Hard Labor Creek State Park Beaver Pond and Brantley Trails

Rutledge, Georgia

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Plantations and small farms once occupied the 5805 acres of land that now make up Hard Labor Creek State Park, but efforts to grow cotton and corn were tedious, as plantation slaves had to clear stones from fields to prepare the land. This strenuous work may be the source of the park’s name, or it could have come from Native Americans who lived in the area and found it difficult to cross Hard Labor Creek when the water ran high. Two hiking trails wind through the pines and hardwoods west of the creek, and these connect, allowing you to make a loop. The Brantley Trail rolls through mature oak and hickory trees along the ravines formed by farming, and the Beaver Pond Trail takes you to mature forest with large poplars and a wetland that’s good for birding.

Hard Labor Creek State Park: Beaver Pond and Brantley Trails Professional Review and Guide

"Plantations and small farms once occupied the 5805 acres of land that now make up Hard Labor Creek State Park, but efforts to grow cotton and corn were tedious, as plantation slaves had to clear stones from fields to prepare the land. This strenuous work may be the source of the park’s name, or it could have come from Native Americans who lived in the area and found it difficult to cross Hard Labor Creek when the water ran high.

Two hiking trails wind through the pines and hardwoods west of the creek, and these connect, allowing you to make a loop. The Brantley Trail rolls through mature oak and hickory trees along the ravines formed by farming, and the Beaver Pond Trail takes you to mature forest with large poplars and a wetland that’s good for birding."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Rutledge
Distance: 2
Elevation Gain: 165 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to Moderate
Duration: 1½ hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Hard Labor Creek State Park
Local Maps: A Hard Labor Creek State Park trail map is available at the park’s Trading Post and online at gastateparks.org/HardLaborCreek-Trails

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Jun 2018