The Appalachian Trail - Indian Grave Gap - Tray Mountain - High Shoals Trail

May 25, 2010

Today's hike was on two trails in Towns Co. GA. First, we hiked the High Shoals Trail which is a 2.4 miles round trip hike featuring two beautiful waterfalls (Blue Hole Falls and High Shoals Creek Falls). Next, we hiked the Appalachian Trail from Indian Grave Gap to the summit of Tray Mt. (5.2 mi. round trip) (the second highest peak on the GA portion of the A.T. at 4,430 ft.)

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Phil Brownrigg, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Pam Euliss, Bill Hunt, Dick Metzgar, Jeanne O'Connor, Don Preece, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, John Ray, Dan Ross, Pom Sinnock, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker and Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFORMATION - The High Shoals Trail is an absolutely beautiful 1.2 mile trail featuring two very nice waterfalls. First Blue Hole Falls, then High Shoals Creek Falls. Both falls have nice observation decks. Next, the Appalachian Trail section starting at Indian Grave Gap - The trail climbs steadily through a beautiful hardwood forest featuring oak, hikory, beech, magnolia, rhododendron, azalea and mountain laurel among others. The trail is maintained very well and the climb up Tray Mountain rewards the hiker with beautiful mountain views.

Today's hiking distance - 7.6 miles - High Shoals 2.4 mi. and A.T. 5.2 mi. Both trails are moderately strenuous due to elevation change.

Directions: Take GA 75 north from Helen for 11.4 miles (this takes you past Unicoi Gap). Turn right onto Indian Grave Gap Road (High Shoals Area sign), graveled Forest Service Road 283. Follow this road 1.1 miles to a small parking lot on the left with sign for High Shoals Trail. For Indian Grave Gap, drive an additional 2.4 miles up Indian Grave Gap Road to a small parking lot on the right. You will see a sign here for Andrews Cove Campground.

Another great day for a hike! Partly cloudy and mild. Temperatures ranged from 65 to 75 degrees F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: American Euonymus (Hearts-a -burstin), Barren Strawberry, Yellow Star Grass, Partridge Berry, Indian Cucumber Root, Vasey's Trillium, Catesby's Trillium, Cinquefoil, Indian Physic, Tall Bluet, Mountain Laurel, Flame Azalea, Catawba Rhododendrun, Foamflower, Yellowroot, Rattlesnake weed, Robin's Plantain, Galax, Flowering Spurge, Goat's Beard, Cow Wheat, Solomon's Seal, Solomon's Plume, Twisted stalk, Tall Buttercup, Star Chickweed, Mouse Ear Chickweed, Yellow Wood Sorrel, Blackberry, Dewberry, Deerberry, Gray Beardtongue, Alternate-leafed Dogwood, Maple-leafed Viburnum, Spiderwort, Wood Betony, Four-leafed Milkweed and Ragwort.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Northern Flicker, Red Eyed Vireo, Pileated Woodpecker, Oven Bird, Hooded Warbler, Acadian Fly Catcher, Crow, Red Start, Tufted Titmouse, Pine Warbler, Black & White Warbler, Scarlet Tananger, Veery, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Junco, Black Throated Blue Warbler, Broad Wing Hawk, Carolina Chickadee.

scroll down for photos and video from today's hike.......

Our first hike today!
This trail is downhill to Blue Hole Falls and then continues downhill to High Shoals Creek Falls.
An absolutely beautiful waterfall! Blue Hole Falls
Not to be outdone! High Shoals Creek Falls
Both waterfalls have nice observation decks!
Next, we drive up the road a couple of miles to Indian Grave Gap and join the Appalachian Trail.
Wildflowers were spectacular today. Here are a few of today's flowers. (top left then clockwise) Flame Azalea, Catawba Rhododendron, Cow-wheat, Beardtongue.
As we approach Tray Gap, we see Tray Mountain ahead.
As we start the climb up Tray, we enter the Tray Mountain Wilderness area.
View one from Tray Mt. (4,430 ft.)
View two!
View three
We had lunch on Tray Mt. with a couple of nice thru-hikers from northern Virginia.
A brother-sister team of Brenna and Dillon Jewell.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r seated) Geri Whitaker, Donna Presley, Jeanne O'Connor, Carole Wintle, Vic Robson and Pam Euliss. (l-r standing) David Whitaker, John Ray, Dan Ross, Greta Driggers, Dick Metzgar, June Bellamy, Jim Driggers, Phil Brownrigg, Don Preece, John Bellamy, Pom Sinnock, Bill Hunt and Tony Presley

click below for more photos!
Tray Mt 5-25-10

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