7 Best Nature Spots In The Johns Creek Area

7 Best Nature Spots In The Johns Creek Area

Love and explore the home you live in!
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It was probably last September or October when I actually looked around and realized how beautiful nature really is around us in Johns Creek. I mean, I'd always thought it was okay, but finally registering that we have a lot of really pretty places around us to get our outdoors on was a beautiful moment for me. Here are seven of the prettiest, most unique places in the Johns Creek area to go experience the natural serenity (honorable mentions to Stone Mountain, which is also definitely worth the hike).

Roswell Mill/Vickery Creek Falls

The Mill is probably my favorite (okay, I know I'm pretty basic) because it is just so! pretty! The entrance to the hiking trails takes you on an older, covered bridge into the Vickery Creek trails, and eventually you end up above a huge waterfall that is a gorgeous spot for a swim in the summertime (very chilly, though). There are plenty of spots to sunbathe on the rocksor hang up an eno, and a hike further back along the waterfront will take you to some (marked) cliffs that are safe to jump off of and to the ruins of an old mill. While the waterfall is definitely the highlight of the park, the trails are extensive, and one could definitely pass an entire afternoon here.

Morgan Falls Overlook Park

Located off the beaten path in Sandy Springs, this park is a little bit less well-known outside of the immediate area. It is centered around a hydroelectric dam (off-limits) that occasionally opens, releasing a huge cascade of water that makes for a beautiful white-noise background. Hiking trails go back into the woods around the water as well as up next to the river, and it is a lovely place for some peaceful riverside meditation when the crowds are lower. Bonus points for the restored fireplace and the swinging benches.

Poole's Mill Park

Definitely a trip to Cumming/Ball Ground to get to Poole's Mill, but the park is too beautiful not to include. The park boasts a beautiful latticed covered bridge over the river, and one can swim and fish along the riverbanks (modest hiking trails). The best part, however, are the rock slides! It is a ton of fun to slide down the smooth rocks, and, even if you're not in the mood to snag your new bathing suit bottoms, bring an inflatable tube to enjoy the ride that way.

Buford Dam Park(s)

While it's a bit of a drive to Suwanee from Johns Creek, the parks around Buford Dam make it worth it. To really enjoy the view, drive up over the dam before stopping off at any number of the labelled recreation areas (my personal favorite is West Bank). Almost all of them allow you to walk along the lakeshore or sit and picnic or contemplate life, and the views are amazing - I took the photo above at the end of last week when I visited myself! I would recommend going in the winter - everything is less congested in general and the lake is calmer.

Indian Seats/Sawnee Mountain

The Indian Seats/Sawnee Mountain is the only mountain on our list (being that it is the only mountain in our area), but that just means that it should be even higher on your bucket list. Although the Indian Seats is in Cumming, views at the top allow visitors to see all the way to North Carolina! Several low-exertion hiking trails allow you to get to the top, where there is an official overlook as well as the Indian Seats - rocks that have built-in booty space for observation. Bring some friends, pack your granola and take the quick drive up 400.

Sope Creek Mill Ruins

Hidden within East Cobb, the Sope Creek hiking trails are a great escape for a few hours. This area is centered around the ruins of a paper mill that was burned by the Union during the Civil War, an interesting reminder of Atlanta's history as one drives past affluent homes to get to the park. Multiple loop trails parallel a small lake and Sope Creek itself, allowing hikers and bikers to soak up the beautiful tree cover.

Fowler Park/Cumming Greenway

Fowler Park in Cumming is definitely one of those places that looks just like a nice recreational park when you drive up, but once you really start exploring, it gets very cool very quickly. At face value, it offers a meditation rock garden and a skate park (as well as other standard park amenities), which are interesting, but it serves as a hub for the start of the Cumming Greenway, an extensive network of wooden boardwalks that diverge off into the woods. It is an interesting way to take a long stroll, and there are various landmarks along the path, such as a lovelock bridge. Especially since rumor has it that the Cumming and Alpharetta greenways are going to be connected, I definitely recommend a drive up.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Garrett

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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