Appalachian Trail - Blood Mountain, GA

May 9, 2006

This week's hike was on the Appalachian Trail from the Byron Herbert Reese Park to the summit of Blood Mountain. We also added an extra one mile loop. This is a very nice hike to the highest point on the Georgia Portion of the Appalachian Trail (4,478 ft). This portion of the Appalachian trail is very rocky and involves an elevation gain of approximately 1,400 ft. It is the most hiked portion of the A.T. in Georgia. We had special guests along on today's hike! Brandon Arnold and Shane Keating from GPTV's "Georgia Outdoors" television show came along with us and taped lots of footage for a future show.

HIKERS - Melissa Anderson, John Bellamy, Katie Brownrigg, Phil Brownrigg, Ray Cowan, Terry Doyle, Jack Jacobi, Dick Metzgar, Wayne Miller, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Bob Presley, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Dave Standard, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker. (Brandon Arnold and Shane Keating from GPTV)

TRAIL INFO. - The trail is in excellent condition and is considered moderately difficult due to large elevation change.

Total hiking distance today, 6 miles (some did 8 mi).

Directions: Take US 19 and 129, north from Cleveland, GA and drive approximately 18 miles to the Byron Herbert Reese Park just a half mile past Neels Gap and the Walasi-Yi Center.

Another great day for a hike! Mostly cloudy with fog, temperatures ranging from the mid 50's to the mid 60's F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Yellow Ladyslipper, Pink Ladyslipper, Catesby's Trillium, Vasey's Trillium, Painted Trillium, White Erect Trillium, Wood Anemone, Wood Betony, Micheaux's Saxifrage, golden Alexander, Fire Cherry, Deerberry, Blueberry, Huckleberry, Green-striped Maple, Ragwort, Fraziers magnolia, Bluet, Tall Bluet, Dewberry, Meadow Rue, Birds's Foot Violet, Sweet White Violet, Purple Violet, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Buttercup, Small-flowered Bellwort, Rattlesnake Weed, Solomon's Seal, Twistedstalk, False Solomon's Seal, Wild Geranium, Blue Star, Vetch, Yellow Star Grass, Robin's Plantain, Indian Cucumber Root and Dwarf Iris.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Oven Bird, Towhee, Hooded Warbler, Red Eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush, Scarlet Tanager, Black & White Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Wren, Pine Warbler, Black Throated Green Warbler & Titmouse.

Click for movie clip from today's hike!

Wilderness sign near the start.
The amazing balanced boulder near Neels Gap.
John is checking the stability of the boulder!
GPTV's crew shoots the clusters of Pink Lady Slippers.
We found a rare treat....a Yellow Lady Slipper!
A very rare Canine Flower!
As you can see, the fog was heavy this morning.
The historic Blood Mountain Shelter, built in the 1930's by the C.C.C.
Our lunch spot on the boulders next to the shelter.
From the boulders, there are normally magnificent mountain views,
but today, the fog obscured the views.
Brandon and Shane tape some interviews for "Georgia Outdoors".
A nice cluster of 10 Pink Lady Slippers!
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front) Tony Presley, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, Donna Presley, Bob Presley, Melissa and "Bo" Anderson, and Dave Standard. (back l-r) Shane Keating (camera) and Brandon Arnold (producer - Georgia Outdoors), Terry Doyle, Wayne Miller, Dan Ross, Katie Brownrigg, Phil Brownrigg, Bruce O'Connor, Bob Thompson, Jeanne O'Connor, John Bellamy, Jack Jacobi, Doug Russell, Ray Cowan and Dick Metzgar.

to Tony's Hiking Page.