May 30

Georgia Running Trail Review + Pancake Fuel

Starting out on the right foot is important.


Yet so often I forget…

Kat’s post today is all about trail running, I thought I’d share a quick pancake recipe (sorry if you saw this on Instagram already).  She talks about hiking fuel at the end of this post, but my recipe would be good for pre-hike fuel!

These cakes have a great mix of carbs and protein to start you off feeling the right amount of full!  I really loved how moist they were (yes, I used the word moist) thanks to the cottage cheese.  Leaving some larger pieces of the oats gives it a fabulous chew, especially if you use a mix of grains (mine is oats and millet).


Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Cottage Cheese Protein Pancakes

(Inspired by Morganne)

  • 1/4 c oats
  • 1/3 c egg whites
  • 1/4 c cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp butter extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Stevia or other sweetener, to taste


Place all ingredients in a lender (I used the small Magic Bullet container) and briefly mix, allowing some larger pieces of oats to remain.  Cooked in a pan over medium heat, flipping half way through.  

Top as desired.  I used raspberries, strawberries, and peanut butter syrup.  My syrup mix consisted of sugar-free syrup, peanut flour, caramel extract, and a little water.  I didn’t measure… but just guess and adjust as you go.


I’ve babbled enough!  Here’s Kat!!!


Mega Trail Heaven – Trail Reviews!

Since I last wrote, yes, Law School Graduation happened!  It was a crazy day, and yes, it’s true, family drama cannot be kept at bay.  I did have friends and family visit from all over, and it ended up being completely AWESOME.  I am especially grateful to my friends who came from out-of-state, and even from locations 8 hours away.




And afterwards, we went out on the town.  Dancing with Mom and Grammy was awesome!

After the fancy cocktail party, we went to a local club to dance the night away.  Grammy I think won us all over, and my friends dancing with Grammy was also not too shabby… the pics below are not even the highlights but I don’t want to really embarrass anyone. ;)  (Editor’s note: Yes, let’s not ruin any political careers…)

Night Crazy


And, in honor of celebrating graduation and my little break before bar review, I am having a little fun!  (Editor’s note: WELL deserved!)

First, I got a new bike!  She is a Scott Plasma tri bike, and she rides like a Porsche!   I took her out on Friday for our first ride together!  (Editor’s note: What’s her name?!)



Second, I am trail running like crazy!  I have hit over 5 different trails in the last week for some long, much needed and deserved runs.  Here is an overview of some of the trails and my personal “Trail Review.”


1. Sope Creek trails

Sope Creek is located just outside the Atlanta perimeter (285).  A short drive for local Atlanta folk, and they are GORGEOUS.  These trails are easy to navigate with maps at every turn.  There are not many hills, and most of them are also suitable for mountain biking!  There are also some cool old paper mill ruins.

(Editor’s note: I grew up RIGHT there and went to Sope Creek Elementary!)

Sope Creek


2. Yeti Trails

Saturday, I went over to the Tributary and got a good run in on the Yeti Trails, which are located near Sweetwater State Park.  (Editor’s note: I love these trails!)

These trails are pretty mild with some incline and decline, but no mountains, that’s for sure.  They’re well-shaded and provide scenic views of water crossings and the river.  You can also throw in some steeper hills at the power lines and gas lines, if you desire!  (All before I went car shopping!  You will get to see my new car next time!)

Yeti Trails

Yeti Trails


3.  Hiker Hostel

Then I headed up to the mountains and stayed at Hiker Hostel, a cute little hostel that allows dogs!  So we could bring pups up to hike AND I could run some trails.

Hiker Hostel is great because it’s family owned by a husband and wife who are super friendly, and they have their own bees for honey, and their own chickens!  Such an adorable home.  If you are ever in North Georgia, it’s a great place to stay!  They also have a fully equipped kitchen downstairs so you can make your own dinner.

They have chickens to provide eggs for your breakfast!

They have chickens to provide eggs for your breakfast!

They also sell their coffee by the pound, and with a message!

They also sell their coffee by the pound, and with a message!


4. Vogel State Park

This cute get-away allowed us to first go up to Vogel State Park where we hiked the Bear Hair Trail with the dogs, and I got to go for a run on the Georgia Death Race course.

The hike on Bear Hair was awesome – lots of beautiful plants, including “flaming azaelias,” a local wild flower, and plenty of water crossings.  There were enough hills to make it a difficult hike, but a fun couple of hours with the pups.

Vogel State Park

Vogel State Park


Then, I hit the Appalachian Trail… a bit easier to run here than on Bear Hair, and not QUITE as much scenery.  The trails are pretty rocky, with some water crossings.  I had never seen these trails during the day!!!  I also had a cathartic moment where I revisited the location where I sprained my ankle.


5. Woody Gap

Monday morning I went for a run at Woody Gap, a section of the Appalachian Trail (AT) between Vogel and Amicalola Falls State Park.  These trails are comparable to the AT by Vogel but has better scenic overlooks and is a bit rockier.

They are a difficult run, but worth the beauty.  I also ran into a bunch of hikers, surprised to see a runner out there!  (Editor’s note: further proof you’re a bad ass.)

Woody Gap

Woody Gap


6. Amicalola Falls

Then we went to Amicalola Falls on Monday afternoon for some more hiking.  While you can also get on the Appalachian Trail for running from here, we stuck to the park area, which was over-crowded due to the holiday weekend.

The park definitely had a more peaceful feel to it with all of the water (Editor’s note: the falls are gorgeous!), and the hiking was actually pretty difficult.  I was pooped after just a few short miles.  The dogs were ready to go too!

Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls



Overall, it was one of the best Memorial Day weekends I have ever had!!  5 sets of trails AND a bike ride in 5 days – BLISS!  This was all followed by an adjustment on Monday night with Nate, who also adjusted the dogs!  (Editor’s note: Whaaaat?!)

Choose Happy - Voltaire


With all of this activity all over the trails, it’s important to care for your body!  The trails do it for the mind and soul – they make me happy… but how about fueling this type of outdoor activity?

My favorite trail foods are usually foods that provide the right amount of sugars and carbs to keep me going, with just enough protein (Editor’s note: Yay, protein!) to fill me up!


Like Laura’s What I Ate Wednesday, I’m going to give you a “What I Ate on the Trails”:


  1. First, I always fuel on Lara Bars, especially the Cashew Cookie.  I also enjoy the Peanut Butter Cookie.  They have none of the crap that many other bars have.  They are simple ingredients of nuts and dates, unless you get fancier versions, but still few ingredients are added.
  2. Typical trail food also includes potato chips and gummy bears!  (Editor’s note: These hot summer months are the time when I’d be with you on the salt!!!)
  3. I also enjoy the following raw veggies as fuel on the trails – these items don’t squish in your pack, and they take a bit longer to digest, so you get a constant supply of the sugar and carbs you need to keep going:
  • Apples
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sliced Beets
  • Packets of Honey (you can make these at home)
  • The puppies enjoyed some beets while hiking


However, even more than eating just right, it is very important to hydrate!  Sunday, I drank over a gallon of water between breakfast and dinner, and I was still thirsty!  It’s getting hotter, and this is my plug about being smart with hydration (and it doesn’t hurt to throw in some electrolytes like coconut water) so you can go all day and not feel bad!

I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend and are enjoying the warm summer weather!


Just when I think I’m active… I read Kat’s post. ;)

What are your favorite outdoor sports?  Any favorite trails?

Do you like to run or hike with your dogs?



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  1. lucie@swissfitchick

    First, these pancakes look so good, I DEFINITELY need to mix up a batch on the weekend!!
    Trail Running is my fave. I am lucky enough to have a trail 10 minutes run from my house and it is even spread with different wooden workout stations, so in between running, you can insert strength exercises. These trails are spread all over Switzerland and I love ‘em!!

    1. Laura

      That sounds so cool! We have a little workout station in the park here, but would love something on a trail.

    2. Kat

      Those trails sound awesome! Maybe a little more groomed? or do they put the stations in the woods? Very cool!

  2. Miz

    we havent hiked as a family in EONS and are off off off to do that in the woods of CA this weekend.

    1. Kat

      Did you take pups?! How was it? Where in Cali? I’ve done some running in Muir Woods and at Mt Tam! Love it!

  3. Nikki

    Congratulations!!!! What a great accomplishment :) And those trails look gorgeous! I wish we had stuff like that around where I live in MD!

    1. Kat

      Thanks so much! It was awesome! I bet you do…. there has to be… look up to see if there is a trail running group or society and they can point you in the right direction.

  4. Lee

    We sometimes go to Stone Mountain or Kennesaw Mountain. I’d like to explore some of these others. Congrats on law school!

    1. Kat

      Thanks Lee! Your comment reminded me to go back to Kennesaw this past weekend, and I had a great time. Funny enough, I have never been on Stone Mountain Trails.

  5. Linz @ Itz Linz

    i wish there were more places in st. louis to hike!

    1. Kat

      Oh yeah, I bet it’s a little flatter there… but you’re not far from Tennessee and Alabama.. there are tons there!

  6. Morganne @ NutButterRunner

    Yayyyy! Thank you so much for making the pancakes! I can’t even tell you how happy that makes me! :)
    I’ve also been interested in learning more about trail running! I wish I had more trails in Nashville!
    Hope you have a great Thursday!

    1. Laura

      They rocked! I love pancakes. :)

    2. Kat

      Well, the good news is that just TWO hours from Nashville, there are trails in Georgia! Check out the pinhoti trail. I’m going this weekend! Message me if you want some more info at kats319@gmail.com. Really.. you’re so close to some great trails!

