So needless to say, finding water features on a hike is usually pretty easy. For this one, I took a page out of the Atlas Obscura again—to a little known wildlife preserve on the outskirts of Atlanta just twenty minutes from downtown. Its claim to fame in the atlas is that although it is where the Battle of Utoy Creek took place and the water ran red with blood, the water now is considered to have healing powers. (So I guess it’s like a vampire creek.)
You do have to drive through some pretty sketchy areas to get there, but if you come out alive, you arrive in the promised land: big houses, expansive lawns, and the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve.
The main trail is a loop, beginning with a large amphitheater/picnic area.
So we headed right.
There was a third trail in the middle, and in fact many offshoot trails along the way, which was a major turnoff for some folks on hiking reviews, but for me, I understood its purpose: this is a park. It’s not a one-road journey here and back. This is a place you hang out all day. It’s a place for eight year olds to have sword fights with branches in the woods, and to wade into the creek. It’s a place to find that super secret place to meet with your high school love. Or a simple place to sit and soak up all the stories in the birdsongs.
Tucker and I began with a stroll along the creek's edge.