Black’s Bluff Preserve and the Coosa River Lock and Dam Park

There used to be a little girl who lived in my house, but now she’s a big girl and attends college on the other side of the state.  It is strangely quiet in our house, since she moved.  There’s no longer the sound of a constant video game every evening.  The dreaded day when we helped move her into her dorm room came and went, and I couldn’t help feeling sad because the moment reminded me that nothing last forever.  Nevertheless, I suppose I will get used to the new situation, and I think living away from home should be a good experience for her.

While we were in Rome, Georgia, I had a chance to go on a little nature excursion.  I visited Black’s Bluff Preserve and the Coosa River Lock and Dam Park.  Black’s Bluff Preserve is a 263 acre property of The Nature Conservancy located next to Floyd County State Prison.  Supposedly, it is a rock garden growing on a bluff consisting of Conasauga limestone.  I mostly saw invasive species.

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Visiting this preserve is by appointment only.  I played the part of rebel and walked past the sign .  There isn’t any path that leads to the bluff anyway, other than a narrow game trail.  At the base of the bluff ,diseased persimmon trees along with non-native kudzu and bradford pear grow.  At the top of the bluff is a an unimpressive stand of  2nd growth loblolly pine.  I didn’t see anything botanically significant at this site.

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The view of the bluff is impressive.

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Another view of the bluff.

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I found this enormous black or Shumard oak (I can’t tell the difference between those 2 species) at the Coosa River Lock and Dam Park.  I estimate it is about 24 feet in circumference.

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Here’s another view of the giant black oak.  it looks like the top half must have broken off during a storm at one time and has been removed.  The tree next to it is a large hackberry.

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Here’s a black walnut tree.  I wish I had a few in my yard.  They are expensive.

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The Coosa River is muddy, but it hosts over 70 species of fish.  The Coosa River Valley serves as a corridor for Coastal Plain flora and fauna where they can penetrate into the mountain region.

2 Responses to “Black’s Bluff Preserve and the Coosa River Lock and Dam Park”

  1. jamesrobertsmith Says:

    The mountain above Berry College has long been on my to-see list. I never got a chance to head over there in the years when I lived in north Georgia.

    That is indeed an impressive oak.

    I wonder why the Nature Conservancy felt the need to buy that bit of property? I reckon you’d have to go on a guided hike to learn the reason. Generally I stay away from such Nature Conservancy sites. If I can’t go on my own, I generally avoid going. I have that south Georgia aversion to trespassing and I usually don’t join in guided hikes.

    When I was a kid I recall that at the dam below Lake Altoona the eels could still get that far up. People would go down there and catch them.

  2. markgelbart Says:

    My wife is going to make me drive to Rome and visit our daughter frequently.

    I’m going back to the Berry College campus on a few of those trips. I’m hoping to see the bald eagle’s nest and some of the big herds of deer that wander around there. I purchased a detailed map of Floyd County. The Berry College Wildlife Management Area is a big blank space with very few roads.

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