Welcome to Field Trip Friday! A regular feature highlighting great locations in the Atlanta area to explore with your camera!
Today I’m taking you to The Big Creek Greenway. http://www.alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=136 This is a gem of a trail system in North Fulton County and South Forsyth County that has been growing in length and popularity over the last few years. On any given day both segments of the trail are used by runners, walkers, bikers, dog walkers and families. I’ve even seen a unicyclist pedal his way down a path!
The trail in North Fulton County is approximately 8 miles long, with a 2 mile extension into Roswell. This section is a mix of wooden raised walkways and concrete paths with a smattering of offshoots that are restricted to walkers. Both trails follow along Big Creek offering gorgeous wetlands, undisturbed woodlands and many varieties of wildflowers and flora. After a good rain, flooding can occur essentially shutting down the trail to bikers and runners.
The Forsyth County portion of the trial is 6.8 miles long with plans to extend in the works. In fact, the overall plan is to connect the trails to each other! I can’t wait for that. Forsyth’s trail is connect midway through to the wonderful Fowler Park. http://www.forsythco.com/DeptPage.asp?DeptID=40&PageID=1554 Along a section of this trail where it crosses GA Hwy 9 is a pasture where you can often see cows grazing peacefully.
When I first discovered these gorgeous gems, my first thought was “I should bring my camera!” I did just that the next time and haven’t stopped since. OK, I admit I haven’t ever brought my CAMERA, rather I always have my iPhone in my pocket or bike pack. I’ve accumulated more than 600 photos of this magical and ever changing destination. The light is constantly in flux. At one moment there are gorgeous, long shadows cast by trees and fences, the next, a flare of sun peeking trough the trees. Cloudy days bring deep colors, bright morning sun dapples the water as you bike along the creek. In spring, a chorus of frogs calling for a mate rings out so loudly it nearly drowns out conversation! Mallard ducks nest here. Elephant ears adorn the shallow waters bordering the raised paths. It’s really just an endless cavalcade of the best of what a wetland has to offer.
There are so many wonderful places to stop for a photo. I warn you, though, you can get sucked in and want to capture it all at once! Resist that urge and come back often. It’s best captured in all seasons and light situations. I’m very fortunate to live close by and wind up biking or walking my dogs 4-5 times each week. I try to have days when I don’t take photos so I can get in some good exercise, but that really tests my willpower! And my dogs, Jackson and Gus, tend to get pretty impatient with me if I stop too frequently. They’ll each give me a warning bark if I linger too long!
The majority of my images have been captured using either Hipstamatic ( I love the unpredictability) or Camera+. If you’d like to see more of my collection, you can find them in my Instagram account @kerrymac.
If you take a good look at my pictures, you’ll rarely see a person. I sort of just prefer capturing the trail looking abandoned but there are certainly enough humans wandering around if you want to include them! I’ve often thought of doing some panning using a road biker as a subject!
If you want to go, please check out the links to each trail where you will see maps and information on parking. Each trail has several easy access parking lots. And of course, if you have any questions that I can help you with, please ask in the comment section! http://www.forsythco.com/DeptPage.asp?DeptID=13&PageID=1355 & http://www.alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=136
Next week: Atlanta Botanical Garden!