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Mobuchu

Urban Escapes of the South

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Get tired of the hustle and bustle of the city and just need to get away? Where do you go to escape for the weekend? Make some suggestions here.

About a month ago I went with some friends to Damascus virginia to ride the Virginia Creeper Trail. Its a 33 mile trail made out of an old railroad bed. Damascus (trail town, USA) is filled with bike shops where you can rent a mountain bike and take a shuttle 17 miles away where they drop you off so you can take the trail back. The entire length of the trail is downhill with some flat sections so its great for families or those who are not used to riding a bike.

The 17 miles only took us 3 1/2 hours with many stops along the way to check out the scenery. Its a beautiful ride, with plenty of great vistas of the mountains and of the stream that the trail follows. Also along the route are plenty of camp sites, fishing spots, and it also crosses the App. Trail.

We were fortunate enough to take the trip during Trail Days 2006 where hikers, backpackers, and bikers converge on Damascus for basically a big party. Its a small town, so I'm sure this is the highlight of their year, but they put on a good show with a parade and fleemarket right in town. Campgrounds surround the town on many of the trails and streams in the area, see the links above for info on where to stay and what to do.

Here are some pics I got of the scenery along the trail

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There are alot of bridges along the trail over valleys and the stream that the trail follows. Some are real high up and give great views.

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This part of the trail opened up out of the woods into a valley of tall grass. A group of bikers passes by.

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And a quick pic of the town.

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Anyway, I would highly recommend a trip if you wanted a weekend away with family and friends. (for you Charlotteans, it was about 3 hours away.)

Anyone else have some good getaways, I'd love to go camping again before the end of the summer.

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For me a trip to False Cape State Park in VA Beach fits the bill. The VA Beach address may lend one to assume that it isn't too out of the way but it is, literally, the most pristine section of the shore in the east. It has never been developed or settled, it is not accessible by car. To get to the park one must hike or bike the 8 miles through the federal nature preserve. The trip in is nice. The trail is built up through a marsh bounded by huge sand dunes to the east and Back Bay to the west. Most visitors don't make it to False Cape so when you get there you can count on having the beach to yourself. Its like being shipwrecked. The dunes are tall and several ridges deep. The beach is wide and flat and the shelf extends about 100 yards into the ocean (it stays about waist deep for hundreds of feet out making for really pleasant body surfing conditions seeing as how the waves brake far out unlike in other places along the VA coast and northern OBX where they break on the shore). There are lots of snakes, wild horses and porpoises not to mention tons of birds. There are no boats, no airplanes, no jet skies, no advertisements, no telephone or power lines and a handful of primitive camp sites. I cannot boast about this place enough.

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For me a trip to False Cape State Park in VA Beach fits the bill. The VA Beach address may lend one to assume that it isn't too out of the way but it is, literally, the most pristine section of the shore in the east. It has never been developed or settled, it is not accessible by car. To get to the park one must hike or bike the 8 miles through the federal nature preserve. The trip in is nice. The trail is built up through a marsh bounded by huge sand dunes to the east and Back Bay to the west. Most visitors don't make it to False Cape so when you get there you can count on having the beach to yourself. Its like being shipwrecked. The dunes are tall and several ridges deep. The beach is wide and flat and the shelf extends about 100 yards into the ocean (it stays about waist deep for hundreds of feet out making for really pleasant body surfing conditions seeing as how the waves brake far out unlike in other places along the VA coast and northern OBX where they break on the shore). There are lots of snakes, wild horses and porpoises not to mention tons of birds. There are no boats, no airplanes, no jet skies, no advertisements, no telephone or power lines and a handful of primitive camp sites. I cannot boast about this place enough.

That sounds great Brent. Camping on or near the beach is the best way to camp. I used to go to Assateague(sp?) island state park in Maryland every year when I was younger. Its not quite as natural as this sounds, but you drive to a camp site that is just on the other side of the first set of dunes from the beach. There's nothing like falling asleep to the sound of crashing waves, very relaxing. But this had bath houses, so you could stay a week without a problem. Unfortunetly its slowly washing away because of manmade structures to keep sand built up for Ocean City, MD.

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Damascus, Virginia is definitely a nice getaway. I've been down the Creeper Trail a couple of times and highly enjoyed it both times. There are lots of places to stop and check out the scenery along the rocky creek and from the many bridges that cross it. There is also an old train depot turned shop, a lunch shack, and ice cream shops along the way. Nice topic Mobuchu. I'll try to post some pictures later.

Congaree National Park is a nice day getaway as well. Only a few miles from Columbia, this is SC's only National Park and boasts the largest intact tract of old-growth floodplain forest in North America. It has a 2.4 mile boardwalk through the swamp, several trails, and a couple of lakes. Some activities include hiking the trail, bird watching, fishing, canoeing, camping, and picnic...ing.

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Watch out during the rainy season.

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Trail Map

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National Park Service - Congaree National Park

Discover South Carolina

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Uwharrie Mountains is an ideal location for Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. All within an hours drive.

I really dig the SC highway logo! The circles remind me of Virginia secondaries.

