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Peaches’ Birthday Bash at Sweetwater Creek State Park

2016-09-20-12-24-25

Peaches the Pitbull just turned 10! To celebrate her tenth-of-a-century anniversary we took a trip to Sweetwater Creek State Park, one of my personal all-time favorite recreational havens just west of Atlanta (and Peaches’ too!). 

Sweetwater is a popular place, even on a weekday. It boasts the title of being the closest state park to the good ol’ ATL, just 20 miles west on Interstate 20, which means swarms of people descend on its tangle of trails each and every day. Even on a weekday, things can get a little crowded.

Fortunately, we’ve tread these dusty trails more than a few times, and we know the less-visited corners (and the beachy area along Sweetwater Creek) to take the dog and avoid most of the crowd.

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We set out down the Yellow Trail, following it to the red bridge, then passing under the walkway and onto the beach area just past the break in the trees. Here we had free roam — well, the people did. Peaches had a 20-foot leash and plunged into the water. This dog loves to swim.

She got out just enough of her energy not to be a terror as we set out on the Yellow Trail loop, hoofing it up Taz Hill to the high point in the trail (it’s not too bad, really, especially after counting steps for 2,000 feet up to Spence Field in the Smokies). After the brief climb, it’s a steady downhill grade following the sides of a series of small hills, which dumped us back by the river for a short walk back to the bridge.

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Then, it’s was back to the beach. Another 45 minutes and the dog still wasn’t ready to leave, but the heat and humidity had gotten the better of us. It was time to hike out. In all it’s a little more than a 3 mile hike with not-so steep grades… ah, just read the sign:

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After the park Peaches hung her head out the car window (one of her favorite things in the freakin’ world), got some salmon oil on her dinner, chomped on a bully stick, and finished things off with a half a sweet potato. Even after all that she still had the energy to kick around a basketball and run crazy in the back yard. Don’t start calling her Granny P just yet…

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Clay Duda is a freelance journalist specializing in investigative reporting, feature writing, editorial photography, and digital media.