Rome, Georgia is a rare treasure with three rivers, a cave, a spring-fed swimming pool/lake, registered bicycle routes, and a plethora of trails.
Who knew Georgia had caves? Believe it or not, Cave Springs is located in Rolater Park just off the town square in Rome. This natural limestone, ¼-mile deep cave features beautiful stalagmites. Closed during the winter, the entrance features a beautiful stone building that usually has a wheelbarrow leaning on the front. Locals and tourists alike use the wheelbarrow to help them fill and transport their jugs of water filled from the crystal clear spring water that flows year round, producing 2 million gallons a day. Just below the spring is a little pond that is stocked with trout, but don’t grab your fishing pole – this hole is reserved for an annual kid’s fishing tournament. Rounding out the quintessential Georgia experience there is a 1.5-acre swimming pool built from stone (called Rolater Lake) that captures the cold spring water and turns into a lively gathering place in the summer.
In few other places would an outdoors adventure send you to a college campus, but Berry College is an exceptional destination. Berry has 26,000 acres of protected land that hosts trails accessible to walkers, runners, cyclists, rollerbladers, runners, and parents with strollers. The Viking Trail, a three-mile paved trail, is one of the most popular trails. There are even trails for horseback riders with Trail Ride Permits. Gunby Equine Center, conveniently located on campus, offers rides with a two-week advance notice.
Berry College was established around agriculture and today it boasts a gorgeous Arboretum and Tree Walk that is recommended anytime, but if you are there in the fall or spring the experience will be unforgettable. Don’t forget to visit Oak Hill, founder Martha Berry’s Greek Revival home surrounded by beautiful, carefully landscaped gardens.