December 19, 2006
|This week, we hiked on the Bartram Trail in the top edge of Georgia just south of the NC line. We hiked from Hale Ridge Road at the Bartram Trail crossing southward to Georgia's 2nd highest mountain peak, Rabun Bald (elevation 4,696 ft.).
HIKERS - John Bellamy, Phil Brownrigg, Ray Cowan, Jack Jacobi, Dick Metzgar, Steve Metzgar, Wayne Miller, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker.
TRAIL INFO. - This portion of the Bartram Trail is one of our group's favorite hikes. The trail is always well-maintained and the views are very nice and the difficulty level is moderate. There is lots of mostly flat walking and also plenty of climbing as you work your way up to the top of this awesome mountain. The viewing platform built on the old C.C.C. tower gives some of the most awesome views in Georgia. On clear days, you can see more than 100 miles into NC, SC, and GA.
Total hiking distance - 8.4 miles. Rating - Moderate with considerable elevation change.
Directions: Take Hwy. 441 N from Clayton, GA through Dillard, GA and turn right onto GA 246 / NC 106 toward Highlands, NC. Drive about 7 miles and turn right at the Scaly Mtn. Ski Slope (Hale Ridge Rd.) Go a couple of miles and turn left on Hale Ridge road. Drive a mile or so and you will see the trail crossing sign on your right.
Another great day for a hike - Mostly sunny, windy and cool with temperatures from the low 40's to mid 60's F.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: White-breasted Nuthatch, Dark-eyed Junco, Crow, and Carolina Chickadee.
scroll down for photos.......
Our starting point on Hale Ridge Road.
Pretty little waterfall about a half-mile into the hike.
The leaf of a Putty Root Orchid. The single leaf appears in the winter months.
The flower spike appears during the Summer after the leaf fades away.
Crossing one of several foot-bridges on the trail.
From the observation deck at Rabun Bald we get views in every direction.
The mountains were very hazy today and the wind made the conditions very chilly!
View 4 overlooking the town of Sky Valley, GA.
We decided to have lunch at the base of the tower to get shelter from the wind.
Working our way back down the mountain.
Rhododendron flower buds - Will bloom next July!
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front) Phil Brownrigg, Tony Presley, Bruce O'Connor, and Ray Cowan. (l-r back) Dan Ross, Jack Jacobi, Doug Russell, John Bellamy, Jeanne O'Connor, Wayne Miller, Bob Thompson, Steve Metzgar, Donna Presley, Dick Metzgar, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker.