June 6, 2006
|This week's hike was on the Jack's Knob Trail from Highway 180 to Brasstown Bald. This is a nice hike to one of the most beautiful spots anywhere. Georgia's highest mountian peak (4,784 ft) is a popular tourist attraction because of the awesome 360 degree view from a beautiful observation platform and visitors center. Most folks park in the parking lot and walk up the half-mile asphalt trail to the summit or there is a shuttle available for those who are not up to the climb on the trail. Most hikers park at the intersection of Hwy. 180 and alt 180 and hike the Jack's Knob trail up to the Brasstown parking lot and on up to the visitors center. This gives a round trip hike of about 7 miles.
HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Jack Jacobi, Bob Magee, Dick Metzgar, Lynne Porter-Whitmire, Rick Porter-Whitmire, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Dave Standard, Bob Thompson, Kurt Volker, Sharon Volker, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker.
TRAIL INFO. - The Jack's Knob Trail is a nice but hilly trail. First, you start off uphill and climb to the peak of a mountain and then go down the other side to the back of the parking lot for Brasstown Bald. Then, you walk through the quarter mile parking lot to the trail (.6 mile) leading up to the summit of Brasstown Bald to the very nice visitor center.
Distance hiked - approx. 7 miles - Difficulty rating - Challenging due to extreme elevation change.
Directions: Drive North from Helen on Hwy 75 past Unicoi Gap and continue down the other side of the mountain and continue to the intersection of Hwy 180. Turn left on Hwy. 180 and drive to the Hwy. "alt 180" intersection on the right (stop here). There is a parking lot at this intersection for access to the Jack's Knob Trail.
Another great day for a hike! Fair with temperatures ranging from the lower 50's to mid 60's F.
FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Oxeye Daisy, Lyre-leafed Sage, Yellow Star Grass, Tall Bluet, Bluet, Mountain Laurel, Catawba Rhododendrun, Whorled Loosestrife, Cow Wheat, Mountain Ash, Red Osier, Rattlesnake Weed, Hawk Weed, Galax, Catesby's Trillium, Ragweed, Columbine, Flame Azalea, Pink Ladyslipper, Solomon's Seal, False Solomon's Seal, Twisted Stalk, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Robin's Plaintain, Daisy Fleabane, Sun Drop, Cinque Foil, Spiderwort, Blackberry, Deerberry, Indian Physic, and Indian Cucumberroot.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Oven Bird, Pileated Woodpecker, Wood Thrush, Red Eyed Vireo, Titmouse, Hooded Warbler, Blue Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Scarlet Tananger, Black Throated Blue Warbler, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Veery, Summer Tananger, Cat Bird, Broad Winged Hawk, Black and White Warbler, Raven.
The sign at Hwy 180 / alt 180 intersection.
Preparing for the hike.
Many nice Mountain Laurels blooming!
After the climb up the Jack's Knob trail, we arrive at the Brasstown paking lot.
The Brasstown Bald Visitor Center.
View 1 from the summit.
View 3 overlooking the parking lot.
The observation deck of the visitor center.
Headed back down the Jack's Knob Trail.
A beautiful Flame Azalea!
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front)Dick Metzgar, Kurt Volker and John Bellamy. (l-r middle) Geri Whitaker, Donna Presley, Sharon Volker and June Bellamy. (l-r back) Tony Presley, Doug Russell, David Whitaker, Dan Ross, Bob Thompson, Dave Standard, Bob Magee and Jack Jacobi.