Amity Campground

new campsite

Our Casita at Amity COE.

Our (huge) campsite from the water.

Our (huge) campsite from the water.

We arrived at Amity Corps of Engineers campground on West Point Lake near Lanette, AL yesterday.  As pretty as our site was, it did not have much of a water view.

Since I live in deep woods, a pretty woods view was an awful lot like being home.  So today we moved to a different site that on the water that we like a lot better.

The sites here are HUGE.  They all have a paved area for an RV, a tent pad quite a distance from the paved area and a concrete picnic table with a gravel base.  I have never seen campsites this large.  And I have seen houses a lot closer than these campsites are.  It’s beautiful.

The lake

The lake

Oddly enough, here on the Alabama side, the campgrounds are almost deserted.  On the Georgia side I couldn’t get a reservation for 6 days.  Granted, there is not a lot to do here unless you love hiking, boating, fishing and just being out in nature.  But I am really surprised at how few people are here.

The trails look lovely.  I am pretty stiff from the walk with Cindy Saturday, so am not up to hiking yet.  But with a little help from Aleve, I’m hoping to remedy that!

This was our first campsite before we moved.  Beautiful, but we missed a water view.

This was our first campsite before we moved. Beautiful, but we missed a water view.

It was blisteringly hot today, near 90.  We spent the heat of the day reading outside in deep shade, enjoying the breezes off the lake.  It cooled down enough for a nice walk with the dogs late this afternoon.  Just perfect for cooking and eating outside.  And it is almost chilly outside this evening.  Lovely!

Kim is supposed to stop by for a visit tomorrow.  I’m really looking forward to seeing her!

The trail is carpeted with pine needles.

The trail is carpeted with pine needles.


Last Day Camping & More Info on the Pinhoti Trail


New shoots on last year's dead flowerhead.

New shoots on last year’s dead flowerhead.

Although I am no longer physically able to do long-distance hiking, I did want to share this update on the Pinhoti Trail for anyone who might be interested in thru-hiking it.

On my previous post about the trail, reader Diane Kepley commented, and I told her I would add her information to a future post:

Georgia Pinhoti trail is open all the way through to the Benton MacKaye trail with new sections being upgraded and improved. Mapping needs an upgrade to be sure but help is out there. Contact me at and if I can’t help you, can point you to others on the Georgia Pinhoti Trail board who can. Many sections are multi use and not as hiker friendly as the Alabama Pinhoti. It’s a great trail system and trail angels are out and about especially if they know thru hikers are coming through!

…and thanks for helping us spread the word. It’s encouraging to know where there is shelter and help along the way! Happy trails to you!

I’m sure that this post will pop up in search engines for people searching for info on the Pinhoti, and I hope they will take advantage of Diane’s generous offer to provide more detailed information.

trail hazardI had planned to post a whole bunch of spring buds and shoots photos today, but after going through them, they look kind of boring.  So I’ll just post photos taken on the short two-mile trail around Coleman Lake.

beaver job





trail steps

Even in death, the remains of this little bird displayed exquisite grace and beauty.

Even in death, the remains of this little bird displayed exquisite grace and beauty.



footbridge by dam

my kind of trail

cool exposed root



There were a startling number of large blowdowns on the trail. Also, many of the pines have been infested with the pine borer. Some areas had been burnt — I’m guessing to help control their spread.




Plant covered roots span the water below.



Coleman Lake, the Pinhoti & the Beach

There are several trails in the  area including hiking and horse trails.

There are several trails in the area including hiking and horse trails.

We plan to leave for Coleman Lake tomorrow.  Since there is no cell service there, I thought I’d post a preview, and will update the blog when we are back in civilization again.

The main activities in the area are birding, camping, hiking and horseback riding.  There’s a primitive horse camp not far from the Coleman Lake campground.  I’m not sure about the fishing.  But when we were there a few years back, one family went frog gigging and harvested 17 big frogs that night.

Coleman Lake swimming beach

Coleman Lake swimming beach

For me, the main attraction is mushroom hunting.  There’s a tremendous variety of habitats from dry hardwood hills to primeval-looking swamps covered in fern.  I’m sure I won’t be able to identify most of the ones I find, but I sure will have fun trying!

For long distance hikers, the close proximity of the 335 mile Pinhoti Trail should be of interest.  It ties in with the Benton McKaye and Appalachian Trails and is part of the Eastern Continental and the Great Eastern Trails.

Gulf State Park right on the Gulf.

Gulf State Park right on the Gulf.

After that, we’re planning to head for the beach the latter part of April.  I changed my mind about the Mississippi beaches when I read that the water is brown and muddy like it is at Galveston.  So now the plan is to go to Gulf State Park in Alabama.

It has excellent reviews.  The water won’t be as clear as it was at Ft. Pickens, but it should still be nice there.  And I’m pretty sure our dogs will be allowed to walk on the beach with us.

So it looks like I will finally, finally, break free of the winter-weary cabin fever blues and go camping!

Texas Trip Aborted

Tannehill State Park

Tannehill State Park

We made it as far as Meridian, Mississippi last night.  We hadn’t felt well when we left, but hoped we’d perk up after we got on the road.

The very forgettable Twiltney Branch COE campground north of Meridian

The very forgettable Twiltney Branch COE campground north of Meridian

Instead, we felt worse and worse.  By the time we got to Twiltney Branch COE north of Meridian (whose only claim to fame was a $10 senior rate), we were full blown sick.  I fell into bed the minute Ron got the trailer unhitched and was out cold until I got up at 9:30 to make sure the dogs had been fed and watered.

Ron was asleep, but there was evidence he had made himself a sandwich and surfed a while before collapsing.

Then this morning I tried three times to get Ron up and he was simply too exhausted to move.


Behind our site at Tannehill State Park

I still felt terrible, and finally had to admit that we didn’t have the energy to make it to Texas.  So we headed back east toward home.

We couldn’t make it all the way, so are holed up at Tannehill State Park just west of Birmingham for a couple of days.  Hopefully by then, we’ll feel like making the drive home.

There is a lot to see at Tannehill, including historic iron works.  If I feel up to it tomorrow, I’ll take photos.

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