Hiking the Haunted Trails of Hard Labor Creek State Park

During a trip through the North Georgia Mountains this past July, my son, Jacob, and I finished a five day long geocaching marathon at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Ga.  It was the 11th park that we visited during those five days.  Hard Labor Creek is also home to Camp Rutledge and Camp Daniel Morgan.  And while the significance of these facts may be obscure, I was recently reminded of our trip while watching an episode of Ghost Hunters that was rumored to have taken place at Camp Rutledge.  Right before my very eyes, I was surprised to find that the rumor was indeed true and I settled in to watch the hour long episode.

Without going into too much detail, I would like to point out a significant observance of mine that I found to be quite comical.  While Steve and Jason were outside of one of the cabins, they heard what they described as "something large" running through the woods.  To make it seem more interesting, their heads even turned as if they were tracking the sound of this unseen entity.  It is after this brief encounter that Steve commented that they had no idea what it was (which is probably true), but from that moment forward seemed to include that incident as some kind of proof that the woods may indeed be haunted!

If I may...."THE WOODS OF GEORGIA ARE HEAVILY POPULATED WITH WILD ANIMALS!!!"  We have deer, fox, turkey, armadillos, possums, bear, wild boar, and many different kind of cats!  As a Georgia boy, I can assure you that when I hear something move in the woods during the day or night, my first inclination is NOT to think it is HAUNTED...LOL!  Even my 17 year old found this to be amusing....LOL again!

After watching the episode, I did a bit of research online and I was surprised to find out that a few movies have even been filmed here, including Friday the 13th Part VI:  Jason Lives!  Perhaps this is where the folklore originated...LOL'ing once again!

Though I am making light of this Ghost Hunters comical episode, Hard Labor Creek is a beautiful destination and one that is significant for us in that we logged our 30th State Park Geocache find there.  And just so you know, we weren't haunted by anything or anyone, but we did encounter some wildlife out on the trail...see pics below.

Look closely and you will see a deer that we encountered on the Beaver Pond Trail.  Could this be what is haunting these woods?
This box turtle was in the middle of the trail, but we gladly walked around him.
  I don't think he is very scary.  Do you?
Is this Crystal Lake?  Does Jason Voorhees reside here?  
He did in Friday the 13th Part VI:  Jason Lives.
I didn't take this picture, so I can't be sure of its legitimacy.
The Hard Labor Creek State Park Trading Post/Visitors Center
This bird could be playing a part in haunting these woods, but I can't say for sure.
This looks like a good hiding spot on the Beaver Pond Trail!
Where do these steps lead?  Down to the lake of course!  Proceed if you dare.
Part of Beaver Pond Trail.  I'm sure this would be a creepy hike at night!
Look!  Is that an ammo can that someone is hiding?  Perhaps it belongs to whoever is haunting these woods!  Oops, my bad!  That's the geocache!
Nice selection of boats.  Hmmm....I've seen that canoe somewhere before....
Now I remember where I saw that canoe!!
Another view of the trail.  Could something be hiding under that foot bridge?

As I conclude this post, I must admit to you that we did have one haunting experience, but please do not let this interfere with plans to visit this great Georgia State Park!  While Jacob and I were fishing, I heard him yell out for me with somewhat of a frantic tone; a sense of urgency, "Dad!  Help!  What do I do?!"  Quickly my parental instincts took over and I immediately lay down my rod and made my way over to him to find out what was wrong (or, what was haunting him...LOL).  Not able to notice anything visibly wrong, I asked him.  What was his scary reply?  "There's an armadillo behind me!  What do I do?!"

Now that's one scary tail!


  1. This sounds like it would be a perfect post for Fright Week over at Cache Crazy!

  2. Thanks Kim. I'm planning on submitting it.

  3. I'm headed out to GA from WI this weekend to attend an event at the park. I do hope I can find a cache while I'm there! I'll fight ghosties AND beasties!


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