Yonah Mountain Trail - GA - March 17, 2009

Today's hike was on the Yonah Mountain Trail located between Cleveland, GA and Helen, GA. We also did the side trails out to various view points on the rock cliffs and massive boulders. Approximately 5.5 miles total.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Karen Brown, Pam Euliss, Dave Hinson, Bill Hunt, Jack Jacobi, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Don Preece, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Joe Raguckas, Vic Robson, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Dave Standard, David Whitaker and Geri Whitaker.

TRAIL INFORMATION - A nice trail with beautiful views of mountains and massive boulders and rock cliffs. It is a favorite destination for rock climbers and rapellers. The trail is naturally hilly since it climbs to the summit of Yonah Mountain. The trail is well laid-out with switchbacks to keep the hills from being too extreme in most places. There are several side trails to vistas and access points for rapellers and rock climbers. For hiking, you can do between 5-6 miles if you take advantage of the side trails as well as the summit trail and the trail over the summit down to the top of the rock cliffs.

Directions: To reach the trailhead, take Hwy 75 north from Cleveland, GA towards Helen. Turn right on Tom Bell Rd at the West Family Restaurant. Then take an immediate left on Chambers Rd. looking for the second gravel road on your left. You will see the parking lot with kiosk and restrooms.

Another great day for a hike!  Fair and mild with temperatures ranging from the low 50's to upper 60's degrees F. Hiking distance - approx. 5.5 miles.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Bloodroot, Spicebush, Purple Violet, Serviceberry and Purple Trillium Flowerbuds.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Red Eyed Vireo, White Breasted Nuthatch, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Crow, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, Phoebe, Turkey Vulture, Cardinal, Great Crested Flycatcher, King Bird, Mourning Dove, Black Vulture, Yellow Throated Vireo. OTHER Fauna - Grey Squirrel, Garden Snail

scroll down for photos.......

Trailhead parking lot.
Headed to the summit of Yonah Mountain.
Typical boulders all along the trail.
Here we have a tight squeeze between boulders.
Amazing tree of the day!
Mountain views all along the trail.
Continuing on the trail over the summit, we get great views
as we approach the top of the rock cliffs.
View as we walk down onto the rock face at the top of the cliffs.
Great view from the cliff.
From this point the view is amazing but a fall from here would not be good!
Here, we access the cliffs from a side trail. Breathtaking!
The rock cliffs had numerous rapelling hooks mounted in the rocks.
Here, we took the Boulder Trail out to a gigantic boulder about the size of a three story building!
We had to scramble down some rocks to get to the base of the boulder.
Another view of the amazing boulder.
A trail snail!
Fungi of the week!
Wildflowers are starting to bloom! Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front) Tony Presley, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, Doug Russell, Donna Presley, Karen Brown, Pam Euliss, Dan Ross, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, June Bellamy, Vic Robson and Dave Standard. (l-r- back) Jack Jacobi, Bill Hunt, Don Preece, John Bellamy, Dave Hinson and Joe Raguckas.

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