The Carpet Capital of the World
I have finished my recent work-related tour of duty in Dalton. I won’t be back there again any time soon, so I figured I’d write a wrap up of the things I enjoyed doing in Dalton when I'm not working. I realize it’s not the most interesting place, but if you travel somewhere overnight multiple times over a multi-year period, you can probably find something to do there. Except Tifton. I could not find anything to do there. Sorry Tifton!
During different trips to Dalton, I've hiked the George Disney trail more than once. I both really like this trail and really dislike it. I’ve written about it before but after hiking it again, I feel better equipped to critique it. It’s a good work out because it’s very steep. It’s also a short distance to the “main attraction” (the grave of George Disney, which I missed the first time I went there). It’s also right in Dalton, about 10 minutes from downtown. So if you have little time or ability to drive further away to hike, it’s a good option. It also has great views along a long stretch of rock face, lots of wildflowers, and the historical angle is interesting.
Now for the downsides. This is one of the most jacked up trails I’ve hiked on. People simply do not stay on the trail, especially as it gets toward the top of the mountain. The trail cris-crosses all over and becomes extremely degraded. This is how I ended up missing the gravesite on my first visit. I ended up on a side trail (that was extremely narrow and overgrown), not realizing I had gotten off the main trail. In dry weather, the dirt and pebbles simply roll down the trail, making it easy to fall. And in wet weather it becomes muddy and slick and again, easy to fall. It also seems to be a very high traffic trail, which is surprising to me. I’ve only been there on weeknights and each time have seen at least 15-20 people. A lot of people also bring kids here, including extremely young children. I’m all for people taking their kids out in nature, but this is simply not a safe trail for that, in my opinion. I’ve almost fallen several times and the rocky face at the top is extremely sheer and steep. So just my opinion, not a great trail for children or dogs.
During my most recent trip to Dalton, I didn’t want to go to George Disney again, so I decided to give the Dalton State College "Roadrunner" trails a shot. I really liked this trail system. It’s located right in the middle of the campus, has free parking, free entrance, is dog friendly, and open for anyone to use. They have 3 designated trails that all connect to each other but have separate entry points and parking areas. It’s easy to form different combinations and distances. I parked near the gymnasium and started on the College Creek trail, then continued onto the Cascade trail. I exited the Cascade trail into the parking area nears its trailhead, then walked on the sidewalk across campus back to my car, so I could form a loop.
There are kiosks with trail maps at each trail head and it’s all super easy to navigate. The trails themselves were very clean and well-maintained. There are interpretative trail signs with info about plants and what not all along the trails, including a very informative one about poison ivy. At the end of the Cascade trail, there is a mostly dry rock “cascade”. I suppose during periods of heavy rain, it might be more like a waterfall, but it was barely a trickle when I visited. Regardless, it was pretty scenery and I only saw one other person during my hike. I’ve heard there is a trail connecting the Dalton State College trails to the George Disney trail, but I have not investigated this. At the northern end of the Cascade trail, it’s also easy to walk to Civitan Park which brings me to my next point.
During my visits to Dalton, if I don’t want to hike, I will walk at Civitan Park. This is a nice park with a paved walking loop and an open green space in the middle. It’s not the biggest loop, so you do have to walk around it several times to gain any mileage. The neighborhood near the park is also nice, so you could walk around there as well. What I like best about Civitan Park is this adorable little stream bordering one side of the loop. It’s the most peaceful, serene stream lined with interesting trees and flowers. After I’m done walking, I like to just sit there for a little while. Civitan Park is also conveniently located right in town. Across the street, there is another trail called the “Mockingbird Trail” (I think…I can’t remember the name exactly despite driving past it dozens of times). I don’t really know much about this trail, but maybe I’ll visit it the next time I am in Dalton.
So yeah, that’s how I spend my time in Dalton when I’m not working. Don’t ask me too much about restaurants or shopping or anything else. I enjoy Buckin Burrito in downtown and recently became aware of a Jittery Joes coffee located in a pharmacy near the hospital, but for any other Dalton related info, I will refer you to the fine folks at Dalton Things and the Waugh Street Journal.