  7. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Definitely need to try those pancakes Laura! I’ve been looking for a high protein pancake that didn’t use protein powder.

    And Kat – awesome that you take your dogs on hikes! Mine is only 12 weeks old and he’s a pug, so I don’t think he’s quite built for trails…maybe when he gets a little bit older I can take him on some shorter ones!

    1. Laura

      That was my goal with these – I like to have as many “real” protein sources as possible.

  8. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    I love love love to hike!! And now I’m looking forward to hiking with Shazam. I think we’ll have a blast. :)

    1. Kat

      Is Shazam your pup?! Love the name! and Yay for hiking buddies!

  9. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    We have a few small trails over here by Lake Lanier that I love. We actually just bought a book on Georgia trails that we’ve yet to have time to really look at. I’m hoping that we can do more hiking in the fall!

    1. Laura

      There’s SO much out here. We mest Lindsay for a blogger hike once… maybe time to do that again!

    2. Kat

      Let me know if you want even more tips! There are really some great trails! Different areas around Lake Lanier do have some good ones too!

  10. RavieNomNoms

    Love that! “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health”

    1. Kat

      Thanks – it is SO true! :)

  11. Annette@FitnessPerks

    Those pancakes loooook soo soo good!!!

    I love to hike–esp w/my husband! he always has all the good gear & takes care of me :) awww

    1. Kat

      Lol! I carry the gear for my mate too! helps to get your partner out there with you! ;)

  12. Kierston @candyfit

    Mmmmmmmmmm…I love pancakes!

    Puppy likes to go anywhere with me :)

    1. Kat

      What kind of puppy do you have?!? I love the companionship!

  13. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist

    I made the yummiest cottage cheese pancakes (inspired by my LOVE of Nigella Lawson) and I seriously can’t get over how fab they are. Cheesecake for breakfast for sure!

    1. Laura

      I don’t know why I don’t make them more – ricotta makes a great pancakes too!

  14. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I LOVE that bike, I’m seriously drooling! In the triathlon world, we call that bike porn (although I guess I’m a little out of that world recently). Another fun trail to run in Atlanta is Big Creek in Alpharetta – I used to work around the corner from it and it’s a great option in that area!

    1. Laura

      I haven’t done that! Adding to the list. :)

    2. Kat

      I haven’t been to Big Creek yet! Thanks for the tip! I will have to check that out. And yes, total bike porn! She is such a nice ride, you have no idea!!!!!!! (bad pun intended)

  15. Alison

    Love all the trail reviews! My husband and I will have to try one if we are in the area…

    1. Kat

      Thanks so much! I hope you do! Where do you live? Any great trails there? I plan on running trails in every state!

      1. Alison

        San Diego, California. We have a ton of trails!!!

  16. Christine

    What great trails! Kind of jealous. And a hiker hostel – sweet! Thank you for sharing the review of the trails!

    1. Kat

      Thanks so much! Don’t be jealous… you can get out there too! :) So wonderful.

  17. Purelytwins

    Jax loves going on hikes!!
    and we still use the word moist- it does not bother us as much as other people. its just a word ;) haha

    1. Laura

      LOL! There’s something about it that makes me squirm…

  18. Alyssa @ Road to RD

    Hiking is one of my favorite workouts. Those pancakes sound great!

    1. Kat

      Thanks for the comment! Hiking really is such a good workout and I never think of it that way – just as a fun day outside. :)

  19. Kasia @ FitInScrubs

    Beautiful post – those trails are gorgeous! Love your new bike! Really inspires me to get more into trail running around where I live. Thanks for sharing, Kat & Laura :)

    1. Kat

      Thanks for the comment! :) It was SOOO hard to narrow down the pictures.

  20. CCU

    I am not big on hiking but must admit, the trails look wonderful :D
    And I love these pancakes, they look incredible!

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. Kat

      I always love to see your comments! :) They bring a smile! Thanks!

  21. Jody - Fit at 55

    Thx for always sharing Kat & here great posts! I have not hiked – real hiked in a long time.. I love the beauty but I always want to go back to a hotel room for sure – I am not a camper.. :)

  22. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Congrats on your graduation, Kat!! Looks like you know how to celebrate too! ;)

    Oh wow! Those falls are gorgeous! Would love to have something like that around here! I am a huge fan of hiking…actually, the man-friend and I had plans to go this past weekend, but got rained out so we’re hoping to find a good place this weekend!

    So Laura, I’m kinda feeling put out…all these pancakes you’ve been whipping up lately…like you’re never gonna ask for my pancakes again! :(

    1. Laura

      Well, since you quit making pancakes SOMEONE had to pick up your slack. :p

    2. Kat

      Thanks so much!! :) Sorry for the delayed response. I got a lil crazy with bar review! Where did you find to hike??? I want to branch out even more! :)

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