Over Memorial Day weekend I went on a four mile hike on the Pine Mountain trail at Roosevelt State Park, land that is connected to F.D.R.’s Little White House.
F.D.R. chose Warm Springs, GA as a getaway from Washington and the world stage because of the curative properties of thermal springs there. Polio had rendered him paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 39, and bathing in the springs helped him regain some of his strength.
He bought the land surrounding the springs in 1927 and converted the area into a rehabilitation center that is still thriving today. The waters are not available to the general public, but people in need still receive the benefits of the warm springs.
The Pine Mountain trail covers twenty-three miles of easy to moderate hiking through a gentle mountain range, hills mostly, south of Atlanta. The four miles we hiked took us from a radio tower and picnic area off a two-lane highway to a meandering creek-side path under the cover of oaks, pines, and rhododendron. Tiny waterfalls spilled over brown and gold rocks along the way.
We crossed the creek several times until we reached our destination, Cascade Falls. We took our boots off, waded into the cool water, and later watched a millipede crawl across the sand while we dried our feet in a patch of sunlight.
I scrambled up a twenty-five- or thirty-foot overhang just because it was there. I started climbing what seemed like a stone stairway, but about halfway up I realized I would have to pull myself up part of the way, which was a little scary. I should have taken the trail to the top. But I made it, and was relieved once I flopped myself over the ledge.