You don't need to go to the North Georgia mountains to get into the wild. Just take a trip down Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta. Located deep in the heart of this affluent African-American community sits the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, a dense, 120-acre woodland with steep inclines, a babbling creek and waterfall, deer and more than 150 native plant species. Moss-covered pathways lead to an outdoor education center. Established in 1979 with city, state and federal funds, the former Creek Indian settlement includes an old spring house where tourists once bathed and the remains of a quarry that produced materials to build nearby homes. The preserve could use some TLC, i.e., trail markers, historical plaques and some replacement boards on a bridge near the waterfall. But you have to admire the rugged, semi-forgotten feel of the site, which was also once the scene of the Battle of Utoy Creek, in which Gen. Sherman's Union forces suffered heavy casualties. 2852 Cascade Road. 404-546-6744. atlantaga.gov.