Last week we tried to walk part of what is left of the Unicoi Road or Unicoi Turnpike in Stephens County and we got pretty far, but navigating the road today is much different than it was three years ago when we walked it with a group of friends and county leaders.

Today, the road is badly rutted from ATV traffic and erosion. I really don’t know how this happened so quickly.

We walked on along the dappled sun washed trail until some of the road became impassible!

We did pass native dogwoods that still dotted the landscape and

Cocoa enjoyed the trek until I had to carry her over deep mud puddles.

Then we hiked around a bend and we were done! The photo does not tell the actual story. The ruts in this part of the trail were about eight feet deep with spring fed mud holes at the bottom. It is so sad to see this area in such disrepair!

Too deep to travel. Right after this Beth found a drive shaft lying in the middle of one of these super ruts. I can’t believe people actually try to take anything that runs on gas down this road.

But on the way back, I wanted to record that there were short glimpses of the way  the turnpike once  looked. Truly, it’s history and it is a gift to Georgia and really to America. The road was one of the first native American footpaths, an Indian trade route and later a trade route for American settlers and a toll route for people traveling north. It is one of the early Cherokee roads through Georgia and was known as the “White Road” or Unicoi Trail.