I thought I would share our adventures to Magnolia Springs State Park. As many of you know from my Facebook posts, every place we travel, we always search out the State and Federal Parks in the area, and Georgia did not disappoint!
The closest park to where we were working was in the tiny town of Millen, Georgia, population 3694. The park was built on the site of Camp Lawton, the biggest Civil War prison in the country. The site was chosen for the prison because of its endless water supply from the springs. It only stayed open for about 3 months. You can read more about Camp Lawton here.
Not much is left of the prison but the earthen works, however, excavations in 2010 uncovered some of the most significant finds in recent history. There is a museum located in the park for viewing artifacts found on the site.
Magnolia Springs State Park is famous for its crystal springs
Magnolia Springs State Park is known for its crystal springs. It is estimated that 7 million gallons of water flow from these springs a day. The spring pool is circular with an obvious boil near the center. The water is crystal clear and bluish, green in color.
There is a boardwalk that spans the spring pool where you can view the pool and its inhabitants. The depth of the pool near the spring boil is about 18 feet, and you can clearly see the bottom. The crystal clear waters cause an illusion, and it looks like its only inches deep. Several species of fish are found in the pool, as well as turtles and alligators.
We took the Woodpecker Trail
We decided to take a short hike on the Woodpecker trail. The park map showed the trail ended at the Mineral Springs. We try to do a fair amount of walking when we go to parks. Walking is our small attempt to do something healthy for our bodies and parks usually have clearly marked trails, that are easy to for seniors to maneuver, (the park rangers always make certain they tell us that). I want to be upset about them thinking we are seniors, but, we are, and it’s obvious we need to walk, and walking we did. We walked, and walked, and huffed and puffed, and well, I guess if it looks like a duck…
Back to my story, we took the Woodpecker Trail through the timber, along a creek. It was beautiful, the dogwood trees were blooming and I could smell what I thought was sweet olive. The trail was a dirt path that converted to a boardwalk in several areas. Soon we made it to the boardwalk and viewing deck at the spring pool.
The Mineral Springs were spectacular!
The Mineral Springs were spectacular. The Woodpecker trail ended at the spring pool. The area opened up to a splendid view of the spring pool and the blue boil in the center. The colors were amazing, and its incredible that the water could be 18 feet deep here, it looks like only 18 inches. We could see fish, and turtles swimming in the spring pool.
The spring pool was worth the hike on the Woodpecker trail, although we soon discovered that we could have driven right up to the boardwalk. We needed the walk and figured out that the truck was only a couple hundred yards from the end of the trail, much closer on the park road than if we had back tracked on the Woodpecker Trail. A dirty trick to play on seniors, I think.
That is NOT a real alligator! Or is it?
At the end of the boardwalk viewing area, we saw a rather large alligator sunning on the bank. “That’s not a real alligator! It’s out in the open, they wouldn’t allow that here.” Hubby, being the Yankee from North Missouri that he is, couldn’t imagine a state park having “free range” alligators, so he decided to get closer to inspect.
Of course, being from Louisiana, I know a live alligator when I see one and seems like, everyone should know to never approach one, but Ted promptly ignored my warnings and walked closer to the giant lizard as if to pet him or something. As he walked slowly, closer and closer to the alligator, I caught some movement in the corner of my eye. It seems that the baby alligators thought my hubby was coming to feed them, and they started crawling out of the spring pool!
About that same time, Ted noticed a small movement in the alligator’s tail, and realized he was no match for the massive monster!
I would have given anything to have videoed my hubby trying to nonchalantly move away from that alligator. Alligators can run on land about 11 mph. However, he could not have caught my husband, who was speed walking much faster than that. And just so you know, alligators rarely chase humans on land, but her babies were near, and they don’t like to be petted.
Magnolia Springs State Park turned out to be a fun day trip.
Magnolia Springs State Park turned out to be a fun day trip for us. In addition to teasing the alligators, Ted drove us through the park and campgrounds. There is a small lake in the back of the park, with a deck for fishing. We watched a dad, and his little ones fish, which made us very homesick for our grandbabies. Hopefully, we can get closer to home and share some adventures with them soon!
Till next time.