We are building a park in Talking Rock, Georgia!
Talking Rock Nature Preserve provides a vast scenic view that “speaks” to all that take timeout, stop, observe and listen. Your heart, mind and soul will become captivated as you sit among the rocks and scan the pristine landscape allowing your senses to absorb all that abounds. Talking Rock includes 220 acres of natural beauty that provide a glimpse into a multitude of ecosystems, opportunities for environmental education and a diverse mix of passive recreational experiences open to the public.
Talking Rock Nature Preserve was donated to Southeastern Trust for Parks and Land (STPAL) in 2012. Desiring to preserve the natural land while providing experiences for the general public, STPAL embarked on a park plan visioning and designing phase. A Master Vision Plan has been created and amenities will be implemented in phases and as community support allows. The Vision calls for some opportunities not currently found in Pickens County.
Talking Rock Site Plan includes:
- 12 miles of hiking, biking and multi-use Trails
- Picnic & Play Area
- Picnic tables
- Platforms for chairs and sunshades
- Small shelters
- Areas for Hammocks
- Horseshoe pits
- Toddler Play are
- Native flowing plants
- Adventure Course Trail Zone
- Obstacle course elements
- Various experiences for different ages, skills and fitness levels
- Disc Course
- Interpretive signage and environmental education
- Wildlife habitat projects, i.e. butterfly houses, bee hotels
- Native Plant Gardens
- Pollinator Gardens
Preserve/Park Status Update
The forested preserve provides opportunities to improve unnaturally dense or diverse forest and flora. This preserve has historically been used for timber production. In 2014, a selective tree harvest was completed to improve the health of the forest and create more diverse habitat areas.
The 12 mile trail system has been flagged and is being constructed. Funds have been raised for the first 5 miles of the trail system. The first loop of 2.75 miles is completed and being used by bikers and walkers. It was designed and built to be a smooth with no roots and rocks. It is good for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities. There are no steep hills to climb or go down. It is fun. The second loop of 1.75 miles and the parking area have been completed as of January 1, 2018. This second loop is fundamentally the same as the other loop but it will be a much faster ride and meant for riders with some mountain biking experience. The final 5-7 miles will feature a trails and sections with steep hills, jumps, rock gardens, and other features that will appeal to serious riders. We think we are building a trail system for everyone to use and enjoy. And, of course hikers / walkers are welcome on the entire system. For safety and enjoyment walk the opposite of the riders (directions are posted at trail heads) and step off the trail for a moment as bikers pass. Bikers slow down when passing walkers. We expect to formally open the park and have a ribbon cutting sometime in late January or early February depending on how much weather impacts our efforts.
Currently two Boy Scout Eagle Projects have been completed. There are many Eagle Project opportunities so if you are considering your project and community impact check out our Wish List.
How Can You Help?
A Talking Rock Friends Group is now being formed. As a nonprofit, volunteers and community support are crucial to progression of the park. Friends may help during volunteer workdays, raise funding to support park elements but most importantly, provide input into desired park elements. Your engagement will help Talking Rock to become a best kept secret in the greater Pickens Community.
Donate funds to help provide an element for the park. Naming opportunities are available and information is available by contact STPAL.
Sponsor a wish list item or Boy/Girl scout Eagle or Gold project.
Don’t forget to follow us on FaceBook: Talking Rock park Facebook page!
Location/Directions to Property
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 the southern property boundary. The Property borders both sides of Carnes Mill Road for an additional 0.5 miles.