Lake McIntosh @ Line Creek Nature Area, Peachtree City, GA


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 "This popular Nature Area offers a mix of habitats -- an upland hardwood forest,
granite outcroppings, and a rushing stream bordered by native azaleas. Visitors will enjoy
a fishing dock on a small pond, a gazebo, and several miles of nature trails."
~ Southern Conservation Trust webpage about Line Creek Nature Area
The Line Creek Nature Area is a 70-acre public land preserve off Hwy. 54 on the Fayette-Coweta County line along the western edge of Peachtree City. It is one of two preserves within the city limits that are maintained by the Southern Conservation Trust.

The other is the Flat Creek Nature Area. I've shown some photos of that long nature area in previous entries because the multi-use path system borders much of its eastern side.

The paths don't border Line Creek Nature Area but two spurs do provide cart/bike/pedestrian access to it. There is a large parking area off Hwy. 54 for passenger vehicles at the north end of the nature area and a very small one at the southern end off Terrane Ridge in the Planterra subdivision.

The creek is full of granite outcroppings, shoals, and little cascades as it flows downstream.

I visited Line Creek by myself in mid-May on a pretty weekday morning to see what was there and to hike most of the trail system.

I really enjoyed the beauty and serenity of the place. I want to show it to Jim and take our two younger Labs there to hike but other things have taken priority since then and I just haven't been back yet. I imagine that it's very pretty in the fall with all the deciduous leaves.

Line Creek is open to hiking only. The SCT maintains mountain bike trails at the Ridge Nature Area, another preserve on Hwy. 54 between Peachtree City and Fayetteville.

A young couple enjoys a quiet lunch beside the creek.

Besides not having to worry about bikes on the trails at Line Creek, another reason it's a good place to take dogs is all the water -- the creek itself, with pretty shoals and cascades, a large pond near the main parking area, and big Lake McIntosh. We'll have to think about letting the dogs in the water, though, because there may be a lot of lawn chemicals that have washed into the creek, pond, and lake from developed areas upstream.

Still, the sometimes-rocky, rooty trails and pretty woods are a peaceful, pretty place for people and dogs to at least hike.

Here's a map of the trail system, basically several loops and a long out-and-back. The whole system is about four miles long. You can do shorter variations:

I marked my route the day I hiked here in yellow.

You can read more about the nature area at the link below the quote at the top of the entry. There are additional links to this trail map, a trail brochure, directions to the nature area, and the land trust's other web pages.

Following are photos I took during my hike on a weekday when few other people were using the trails or picnic area by the pond. The nature area is reportedly more crowded on pretty weekends and during the summer when kids are out of school.

Note that the photo of water lilies that I'm using as the header for each entry this year is from Line Creek Nature Area. I've included some more water lily pictures below.


Before reaching the main parking area at the north end (near Hwy. 54) of the nature area you'll drive past this new wetland area, where a small island in the water serves as a safe nesting area for birds, turtles, and other critters:

A trail across from the parking area leads visitors to the picnic area by a stocked fishing pond. There are benches, picnic tables, a gazebo (first-come, first-served), and pier:



Nearby is a small amphitheater AKA Council Circle, which is also first-come, first-served if visitors want to hold an event here, such as a birthday party.

The trail goes either right or left past the Council Circle. Right takes visitors around the lake or down to the creek via the Ridge Trail. The day I visited I decided to go left and take the white-blazed Creek Trail down to the shoals.


Beginning of the Creek Trail

This trail is deceptively smooth for a little while but quickly becomes more gnarly with roots and rocks as it descends to the creek:

Smooth granite bedrock like this part of the descent could be slick when wet but I didn't slide on anything the nice dry day I hiked it:

The first glimpse of the creek and shoals is very pretty, and looks like a fun place to let kids and dogs play in the water:


View upstream

View downstream

There is another trail intersection here.

The Shoals Trail goes right and follows the creek to the north. The Creek Trail turns left and follows the creek south as it flows into and forms large Lake McIntosh, a city reservoir. I went that direction first.

The worst rocks to negotiate are in the section between the shoals (above) and where the trail becomes more smooth above the lake. The gnarly section is pretty short; it's worth the effort to keep going toward the lake:


The creek soon enters the north end of Lake McIntosh.

There is a scenic rock outcropping with a good view of the water and late-spring flowers in bloom:


Yucca blooms




The trail continues above the lake shore until it nears some houses in the Planterra Ridge subdivision.

It crosses a wooden foot bridge and ends at a very small parking area that connects to Terrane Ridge Road and the multi-use path network:



I turned around there and retraced my steps about a mile to the intersection with the Shoal Trail.


I hiked north along the creek on the scenic yellow-blazed Shoals Trail, passing more interesting rock outcroppings, granite shoals in the middle of the creek that kids and dogs would like, and the sites of two old mills that were built in 1820 and 1824:



Two of the shoals photos at the beginning of this entry were shot along this trail before it ascends the ridge back up to the fishing pond.

Just before the ascent the trail climbs over a large granite slab where a man named Glen Allen carved a mule's head in 1984:

Locals call it Mule Rock.

From there I climbed up the Ridge Trail and wound my way back to the fishing pond:

Pond Trail

You can reach the picnic and parking areas by going around either side of the pond.

This isn't a "destination hike" but if you live nearby or have guests from out of town it's a pleasant place to go any time of the year on a nice day. If I get back there after the leaves turn bright colors this fall, I'll add some more photos.

Next entry: Casey Needs a Puppy  (oh, my, what have we done??)

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, Casey, and Holly-pup

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2017 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil