I used to live in Blount County in Locust Fork. I loved that place. And when I can go back I love it. It rejuvenates me. I like Blount County people and the way my life felt when I lived there. It’s hard to explain but the pace of my life, the point I was in my life, the feeling my days had there was just so different. I used to sit almost every day in a back porch swing and wait for the deer to wander over to the pond. I loved it there and I sorely miss it.
So getting to Blount County this weekend was a treat. If you want to make the trip yourself, expect for it to take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to reach Palisades Park depending on what part of B’ham you’re coming from.
They have 80 acres and about 2 miles of hiking trails with 8 individual trails. But the trails interconnect so technically you can get a lot more than 2 miles out of it. It is definitely a half day outing if you pack a lunch.
Be sure to make time to walk around and look at all the old restored buildings on the site
to appreciate the amazingly well done flower gardens on the main grounds
to let the kids run free on the new kiddie parks
and a great stone seating area that I so want to come back to in the fall and sit a long spellalso, be on the look out for the awesome wood carvings in the park If you go to your right when you come in, that will head you towards the bluffs section with a fantastic “meditation point” and rock climbing area. Then if you cut left across the park through the parking lot you’ll find the gate to the main hiking trails.
I didn’t stop by the office because their signs said clearly that no dogs were allowed in the buildings. But I wanted to. I wish I could have poked my head in and gotten a map of the park. I’ll definitely have to go back and do more exploring at this park when I can get a map. They have made so many changes and improvements since the last time I was there that I’m excited to head back.
But maybe I’ll wait till it’s a little cooler. The park actually felt pretty cool (for August). The wind would blow by and I’d think “ah, this is nice” then five minutes later I’d be sweating buckets.
The good news is that I saw LOTS of spigots (which because I had to spell check this I just realized that all my life I’ve called this a spicket and spelled it as such. Apparently I’m wrong. Or just regional. >.< ) which we used a lot during the time we spent at Palisades. Either way, Whiskey had a meltdown on the trail. He just got too hot. He found an uprooted tree and burrowed into the mud. The other two dogs were so sweet to him, sniffing and standing guard over him while he hyperventilated a bit. We let him rest, watered him, then had to convince him to walk out of the trail. I swear I’ve learned my lesson! We went through the same thing last year when I thought I’d nearly killed my dog (and bloggedabout it). I had thought since we were walking every day (early morning and late at night though) and he seemed to have adjusted to the heat, that he could handle the weather a little better this summer. No sirree.. We just won’t be doing any hikes after 9 in the summer. Period. From now on. Promise!
And while you can’t stay overnight here they do have really awesomely late hours (9pm) for most of the year. Meaning I see some after work visits in my future! Hopefully I can drag B with me as my research has indicated there are a lot of geocaches within a 5 mile area. Enough to keep us busy for days if we wanted!
There is a place here to rock climb that is pretty popular so if you like that sort of thing come prepared. Also, do make sure to look on your right as you’re driving towards the park (once you turn off of 231) for the weird-o human sized dolls in the decorative (wagon?trailer?) thing… and for the “place where gourds go to die…” If you don’t see anything resembling that then you aren’t paying attention! lol! I love Blount County people! There also seemed to be some sort of house being built on steel stilts.. though they might have that covered in by the time I go back again. I’ve no idea… maybe I’ll be brave and take a picture of it next time!
Lastly, this is one of my favorite places to see Christmas lights. When Christmas rolls around do go check their park out. They ask for a donation (I think we usually do 1 or $2 a person) and it’s totally worth it. You’ll keep driving round and round the park to see all the lights!
- No doggie bags, bring your own. Dumpsters to toss bags into are on site. Lots of great shade. A few public spigots (most were hooked up to hoses for gardens but some were by obviously open and for anyones use)
- Dogs must be on leash.
- You can not enter into any buildings with your dog. Though I did have to break the law and take Whiskey into the bathroom with me (I couldn’t tie him up outside) shhhh…don’t tell anyone.
How to get there basics: Depending on where you are in Bham you can go up 79 and turn right when it hits 160 then stay straight through the stop sign so that you are on 231. Then look for the park on your left a few (unsure of the amount) miles down the road. If you get to Oneonta’s business section then you’ve gone to far. OR you can go up 65 and exit in Hayden onto 160. Travel that until it becomes 231 and look for the park on your left.
Rating: 9 ecstatic dog tail wags out of 10. We really liked this park for it’s cleanliness, friendliness, parking, different stuff to see, and just the right amount of hiking trails. Next time we are bringing the GPS, a picnic, and a book and staying all day!