City Escapes:  Atlanta, Georgia

Text: James T. Parks • Photography: James T. Parks

Escape the sprawling urban landscape of Atlanta by taking a series of secondary roads to Alabama’s iconic Little River Canyon, and then return via rural roads in the foothills of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Charming historic settlements along the way include the Georgia towns of Dallas, Cave Spring, and Rome.

The area features spectacular scenery, particularly from overlooks into Little River Canyon in Alabama and in the Appalachian foothills. Traffic is generally light on these backroads, and the roads are for the most part in good condition. This is overall not a difficult route, except for the road around Little River Canyon, which is exceptionally curvy with mostly blind corners due to heavy forestation.

Lunch Stop

Ralph’s Little River Canyon Cafe serves traditional fare from hot dogs and locally famous burgers to dinner plates and barbecue. It may not look like much from the outside, but the food is well worth a stop. Find it at 477 AL 35, Fort Payne, AL, (256) 845-6402.