This is a guest blog post by UGA student Maggie Harrelson.
I can feel the slight breeze moving along with me as I watch the leaves fall around me with each step. I keep thinking I have found my own private path to run on until I see an occasional passerby. Before I know it, I have completed my routine run at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia.
I had one of Georgia’s most captivating sites at my back door, and it took me until my sophomore year at the University of Georgia to finally explore the gardens.
After deciding to start my millionth diet for the year, my roommate convinced me to go on a run with her on one of the trails at the Botanical Garden. I honestly was not too thrilled about our planned run, but I was on my “diet” so I agreed to go with her.
Once we arrived at the Garden, we made our way to the White Trail and started our run. We kept a slow pace to take in the early spring weather and to figure out the path. I quickly began to forget that I was exercising, and I focused my attention on my surroundings.
The path was challenging, but I was so distracted by the scenery that I did not even care how much longer we had till we were done. We would come across the river or a rugged area of the trail, and we would take a quick break and walk the path.
When we made it to the end of the trail, we were surprised to find that we had covered three miles during our run. We were so excited about our discovery of an enjoyable workout that we made a point to keep the Garden as a habitual part of our college life.
In the weeks that followed I became more familiar with the Botanical Garden and realized it had several different attractions.
The Botanical Garden features several different types of gardens for its visitors including an amazing indoor garden that features water fountains and tropical plants.
A café can also be found at the visitor’s center, and it has free WiFi which makes for an ideal place to study.
Believe it or not, you can avoid having to fight for a study room just to find a quiet area to concentrate.
One of the best stories I have heard about the Garden was from a friend recently that told me about the “perfect date” her boyfriend surprised her with. He drove her to the Garden and took her on one of the trails to find a picnic set up by the river.
After hearing her story, the Garden did seem like the perfect place to have the perfect date with the perfect guy. Let’s all hope her boyfriend has brothers.
While I can’t promise a perfect date for everybody’s first experience at the Garden, I can say that it will be a memorable one. It is a landmark of Athens that we have the privilege of experiencing, so take a little time out of this picturesque fall season to visit!