Appalachian Trail - Indian Grave Gap - Tray Mountain

June 3, 2008

Today's hike started at Indian Grave Gap on the Appalachian Trail , GA. We hiked to the summit of Tray Mountain (4,430 ft elevation) and down the other side to a nice lunch spot.
Hiking distance approximately 7 miles round trip.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Thomas Bowers, Karen Brown, Russell Burken, Greta Driggers, Pam Euliss, Jack Jacobi, Deena Johns, Linda Johnson, Bob Magee, Wanda Miller, Wayne Miller, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFO. - A beautiful portion of the Appalachian Trail. Beautiful woodland hike mostly in the Tray Mountain Wilderness including some nice mountain views, wildflowers, Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurel, etc.

Difficulty rating - Moderately strenuous with some significant hills - large elevation change.

Directions: Take GA 75 north from Helen for 11.4 miles. Turn right onto Indian Grave Gap Road (High Shoals Area sign), graveled Forest Service Road 283. Follow this road 1.5 miles to a small parking lot at the trailhead. (The road fords a fairly shallow stream before continuing to the parking lot.)

Another great day for a hike!  Fair to partly cloudy, with temperatures ranging from the upper 60's to the mid 80's F.

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Whorled Loosestrife, Mountain Laurel, Flame Azalea, Catawba Rhododendrun, Ox-eye Daisy, Daisy Fleabane, Cinquefoil, Galax, Solomon's Seal, False Solomom's Seal, Tall Bluet, Cow Wheat, Indian Cucumberroot, Spiderwort, Grey Beardtongue, Catesby's Trillium, Vasey's Trillium, Maple-leafed Viburnum, Star Chickweed, Squawroot, Wood Betony, Ragwort, Buckberry, Blackberry, Carrion Flower, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Hooked Buttercup, Fire Pink and Goat's Beard.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Raven, Crow, Oven Bird, Scarlet Tananger, Red Eyed Vireo, Chipping Sparrow, Flicker, Titmouse, Summer Tananger, Hooded Warbler, Towhee, Turkey Vulture, Carolina Wren, PeeWee, Crested Flycatcher, Blue Jay, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Pine Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Wood Thrush, Yellow Warbler, Black Throated Green Warbler, Black and White Warbler.

scroll down for photos.......

Trail sign near our starting point.
Taking a short break at the place called "The Cheese Factory". Historic location of a goat cheese factory.
The beautiful Flame Azalea!
Looking up toward Tray Mountain from the trail.
The trail marker near the base of Tray Mountain. .
The wilderness sign near Tray Gap.
Beautiful Catawba Rhododendrons were everywhere!
A view from the summit of Tray Mountain.
Beyond the summit we pass though a section of the trail that looks like a botanical garden!
Lunchtime on the Appalachian Trail.
Thomas Bowers on his first hike with the OFHC since his return from Iraq!!!
Another great day for a hike!
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front)Thomas Bowers, Bruce O'Connor, Wanda Miller, Donna Presley, Geri Whitaker, David Whitaker and Tony Presley. (l-r middle) Pam Euliss, Jeanne O'Connor, Deena Johns, Greta Driggers, Carole Wintle, Bob Magee, Karen Brown, Linda Johnson, Vic Robson, Doug Russell and Jack Jacobi (l-r back) Dan Ross, Bob Thompson, Russell Burken, June Bellamy, John Bellamy and Wayne Miller.

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