Appalachian Trail - Gooch Gap to Cooper Gap , GA - March 31, 2009

Today's hike was on the Appalachian Trail starting at Gooch Gap hiking almost to Cooper Gap and back. 9 miles total.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Dave Hinson, Jack Jacobi, Linda Johnson, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Don Preece, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Faye Sisson, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker and Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFORMATION - A very nice hike on the A.T. with nice mountain views along the way through this beautiful North Georgia hardwood forest. Pretty mountain creeks along with Gooch Mountain and Justus Mountain providing elevation changes to help keep your heart rate up.

Directions: Take Hwy. 129 N from Cleveland, GA for about 15 mi. then turn left at Turner's Corner and travel several miles to Hwy 60 (rock pile) turn right and drive to the top of the mountain and continue past the A.T. crossing at Woody Gap. Going down the mountain to Suches turn left onto Gooch Gap Road which becomes Forest Service Rd. 42 and continue 2.7 miles to Gooch Gap.

Another great day for a hike!  Cloudy with some sprinkles toward the end of the hike with temperatures ranging from the low to mid 50's degrees F. Hiking distance - 9 miles.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Pussy Toes, Bloodroot, Halberd leafed violet, Yellow Round-leafed Violet, Purple Violet, Yellow Toadshade Trillium, Purple Toadshade Trillium, Cut-leafed Toothwort, Star Chickweed, Spicebush and Peach Tree.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Towhee, Red Shouldered Hawk, Titmouse, Crow, Pileated Woodpecker, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren, Wild Turkey.

scroll down for photos.......

Trailhead parking lot at Gooch Gap on F.S. Rd 42.
Trail sign near the start
Another great day for a hike on the A.T. in Georgia!
Crossing the bridge over Justus Creek.
One of the famous white blazes marking the path from Georgia to Maine.
The sign pointing to the Gooch Mountain Shelter.
Crossing Blackwell Creek.
Walking down Justus Mountain we look across to F.S. Rd. 42. The pink blossoms are wild peach.
Our lunch spot for the day. A rock outcropping above Cooper Gap.
Looking across to Sassafras Mountain.
We had a "Rock Woman" sighting!
Mushroom of the week!
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r kneeling) Bruce O'Connor, Linda Johnson, Donna Presley, Geri Whitaker and David Whitaker. (l-r back) Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Jeanne O'Connor, Jack Jacobi, Carole Wintle, Don Preece, Faye Sisson, John Bellamy, Vic Robson, June Bellamy and Dave Hinson.

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