April 7, 2018, Cloudland Canyon State Park: Mid-Spring Wildflowers, Dade County

Posted under: Northwest Georgia .

Trip Leader: Rich Reaves

Meet: Saturday, April 7 at 10:00 am

Description: We will do a walk-through from the top of the Canyon down to Sitton Gulch – including descending the stairs. If you have a car that can easily ferry people, please try and arrive a bit early and we will ferry a few vehicles to the bottom to provide a soft trip back up at the end of the day. We should see sulcate trillium (Trillium sulcatum), sweet little Betsy (Trillium cuneatum), decumbent Trillium (Trillium decumbens), doll’s eyes (Actea pachypoda), deciduous magnolias, wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), larkspur (Delphinium tricorne), up to a dozen species of violets, and more.  If it is a late spring, then we may catch some harbinger of spring (Erigenia bulbosa), trout lilies (Erythronium americanum), and toothworts (Cardamine Concatenata, C. angustata, and C. dissecta) in the canyon as well.

Directions: From Atlanta take I-75 to exit 320. Go west on GA 136 through Villanow and Naomi (slight jog to left and then right). At Lafayette, take US 27 bypass around town to the north and follow the signs to stay on 136 the Park’s main entrance.  Turn into the park and proceed to the East Rim Overlook parking area. Meet promptly at the Overlook parking area.

Alternately, you can take interstate to Trenton (I-75 north to l-24 West to I59 South) and then follow 136 from the west side back to the park. About the same time from Atlanta, but a greater distance.

Walking: Moderate, primarily due to the rocky and uneven footing, Moderate, but a lot of steps (575) on a maintained trail with stairs (we hope to only go down the stairs). Sturdy shoes with good tread are recommended as there will be rocky, uneven ground, one small stream to rock-hop or wade, and other parts of the walk that usually are wet and sloppy. We hope to go down the stairs only and shuttle cars back to the top.  You should only have to go back up the stairs if you want to.

Facilities: Facilities at the top of the canyon at the visitor center and at the overlook or at fast food joints in Trenton.  None in the Canyon or at the bottom

Bring: Lunch, water, bug spray.  We will eat somewhere down the canyon after we cross the creek.

Contact: Rich Reaves   rich.reaves@ att.net    770-827-5186 – cell but may not have service at trailhead