September 13, 2005
|Today, we hiked from Andrews Cove Campground near Helen, GA on the connector trail up to the Appalachian Trail at Indian Grave Gap and then on up to the summit of Tray Mountain, which is the second highest peak on the Georgian portion of the A.T. (4,430 ft.) |
HIKERS - Don Alducin, John Bellamy, Phil Brownrigg, Ray Cowan, Ray Hopper, Jack Jacobi, Doug Russell, Bob Presley, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Brad Ter Keurst, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker.
TRAIL INFO. - The connector trail from Andrews Cove up to the Appalachian Trail follows Andrews Creek and has a very steep section without switchbacks. After 2 miles, you reach Indian Grave Gap and the A.T. The elevation gain is approximately 2,300 ft from the campground to the summit of Tray Mountain. Total hiking distance - 9.7 miles.
Directions: Take GA 75 north from Helen for 5 miles. Turn right into the Andrews Cove Recreation Area. Bear to the right and drive to the upper camping area parking lot,
Trail is mostly moderately difficult due to large elevation change.
Another great day for a hike! Partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from the low 60's to the mid 70's.
FLOWERS IN BLOOM: White Snakeroot, White Woods Aster, Asters, Goldenrods, Gloden Glow, Whorled Coreopsis, Alumroot, Heal All, Dodder, Indian Plaintain, Hog Peanut, Phlox, Tall Bluet, Spiderwort, Rattlesnake Plaintain Orchid, Yellow-fringed Orchid, Pink Turtlehead, Mountain Mint, Horse Balm, Yellow wood Sorrel, Asiatic Dayflower, Tall Lobelia, Ladies' Thumb, Starry Campion, Elephant Foot, Flowering Spurge, Southern Harebell.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Blue Jay, Pilieated Woodpecker, White Breasted Nuthatch, Towhee, PeeWee, Crow & Red Eyed Vireo, and King Bird. Snakes - Garter Snake
Getting ready at Andrews Cove.
After walking uphill for quite a while, we take a short break to tell stories. .
After 2 mi., we reach the A.T. and Indian Grave Gap.
Our first view of Tray Mountain.
We enter the Tray Mountain Wilderness area.
View one from Tray
View two shows lots of haze blocking the mountains..
Lunchtime on the summit of Tray Mtn.
This portion of the A.T. is mostly hardwoods, rhododendrons and mountain laurel.
Some of the wildflowers on the trail:
(top left - clockwise)Southern Harebell, White Wood Aster,
White Snake Root, Turtleheads.