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Living in Greenville, South Carolina, one has the perfect array of urban escape options. To the west, there are numerous lakes with tons of fun things to do, and beyond is the beautiful northern Georgia mountains. To the north, all the mountain activity your heart can desire. Everything from camping and hiking, to trout fishing, kyaking, rock climbing, observing wildlife or scenery, golf, and so much more. Also, there are plenty of adorable little arts and crafts villages scattered everywhere to explore. To the east, more great towns and historical sites, such as Kings Mountain National Historic Battlefield and Cowpens National Historic Battlefield. To the south, stunning pastoral countyside, more awesome little towns with plenty to explore, historic sites, and lots of attractions. :shades:

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I've been on the Virginia Creeper trail 4 or 5 times. One thing that makes it so pleasant is that it is all a gradual descent and there are only a few flat spots for a couple hundred yards where peddling is necessary. Nearby is Mt. Rogers (highest in VA) and Grayson Highlands State Park. If you want to experience Montana in the southeast, this is the place to go. The high, craggy landscape is largely made up of alpine meadows with several highland bogs. Wild ponies are usually grazing within a short distance of the trail. The unique plant and animal life are unique, usually found much farther north. Grayson highlands is one of my favorite places in VA.

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Here are some of my pictures from Creeper Trail in Damascus, Virginia.

The bike shop, downtown Damascus

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Trail

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nice pics dude! Must have had a good time mountain biking! I got a Gary Fischer that I need to get tuned up.

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I love going to Linville Gorge. The main viewing area for Linville Falls can be crowded at times but not many people actually go down into the gorge.

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False Cape State Park looks pretty darn awesome. Undisturbed coastal habitats are just amazing.

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2 very relaxing state park beaches I like are Edisto Island, SC and Cumberland Island, GA. Cumberland Island is a very great place for camping, but you can only reach it by boat out of St Mary's, GA.

They are pretty far out, but the Outer Banks of NC are another great coastal area to go to.

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Even though I haven't been in a few years now, I recommend Helen, GA for an urban escape. It's tucked away in the Appalachians and has a fun Bavarian theme to it. Small mountain town on the Chattahoochee that offers tubing, Bavarian foods and goods, luxury cabin rentals, and an Oktoberfest. Beautiful scenery and handles quite a bit of traffic and tourism for its size (I'm thinking a population of around 500 ppl). It's an easy escape for residents in Atlanta and makes for a nice weekend trip for Florida residents like me! I'd post pics but like I said, I haven't been in a few years and the pics I have of Helen are elsewhere.

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This is a great topic. There are a few in west Georgia to mention -

For Kayakers, Chattahoochee Kayaking - The ultimate urban escape, the Chattahoochee between the downtowns of Columbus, GA and Phenix City, AL. Kayakers find out the times Georgia Power releases water from the Oliver Reservior dam.

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Oxbow Meadows in Columbus, GA - Another ideal Urban Escape. The facility operated by Columbus State University features nature education programs and a tree canopy trail, a trail of rope bridges that runs through the treetops.

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Pasaquan - A folk artist's life-size life work in Buena Vista, GA, southeast of Columbus, GA.

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Callaway Gardens - For more than half a century Callaway Gardens at Pine Mountain, GA has evolved from a five-mile, scenic drive to the premier Georgia golf and spa resort that continues to offer solace, inspiration, and discovery for all who visit. The gardens are best observed in the spring with the thousands of native and hybrid azaleas. A year-round attraction is the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, and the Masters Water Ski Tournament is an annual event with internations competitors. Pine Mountain is also the southern end of the Appalacian Trail in Georgia. Northeast of Columbus, GA, southwest of Atlanta.

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Get tired of the hustle and bustle of the city and just need to get away? Where do you go to escape for the weekend? Make some suggestions here.

About a month ago I went with some friends to Damascus virginia to ride the Virginia Creeper Trail. Its a 33 mile trail made out of an old railroad bed. Damascus (trail town, USA) is filled with bike shops where you can rent a mountain bike and take a shuttle 17 miles away where they drop you off so you can take the trail back. The entire length of the trail is downhill with some flat sections so its great for families or those who are not used to riding a bike.

The 17 miles only took us 3 1/2 hours with many stops along the way to check out the scenery. Its a beautiful ride, with plenty of great vistas of the mountains and of the stream that the trail follows. Also along the route are plenty of camp sites, fishing spots, and it also crosses the App. Trail.

We were fortunate enough to take the trip during Trail Days 2006 where hikers, backpackers, and bikers converge on Damascus for basically a big party. Its a small town, so I'm sure this is the highlight of their year, but they put on a good show with a parade and fleemarket right in town. Campgrounds surround the town on many of the trails and streams in the area, see the links above for info on where to stay and what to do.

Here are some pics I got of the scenery along the trail

And a quick pic of the town.

large.jpg

Anyway, I would highly recommend a trip if you wanted a weekend away with family and friends. (for you Charlotteans, it was about 3 hours away.)

Anyone else have some good getaways, I'd love to go camping again before the end of the summer.

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