| Today's hike was on the Jack's Knob Trail up to the summit of Brasstown Bald (Georgia's highest peak at 4,784 ft.) On clear days, the spectacular 360-degree view from atop the mountain allows you to see four states, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Today was cloudy with fog and a couple of brief showers with no views, but it was still another great day for a hike!
HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Karen Brown, Greta Driggers, Pam Euliss, Dave Hinson, Bill Hunt, Jeanne O'Connor, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Joe Raguckas, Vic Robson, Doug Russell, Pom Sinnock, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker and Carole Wintle.
TRAIL INFORMATION - This portion of the Jack's Knob Trail is a steep climb from the intersection of Highway 180 and 180 Spur up to the parking lot of Brasstown Bald. From the parking lot there is a .6 mile asphalt trail up to the summit to the Brasstown Bald Visitors Center which has a nice interpretive center with great observation deck for the awesome 360 degree views on clear days.
Today's hiking distance - 7 miles with large elevation changes - moderately strenuous.
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. "180 Spur" 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! Cloudy, foggy with a couple of brief showers, cool, and breezy at the summit. Temperatures ranged from 60-70 degrees F.
FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Umbrella Leaf, galax, cowwheat, maple-leafed viburnum, rattlesnake hawkweed, star chickweed, squaw-root, thyme-leafed bluets, woodland bluets, hairy buttercup, smallflowered buttercup, catesby's trillium, common cinquefoil, stonecrop, solomon's seal, solomon's plume, pink lady's slipper, flame azalea, tulip poplar, lyre-leafed sage, dandelion, Indian cucumber root, fleabane daisy, yellow wood-sorrel, tall meadow-rue, mountain laurel, catawba rhododendron, rosebay rhododendron, pipsissawa, mountain ash, hawthorn, and toothwort.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Black Throated Blue Warbler, Red Start, Oven Bird, Red Eyed Vireo, Hooded Warbler, Tufted Titmouse, Pileated Woodpecker, Common Yellow Throat, Black Throated Green Warbler, Carolina Wren, Scarlet Tananger, Veery, Dark Eyed Junco, Pine Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Blue Jay, White Breasted Nuthatch.
scroll down for photos.......
Our hike started at the intersection of Highway 180 and 180 Spur on the Jack's Knob Trail.
Headed up the mountain in the fog.
The Rhododendrons are beginning to bloom!
As we approach the top of the first mountain, we find lots of gnarly old trees and hikers.
Beautiful Catawba Rhododendrons were blooming!
The Jack's Knob trail empties into the parking lot of Brasstown Bald. We are in fog or clouds.
We then hiked up the .6 mile Summit Trail to the visitors center.
This is the marker at the end of the trail.
The Visitor Center
Walking up the sidewalk to the center.
Exiting the visitor center in the rain after lunch.
We met a couple from Florida with these nice adopted Labs.
Walking down the long parking lot to the Jack's Knob Trail.
We saw quite a few Pink Lady Slippers.
Nature's marvel of the day: Old man in a tree
.....blink your eyes a few times and see if you see a nose, mouth, eyes of old man.
The OFHC gang for today's hike (in the Brasstown Bald Visitor Center). (l-r kneeling) Tony Presley, Carole Wintle, Vic Robson, Donna Presley, Geri Whitaker and David Whitaker . (l-r standing) June Bellamy, John Bellamy, Karen Brown, Joe Raguckas, Dave Hinson, Jeanne O'Connor, Bill Hunt, Greta Driggers, Pam Euliss, Pom Sinnock and Doug Russell.