Once again, I am using my power as editor to stretch the definition of “Atlanta, ” or even “Atlanta Metro,” far beyond her intended borders. I visited Magnolia Springs State Park recently while staying at Georgia L Smith State Park, and I could not pass up the opportunity to tell you about it! They are about 20 minutes from each other, both midway between Macon and Savannah.
Magnolia Springs is home to two interesting and important attractions. I’ll admit, it was the natural spring that brought me here. It provides over 7 million (some say 9 million) gallons of water every day. We walked up to the edge of the spring to peak in. The water was crystal clear, and the bubbles and different shade of blues made it readily apparent where the spring came forth from under ground. And then….we spotted a turtle. Then another, and another, and another! Soon there were several dozen turtles swimming at our feet, with dozens more making their way across the little lake! It was like nothing I have ever seen before!
We took the 1/3 mile loop trail around the lake (it follows half the lake, and then meanders into the woods, following the stream created from the spring.) We also saw two small alligators swimming with the turtles, and dozens of birds.
There is also a wonderful Civil War museum at this park. It was home to Camp Lawton, one of two POW prisons during the war (the other being Andersonville.) The artifacts on display were discovered as recently as 2010 and have been called one of the most important finds of recent history. Touring the museum will bring you one step closer to the limited edition Civil War Jr Ranger Badge, available to celebrate the 150th anniversary.
I took this video a few minutes after we arrived, just as the turtles started heading our way.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.