There is no denying that hiking and backpacking is a favorite pastime for Ryan and me. We’ve enjoyed adding Ellie dog to our little hiking team and greatly look forward to adding our little girl to the mix in just a few months. You might say we are already getting her used to the world she is about to enter. During this pregnancy, we have hit several local trails and one solid hike up Yonah Mountain in Cleveland, Georgia. We’ll find out soon what she thinks about overnight backpacking.
I was 15 weeks along when we made the moderately difficult 4.4 mile hike up Yonah Mountain for my birthday in March. It’s funny how I thought I had such a baby bump on this hike, but in comparison to now, it looks like nothing.
But enough baby talk, this is all about the awesome hike we experienced just an hour and a half outside of Atlanta. After a drive through the countryside, we found the parking lot for the trail without any problem. That’s something we can’t say about many other hikes we have ventured out for.
The trail started out nice and easy and transitioned into an uphill ordeal the entire way. The terrain fluxed between dirt paths lined with native flora budding to life and rocky areas where we had to outright climb at times.
Luckily, we found a nice boulder where all three of us could comfortably take a break and share a mid-hike snack. I can go miles and miles on a hike without taking a little snack break, but evidently not while pregnant. I think I ate every last grape we packed before we were halfway up Yonah Mountain.
The thing I liked about our hike up Yonah Mountain was that it felt like a workout, and once at the top, there was no disappointment in the view. This combination is my ideal hiking venture.
There was no shortage of overlooks for people to kick back and enjoy the sweeping view. We dropped our bags at the first spot and polished off the sandwich and oranges packed without hesitation. It wasn’t until my belly was full and pregnancy photos were captured that we realized that there was more to the trail.
Ryan had read that there was a good spot to hang a hammock and stay for a while at the top of Yonah- It couldn’t have been truer. At the summit of the mountain was a flat grassy bald that had several different fire pits. The whole area was surrounded by trees ideal for throwing a hammock up and enjoying some fresh mountain air for a spell. We hung out in the area while we decided what trail we wanted to take down.
Before we knew it, we were back at the bottom. The most interesting thing to us was the quantity of folks headed up at such a late hour. It all made sense once we saw the sunset and sunrise images people were sharing on Instagram. Ryan and I decided right then we would be back to hike Yonah Mountain for the sunset and camp overnight at the top.
If you are anything like us, you are ready to devour a solid meal by the time you get back to the car. We attempted to grab a bite in Helen where there is a quaint replica of a Bavarian alpine town just a few miles from the trailhead, but the Dutch themed restaurants didn’t exactly have much selection on the menu for vegetarian folks. We enjoyed driving through the area and made out fine hitting a chain restaurant before making the drive back to Atlanta.
We are so glad we found the Yonah Mountain trail on Atlanta Trails. It is such a helpful site full of trails calling our names. We just have to find the time to step away from the blog, put down the broadfork, and pick up our hiking packs.