Doll’s Head Trail in Atlanta

img_2370

Over the last 5 years, I have made many trips to Atlanta to visit our daughter.  Each time, we have explored a new place and on my most recent visit, Alix took me to the Doll’s Head Trail.  The trail is located within the city perimeter, tucked away in Constitution Lakes Park and while it is not exactly easy to find-so signs are posted for it, it is well worth the effort needed to find it.  That is provided you have an open mind, a fondness for “found object” art and a dark sense of humor.  The area itself is full of history and at one time, was the site of a brick manufacturer but what it is really known for is that it frequently gets flooded and that is key to the art installations on the trail.  Unlike most art parks/trails, where adding to the displays or even building new displays is not allowed, on the Doll’s Head Trail, you are encouraged to use objects found within the park to create work.  Actually, the only rule is that it must me made from garbage and junk already present in the park and if you carry in new things to use, they will be removed.

img_2371

img_7058The dolls heads are everywhere, so is graffiti.

img_7046

img_7048We wandered slowly along the trail, continually finding little treasures

img_7049and graffiti, lots and lots of graffiti

img_7050some of the work was clever and imaginitive

img_7051other things were humorous

img_7053quite a bit of it was creepy

img_2369

img_7055img_7059img_7060img_7061img_7065This collection of shoes was amazing-look at the moss on the boots.  Love the Shoeless Joe Jackson reference, had to explain that one.

img_7066And of course, a common sense public announcement.  This will be a place I must return to on occasion, especially after a big rain event.  It will be very interesting to see what washes up and how it is used in the artwork on the trail.

img_7069The park is also a nature center and we happened to catch this little guy out shopping for lunch.

img_7070He was a little reminder to look at everything because you just do not know what you will find out there.

img_7068Like this tree which was easily 20 feet from the trail in some very tall and thick brush.

img_7072Of course, we had to leave our mark as well.

img_7075we did so in honor of our cats! Chicken Wing and The Captain are now part of the trail.

img_7076

Leaf Peeping at Waller Mill Park

 Since moving to Williamsburg in September, I have spent a bit of time exploring the trail system around the city.  It has become a way to occupy my time; without a large garden to tend to I have the opportunity to wander trails.  On a recent Sunday, I took my husband out to Waller Mill Park to hike the Lookout Tower Trail.  To learn more about the trail system in the park, the City of Williamsburg has a page on their website that offers a pdf file that I recommend downloading.  It is called Great City Walks and the trails in Waller Mill Park are included.

Waller Mill Park is home to the reservoir system that provides water to the City of Williamsburg and James City County and with that in mind, it is not a free park.  However, the $2 entry fee is well worth the money.  The park has limited hours and it closes by 5pm each day but if you have an hour or two, you can get a lot of exploring in.  For those of you not interested in hiking, you can play disc golf, rent a paddle boat or canoe or bring your own non-gasoline powered boat, fish, picnic or bring the dog to the dog park.  To learn all of the rules and restrictions, visit the homepage for the park.

We arrived at about 2pm and figured we would be finished with the nearly 3 mile hike in about an hour and 15 minutes.  However, there was so much to see on the trail it took us two hours!  The close up photo of the moss and lichen growth on the rock in the photo above is just one example of the distractions we encountered.  To see more of our discoveries, you will have to explore the cellphone photos I posted on my Instagram feed, I did not take photos of every mushroom we found using my camera because we may not have made it out of the park before closing time!

 The views of the foliage were beautiful.  The day was overcast and that was a good thing.  We took our time and just enjoyed the surroundings.  This area is just beginning to put on a display of color, the cold snap we are expecting should change that.

 On this afternoon, there were a few boaters paddling around and hikers with dogs but for the most part, we were on our own.  It was truly a peaceful place to be and I plan to make this a regular destination.

 The boat launch near the parking area had one of the best views of foliage in the park!  It was hard not to pull camera out and I could easily have spent an hour or more on the dock.

 The reflections were every bit as enchanting as the view itself.  To my husbands surprise, and possibly his dismay, I actually laid down on my stomach to take these shots.

 The ripples in the water distorted the reflection and the random leaves floating on the surface of the water caught my attention.

 There was a pair of ducks swimming near by but I never even thought to get them in the photo

The clouds in the sky look even angrier due to the distortion of the reflection.  
Go on out to Waller Mill and hike the trails, you will not regret it.  Keep in mind that this is one of the rootiest trail systems I have been on.  Watch your footing, something tough to do on a leaf covered pathway.  If you have bad knees or ankles, this may not be the place for you since it is guaranteed that you will trip over at least a couple roots along the way.  For those with limited mobility, you may want to stick to the Paved Bike Path, a two mile walkway, look for it on the map.