May 30, 2006
|This week's hike was on the Bartram Trail from Courthouse Gap to Windy Gap. This is an excellent hike through a great hardwood forest in the mountains of N.E. Georgia. Hiking this time of year gives a nice shade canopy for the entire hike. If the trail is hiked during the winter months, there are great mountain views. The trail is accessed from a connector trail near Camp Pinnacle just north of Clayton, GA.
HIKERS - John Bellamy, Terry Doyle, Jack Jacobi, Dick Metzgar, Wayne Miller, Bruce O'Connor, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker.
TRAIL INFO. - The Bartram Trail is very well maintained and the footing is excellent. First, you take about a half-mile connector trail up to Courthouse Gap and it is a significant climb. From Courthouse Gap you turn left onto the Bartram Trail and continue climbing and climbing with a few flat areas between.
Distance hiked - approx. 8 miles - Moderately difficult due to elevation gain of more than 1,000 feet.
Directions: Take Warwoman road out of Clayton for .8 miles, and you'll see a sign for Pinnacle Camp. Take a left turn off Warwoman Road onto Pinnacle Dr. Follow that road all the way, 1.1 miles, passing the camp, to Courthouse Gap Road. Take a right, and go .2 miles until you see a gravel road, with parking areas beneath power lines. Park there, and walk up that road about a tenth of a mile, over one culvert, until you see the trail heading left, up some rock steps, just before a second culvert.
Another great day for a hike! Fair with temperatures ranging from the lower 70's to 90 F.
FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Black-eyed-Susan, Oxeye Daisy, Tall Bluet, Solomon's Seal, White Milkweed, Four-leafed Milkweed, Poke Milkweed, Fire Pink, Spiderwort, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Pipsissawa, Twistedstalk, Mountain Laurel, Tulip Poplar, Daisy Fleabane, Galax, Ragwort, Yellow Wood Sorrell, Yellow star Grass, Golden Alexander, Rattlesnake Weed, Cinquefoil, Flowering Spurge, Indian Physic, Meadow Rue, Tall Meadow Rue, Squaw Root, Whorled Loosestrife and an unidentified erect Trillium approx 7" tall.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Blue Jay, Titmouse, Chipping Sparrow, Red Eyed Vireo, Crow, Carolina Wren, Wood Thrush, Pileated Woodpecker, Hooded Warbler, Oven Bird, White Breasted Nuthatch, Scarlet Tananger, PeeWee, Yellow Throated Vireo, Black and White Warbler, Red Tailed Hawk.
Heading up Pinnacle connector trail to Courthouse Gap.
You know you're on the Bartram Trail when you see the yellow diamond markers.
The marker at Courthouse Gap.
"Nuggett" leads Geri on the way to Windy Gap.
We saw three kinds of Milkweed blooming. Two of these are pictured.
White Milkweed (left) and Four-leaved Milkweed (right)
Just coming out of one of several thick tunnels of Rhododendrons.
The most unusual item of the day! An old saddle and horse blanket
in the middle of nowhere on the side of the trail.
Evidently, the Bartram Trail marks the boundary of the Wildlife Managment Area.
We saw many of these signs along the way.
The engraved rocks at Windy Gap.
Lunchtime at Windy Gap!
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front) "Nuggett and David Whitaker, Bruce O'Connor, Donna Presley and Geri Whitaker. (middle l-r) Wayne Miller, Doug Russell, John Bellamy and Jack Jacobi. (back l-r) Tony Presley, Dick Metzgar, Terry Doyle and Dan Ross.