Sunday, June 9, 2013, Wildcat Ridge and Cowrock Mountain, Fannin County
Posted under: North Georgia .
Field Trip Leader: Tom Govus
Meet: 10:00 at the parking area for the AT at Hogpen Gap on the Richard Russell Scenic Highway.
Description: We will first hike up to the crest of Wildcat Ridge and examine rock outcrop communities and a dwarf oak – purple rhododendron woodland, taking in spectacular views of the Southern Blue Ridge. We will then use the AT to climb to the summit of Cowrock Mountain and look at a basic cedar woodland and additional outcrops. The purple rhododendron may still be in bloom. We also should see fameflower (Talinum teretifolium – now treated as Phemeranthus), crag-jangle (Heuchera villosa), wafer-ash (Ptelea trifoliata), mountain dwarf-dandelion (Krigia montana), and creeping aster (Eurybia surculosa). We will also pass through a rich mesic oak – hickory forest and see some nutrient-demanding herbaceous species.
Directions: From Helen: take Hwy 75-A south to its junction with the Richard Russell Scenic Highway (GA 348) and go north to the highest point (about 6.5 miles) where the AT crosses and there is a large parking area and kiosk. From Blairsville: go south on US Hwy 19-129 about 7.5 miles to its junction with GA 180, and turn left, then go about 0.9 mile east to the northern end of Richard Russell Scenic Hwy (GA Hwy 348), then turn right and follow Hwy 348 to Hog Pen Gap, the highest point on the highway and look for parking area and kiosk on left (about 6.8 miles). You can also reach the Richard Russell Hwy from Cleveland or Dahlonega.
Bathroom Facilities: none
Walking Difficulty: This hike is moderately strenuous and will involve a walk of about 4 miles, and climbs of about 800 feet in elevation twice.
Bring: Lunch, snacks, and water. Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes. You may wish to bring hiking poles, binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.
Contact: Tom Govus (H) 706-276