Talking Rock Nature Park

We are building a park in Talking Rock, Georgia!

Location
Pickens County, GA
Gilmer County, GA
Year Acquired
2012
Acreage
220 acres

About the Park

The Talking Rock Nature Preserve includes 220 acres of natural land that provides opportunities for the quiet enjoyment of nature, environmental education, and passive recreation for no cost to the public.

Talking Rock Nature Preserve was donated to the Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land (STPAL) in 2012. Park planning and construction began in 2017.

Park Status Update

The preserve was historically used for timber production which means it was a tree farm of planted pines in rows that were densely spaced and the trees were all the same age. In 2014, a selective timber harvest was completed by STPAL to improve the health of the forest by allowing tree diversity to be restored, create more diverse habitat areas, and in advance of building the public recreation elements.

The +/- 10-mile trail system has been constructed and is being used by bikers, runners, and walkers.

The +/- 3-mile green trail loop, Jon’s Trail, is smooth and flowy. It’s great for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities with very gradual climbs and descents. Newbies and veteran bikers often say that it’s one of the most fun trails in North Georgia.

The additional trails are similar in feel but ride a little faster and have some technical elements for cyclists with a little more experience. The Pickens and Grinning trails are considered the prettiest for hiking.

There are benches and picnic tables sprinkled throughout the trail system.

The environmental restoration and enhancement of the preserve has been progressing since 2012 but has been accelerated in 2019. STPAL has been awarded grant funding to build 2 chimney swift towers and 4 educational kiosks at the preserve. The environmental enhancements are currently geared towards supporting pollinators and birds. In addition to the chimney swift towers and nature-based education kiosks, there are pollinator supportive plantings, bat and butterfly houses, native tree, and shrub installations, large scale milkweed propagation, stream culvert replacement with bridges, and the removal of decades of old tires and new litter off of HWY 515. There have been several Eagle Scout and Gold Award projects completed at the preserve.

Enhancements

The environmental restoration and enhancement of the preserve has been progressing since 2012 but has been accelerated in 2019. STPAL has been awarded grant funding to build 2 chimney swift towers and 4 educational kiosks at the preserve. The environmental enhancements are currently geared towards supporting pollinators and birds. In addition to the chimney swift towers and nature-based education kiosks, there are pollinator supportive plantings, bat and butterfly houses, native tree and shrub installations, large scale milkweed propagation, stream culvert replacement with bridges, and the removal of decades of old tires and new litter off of HWY 515. There have been several Eagle Scout and Gold Award projects completed at the preserve.


Map & Directions

The Talking Rock Property (the “Property”) is located adjacent to Old Whitestone Road East and is bisected by Carnes Mill Road. From Atlanta, travel north on Highway 575 and continue on 515 (Zell Miller Parkway). Turn left onto Carnes Mill Road and travel 0.73 miles to reach the southern property boundary where you’ll see two connecting trails and park signage. The Property borders both sides of Carnes Mill Road for an additional 0.5 miles.

5 comments to Talking Rock Nature Park

  1. Preserving Land and Parks for Everyone
    February 28, 2018

    […] of their land examples is the Talking Rock Nature Preserve which was donated to in 2012. Desiring to preserve the natural land while providing experiences for […]

    Reply
  2. kim
    April 9, 2019

    is there a fundraising contact specifically for TRNP?? I would like to learn how i could contribute..

    Reply
    • Bill Jones
      April 10, 2019

      Thank you for sharing your interest in support of the park! Be on the lookout for an email today with our fundraising contact’s information.

      Reply
  3. Stewart McCallum
    May 30, 2019

    Is there any information about the proposed disc golf course – I would love to be involved in the building, installation, any work days, designing of the course even … I’m an avid disc golfer for many years. Also – love love love the bike trails !!! We rode 4 hours on Memorial Day and had a blast.

    Reply
    • Bill Jones
      May 30, 2019

      Hi Stewart- It is still a hope to have a disc course, but we haven’t been able to rally enough local support. We’ve had multiple individuals step forward over the last couple of years but nothing substantial. Our organization is very small so we need a lot of help. The trails are maintained by a large group of volunteer committed mountain bikers. We might look back into a course in the fall or next year, if you want to start forming a group of disc players. But for now our talking rock focus is on environmental stewardship work after being focused primarily on public recreation. Bill

      Reply

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