Tuesday, February 28, 2006

06-10 Florence Marina to Kolomaki Mounds Georgia

(10) On The Road Again , Georgia

Florence Marina S.P. w/camping and cabins
Providence Canyon St Conservation Pk
George T. Bagby S.P. , lodge and cabins
Cotton Hill Park, an Army Corp of Engineer campground
Kolomaki Mounds S.H.P., w/camping

Hwy 39, south/west Georgia

Up the road a piece through T-tiny towns like Plains, Preston, Richland, Lumpkin and Sanford Ga. And past acres of tree farms, I arrived at my next destination, The Florence Marina St park. I picked this park because it was close enough to tour some of the other state parks on the western edge of Georgia and Alabama border.

I don’t have a boat, so can’t really take advantage of this park and the wonderful swimming pool wasn’t opened on Mon and Tues because they don’t have short on lifeguards. But I finally got to go for a swim on Wed. A $2 charge to use the pool. Oh, and the tennis court is in major need of repair, leaving only the miniature gulf course available for recreation. But this park was not on my list except as a place to stay. Good shade trees in the campground. My real destination was Providence Canyon and Kolomaki Mounds State Parks.

I loved Providence Canyon. It’s like a miniature version of the Grand canyon, with much brighter colors. And only about 8 miles from Florence. So if you live on the east coast and want to see a canyon, here’s one real close by. There are some great hiking trails, averaging 3 to 9 miles in length at the bottom of the canyon which is completely covered in trees, so there was lots of shade for summer hiking. Unfortunately, that also meant that you didn’t have a view of the canyon walls until well into the hike.

It was all created by recent erosion of the soil due to poor farming practices in the past 100+ years. With the planting of trees on the bottoms of the canyons, much of the erosion has been stopped. But that also means that the wonderful views of the canyon walls are being gradually hidden. So if you want to see some great scenery, go now before the vegetation takes this spectacular scenery into hiding.

My next visit was to Kolomaki Mounds State Historical Park. About a 50 mile drive along county hwy 39, more rolling hills covered with forests and dotted with farms.

The seven Indian mounds were built by the Swift Creek and Weeden Island Indians back in 250-950 A.D. The Great Temple Mound is the oldest one in Georgia and is considered one of the 7 wonders of Georgia. It’s the steepest and tallest one I’ve seen so far. The museum has some great pottery on display, even though some of the figure pottery was stolen in 1978.
How often do we hear of past mistakes. Before the state took over the site, people used the mounds to race cars up and down them and a school football team who practiced on the open grounds around the mounds used to perform running drills up the slopes. Both did their share of damage to such a historical site. Restoration continues and the site will continue to be improved.

Oh and the campsites at this park are awesome. Many right on the Lake. One site even has it’s own boat dock. I’ll definitely come back to this state park to camp. Oh and their swimming pool was open as well.

I stopped at the George T. Bagby Park on the way back from Kolomaki to have lunch in their Lodge. Good food, very reasonably priced. I had slow service, but the views out the huge lodge windows of the lake were very nice. George T. Bagby has a great fishing lake and what I’d consider an old fashions beach for swimming! If you know me at all, I love the water and love to swim in a great lake. This place had it all. Nice shade trees to get out of the sun. Wonderful lawn with picnic tables and small strips of sandy beaches that you could pick to have your own little beach area.

Cotton Hill Park, an Army Corp of Engineer campground. Now I didn’t go into this park, but did note it was just up the street a couple of miles from George T. Bagby park and would make a great campsite since G Bagby only has the lodge and cabins.

The only town with any shops, restaurants, a small Wal-Mart is Eufaula Alabama, just over the River on hwy 82. The Jameson Inn has free wi-fi, so sitting in their parking lot or across the side street will get you access. Oh and they are on Central time zone, so plan your lunch time an hour later. Can we say starving!

Alabama’s coming up next!.

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