about the trip that I'll be glad to add below!

-Submitted by Charlie, Mon Oct 1st.  I hope you can join us for either or both of our two 2019 AOC retreats at this wonderful place.  Mark your calendars for the weekends of Apr 26-28, 2019 and Sep 27-29, 2019 and look for articles to appear on the Club website about 3 months before each trip.