Support the Talking Rock Nature Preserve!
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.
Preserve/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.
How Can You Help?
The Friends of Talking Rock group provides volunteer and community support for the nature preserve. They help with events, raise money, participate in volunteer work days, and guide the development and usage of the preserve.
Please contact the Friends of Talking Rock group for more information or to get involved! We can be reached via our Facebook (accessible on our sidebar), through our email at firstname.lastname@example.org. or leave us a message at 678-974-2609.
Location/Directions to the Talking Rock Nature Preserve
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 0.7 miles to the southern property boundary. Or if coming from the North on 515, turn right onto Old Whitestone Road E and make a left when you reach a fork onto Carnes Mill Road. Stay on this road for about 0.3 miles and you will see the welcome signs.