And another post that's back on topic. The time I accidentally trespassed!
I think this was during one of my "big weekends" I did earlier this year. This was in May.
I headed to Atlanta first, to hit all the warbler hotspots. (It was a fantastic trip in that respect.) I spent one morning at a park chasing down some rarity, that in retrospect, I can't remember what it was. Didn't find it, despite lots of seasoned birders being there, but did get lifer Canada Warbler, and also 8 other warbler species.
The next morning I planned on heading to Kennesaw Mountain. (which was a GREAT morning, 37 species, 9 of which were warblers)
I was tired from driving in from Augusta early that morning, but didn't want to head to the hotel yet, so decided to do some hiking that afternoon. Finally settled on one of the National Rec areas on the Chattahoochee river. The East Palisades Unit, to be exact. In the map attached, the parking lot is where the marker for the Indian Trail unit is. I hiked and hiked and hiked. It was a beautiful area, but the birds had quieted down, and I pretty much got squat. At some point, I decided to turn around. Halfway back to the car, I saw a trail branch of to the right and thought "Why not?" There were a lot less people on it, and it was peaceful scenery. I figured at some point it would loop back to the main trail.
The trail narrowed, and got a lot harder to follow, but I forged ahead. The sun was starting to set. I was a little concerned, but thought "I'll hit the trail, parking lot, or main road any minute now." I did not, in fact, hit any of those. At some point I finally realized I could see a really big house, and I was essentially in someone's backyard. It was too late to turn around, as the sun was getting low and my phone was dying, so I couldn't use it as a flashlight.
I heard a car above me to the left, and figured that had to be the road. It was a steep hill, and I had to pretty much bushwhack straight up it, and finally at the top, I burst onto the road in a sweaty exhausted mess. Luckily there wasn't a car going by right then, but some people did come down the road not too long after. Somehow, I was at least a quarter mile from the parking lot, so I trudged back. At first, I had a small freak out, because when I saw the parking lot, the corner I thought my car was in was empty. (and almost dead phone) Turns out, the parking lot is set up at an angle, so the corner my car was actually in was just hidden from view until I was actually in the lot. I got dinner and went to my hotel and hibernated until morning.
The red arrow is the house. (Which if you zoom in on google maps, even has a helipad.) The yellow is where I finally got back on the road.