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Month: April 2016

A Visit to Bavaria in the United States

A Visit to Bavaria in the United States

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In the mountains of Georgia, lays the city of Helen. It was once a logging town, but as it began to decline the city resurrected itself as a replica of a Bavarian alpine town. German architecture was mandated for the city in 1969, so every building keeps the theme going.

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This was a fun stop along our drive from Tennessee to Atlanta. We decided to visit at the last minute when driving between Gatlinburg, TN and Atlanta, GA. I would not suggest going too far out of your way for it. Although the town does host several festivals, that would be fun to see, such as Oktoberfest and hot air balloon races.

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We walked along the picturess streets for a while and found a restaurant to eat some classic German dishes.

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On the way back to the car, we stopped at a fudge shop for me and a jerky shop for Donovan. This town had something for everyone 😉 I will say the median age of the other tourists was probably 60. The internet, however, tells me that it can get quite crowded on the weekends and for festivals.

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The town is a fun slice of another culture only about an hour and a half from Atlanta. It definitely increased my desire to visit Germany for real.

Glen O Jones Lake

Glen O Jones Lake

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The Saline County State Fish & Wildlife Area is 1,270 acres with a 105 acre lake and four hiking trails. We drove here on a warm winter day to stretch our legs and those of our fine furry friend. Originally we picked the Cave Hill trail to walk, but after passing several families all asking “Do you know if there’s actually a cave back there? We walked way far back and no cave” decided to change directions. Plus, the Cave Hill trail was going through pure woods, which is sort of boring in the winter.

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A statue for the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh is at the trailhead for Cave Hill

Although the map doesn’t show it, there is a trail that connects from the Cave Hill area down to the Lake trail. We walked this and then around by the lake for a while. The lake was beautiful on the sunny day. It was an easy hike and perfect for a relaxed family day.

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For the record, after much internet searching, the second edition of Hiking Illinois said Cave Hill is a 3 mile linear trail ending in Cave Hill. I’m hoping to go back better prepared for a 6 mile round trip hike and find Cave Hill.