A wonderful day trip filled with a lot of adventure would be visiting Black Rock Mountain State Park. It is approximately an hour and a half north of Athens and well worth the drive. It is located in Clayton, Ga. right on the boarder of Georgia and South Carolina. There is 1,743 acres of land to explore and some of the most beautiful mountain photography you can take. Black Rock Mountain is Georgia's highest state park and is some of the most outstanding scenery in Georgia's Blue Ridge Mountains. March through November the park is open daily from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. There is a $5 parking fee but annual passes are available.
Black Rock Mountain has four different hiking trails-although according to the information on Wiki there is a fifth trail that is only two hundred feet but it is still considered a trail because it is very scenic. The trails you will be able to hike are: The Ada-Hi Falls Nature Trail which in Cherokee means 'forest'. It is a small trail only about .2 miles. This trail is known for its thirty five foot tall waterfall. The fall completely dries out during hot summer months but will replenish itself during rains. Black Rock Lake Trail is a .5 mile hike that takes you to some beautiful lake views especially as the sun starts to go down. The Tennessee Rock Trail is a 2.2 loop trail that allows you to explore the northwest side of Black Rock Mountain. On this trail you cross the highest point of the trail that crosses the Eastern Continental Divide. The James E. Edmonds Backcountry Trail is a 6.7 mile loop trail. This trail is named after a popular explorer scout who died in 1991. The trail is well marked and then slips into the loop.
As you are driving up to the entrance of the park, there will be a few overlooks. Regardless of the time of day you are planning to visit the park, be sure to bring your camera. You will capture some beautiful photos especially of the sun rising or setting. As you are standing on the overlook admiring the scene in front you, you are actually seeing the Eastern Continental Divide at an elevation of 3,640 feet and on a clear days you can see four different states, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Black Rock Mountain State Park also offers different accommodations such as cottages for rent, camp sites for tents, trailers and RV's, picnic shelters, a seventeen acre lake and a visitor center with a gift shop. If you are an outdoor adventurous family and enjoy being in nature this would make a great day trip. Also the photographer enthusiast will enjoy this area because of all of the things there is to photograph.