We don’t have to go far to be in the middle of really cool surroundings. Yes, there are locations much more dramatic. I can find really cool places to spend weekend afternoons in nearby North Carolina but most of the time Toccoa and the surrounding area suits Cocoa Joy and me just fine.

TFC alums will recognize this pathway. It’s the one that leads up to the Little Falls  or Glenn Falls, as Mrs. Forrest (co-founder of TFC) named it. It’s located about half a mile above Toccoa Falls. Years ago, I visited the Appleton community in Cecil County, Maryland, and saw the house where local historians said she probably grew up. Not too far from there was a small stream named Glynn Creek. Perhaps this place at TFC reminded her of her childhood home.

This is such an easy hike, especially after you work your way up the old Unicoi Turnpike trail. Cocoa always gives it a five paws rating! You have hills, rocks, waterfalls, and people! What more can a dog ask for?

Mrs. Forrest along with her mother and sisters often had afternoon tea on the rocks in this location. On this Sunday, I was on the hunt for TFC students taking a break from their studies. Every time I hike this trail, I’m always sure to find two or three taking in the beauty of this part of the 1,200 acre campus.

One of Cocoa’s favorite things is to meet and greet college students! We did find several hanging out on the smooth, water-polished rocks and Cocoa wanted to say hello. But I was even quicker to tell her “No,” and that she could not cross over these shallow rapids.

We hiked on up the stream to the middle of the old lake bed before turning back. An Atlanta friend was with us and I answered the usual questions about the area, the flood, and the old dam. It’s amazing how time has returned this area to its original, wild setting.

One the way back, guess what we discovered? Hiking sandals and a jacket that were shed by another student, who was literally hanging out in a hammock tied up between two trees. This area is so easy to enjoy, but I never go there alone because after all it is an untamed area. There are snakes and things like that in the woods, but I don’t think there’s a chance that we’ll be “tracked” by a wolf or a coyote! . . . Mmmmm, I hope that’s right!

Since her surgery, Cocoa has gone on a couple of really cool hikes. This one definitely allowed her to climb up and down rocks again with lots of ease. She’s recovering really well. We like to say that she is getting back to her obnoxious self! (smile)