One of our favorite places to go lately has been Mistletoe State Park. It allows us get the kids out of the house, into nature, and still practice our “social distancing”. It has several hiking trails of varying difficulty, boat ramps, and camp grounds. The park rangers have a short tour they can take you on, as well as a small education center for field trips.
Most of the time we hike the white trail circled in yellow. It’s very easy, and we usually end up playing in the creek for a while with the dogs and kids, then return on the same path. Sometimes we go on a little further to the blue line and race up the side of of the “mountain”. We made it all the way around the white loop a few weeks ago and found it a really lovely way to show the kids a widely changing landscape in a short distance.
Just a few days ago we decided to venture further on the blue trail. Circled again in yellow is the trail we took. With 4 kids and 2 dogs it took us about 3 hours with stops to play in the water and walk across fallen logs. It was such a blast!
We stopped and played at the spot marked with a star for a bit. It has a small waterfall and a sandy area perfect for kids. The spot marked with a diamond is where there is a small “canyon” that the kids thought was really cool. You might think you are walking off the trail but just follow the blue diamonds and you’ll make your way around the loop.
I would say this was trail was easy but longish. I’m guessing we hiked about 6 miles. It wouldn’t be ideal for someone who gets winded easily, or struggles to walk on uneven terrain. One child was in sandals and hiked just fine. There are no porta potties on the trail and it’s pretty muddy in some areas. You have to go through the mud to stay on the trail in some areas during rainy months. Along the creek we went off the marked trail because, as you can see, the blue path can be quite a bit longer. Even though we were off the marked path, it was still a somewhat worn and was easy to see trail.
We made one mistake on this hike. In all the times we’ve been here we’ve never come back with a tick. That was not the case this time and I would definitely make sure you pack some good insect repellent and take care of your pets. Our dogs had their first ticks on this trip. We have never seen snakes on our adventures here, but I am sure they are there somewhere. Be sure to hike with snacks, and water, and take some time to just sit and enjoy the park! If you live in the Augusta Georgia area, this is a great staycation day.