May 23, 2015, at 9:30 am Forest Service Roadside Botanizing in the Cohutta Mountains, Gilmer & Fannin Counties

Posted under: North Georgia.


Pedicularis canadensis

Trip Leader: Rich Reaves

Trillium luteum

Trillium luteum

Meet: Saturday, May 23 at 9:30 am (Note early time), Pinhoti Trail Parking Area on FS90

Description: We will drive along the Forest Service roads stopping to look at flowers along the way. There will be several short excursions form the cars, always along the road. We can expect to find several trilliums, 4-leaved milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia), wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum biflorum), lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majuscula), wood betony (Pedicularis canadensis), fire pink (Silene virginica), and much more. Some years the Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica) is spectacular.

Spigelia marilandica

Spigelia marilandica

Directions: Take I-575/ GA 515 north to East Ellijay to turn left on GA 52 west. At approximately 5 miles west of the square on GA 52, turn right on Gates Chapel Road. When pavement ends, take the right fork (Wilderness Trail/ FR 90 – which is almost straight ahead); Gates Chapel continues as the left fork and you do not want to continue on that. At approximately 0.9 mile, continue straight on FR 90 (DO NOT turn left at WMA sign for Pinhoti Trail) and continue another 0.1 mile to Pinhoti Trail Parking on right side of FR 90(really just a wide turn out at a gated service road).

Convallaria majuscula

Convallaria majuscula

Carpooling is encouraged to minimize our parking footprint on the narrow unpaved roads.

Walking: Easy, probably all within 500 feet of cars.

Facilities:  Only what nature provides.

Silene virginica

Silene virginica

Bring: Lunch, water, bug spray.

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

All photos by Anita & Richard Reaves


Sunday, May 24, 2015, Tennessee Rock Trail, Blackrock Mountain State Park, Rabun County

Posted under: Northeast Georgia.

Trip Leader: Rich Reaves

Meet: Sunday, May 24 at 10:00 am at the Tennessee Rock Trail trailhead

Description: We will hike the Tennessee Rock Trail, a 2.2 mile loop trail profiled in Hugh and Carol Nourse’s book, Favorite Wildflower Walks in Georgia. We should see Trilliums, monkshood (vegetative only), mayapple, cucumber root, azaleas rosebay rhododendron, firepink, poke milkweed, and others.

Directions: Black Rock Mountain State Park, 3085 Black Rock Mountain Pkwy, Mountain City, GA 30562.

Directions: From Clayton, drive 3 mi north on US 441 to Mountain City. Turn left on Black Rock Mountain Pkwy (brown directional signs in Mountain City.) Trailhead is 0.5 mi before Visitor Center.

Walking: 2.2 mi, moderate with steep sections including a 440 ft climb. Part of trail is along ridgeline and steeply downhill on both sides.

Facilities: at the visitor center. Gas/food in Clayton.

Bring: Lunch to eat during walk, water, raingear, insect repellent, sturdy footwear.

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


Monday, May 25, 2015, (Memorial Day), Old Growth Forest Hike, Cooper Creek Scenic Area, Fannin County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet:  10:00 am at the Woody Gap School parking lot, just north of the intersection of GA 60 and GA 180 in Suches.  Be prepared to carpool from that point due to limited parking at the Old Growth Forest Trail.

Description:  This short trail in the Cooper Creek Scenic Area will take us through stands of old-growth forest including yellow poplars with circumferences up to 18 feet. Large black birch, red oak, white oak, and hemlocks also grow in this area.  The trail runs parallel to Cooper Creek, through moist north-facing coves harboring nice wildflower displays, including Trillium vaseyii, masses of Viola canadensis, and a dizzying array of herbs with ternately compound leaves – black cohosh (Actaea), blue cohosh (Caulophyllum), spikenard (Aralia), doll’s eyes (Actaea), Astilbe, Goat’s-beard (Aruncus), Angelica and Ligusticum.    We will eventually come to an area known as the ‘Valley of the Giants’ where the largest trees, yellow poplars, occur on this trail.

Directions:  Take GA 60 north from Dahlonega for approximately 20 miles. GA 180 will intersect from the right in Suches. Meet at the service station on the corner (usually has lots of motorcycles in the parking lot).

Facilities:  The only ‘facilities’ available at the trail site are “large trees in great abundance”.  The last facility is at the Wolfpen Gap Store at the intersection of GA 60 and GA 180, just south of the meeting site.

Walking:  Easy.  The trail follows an old logging road that is fairly level.  We may wander off the trail at times to look for particularly large trees.  We’ll walk a mile in and a mile back, but it will take us at least three miles to do that.

Lunch:  Bring to eat on the trail.

Leader:  Hal Massie, 478-957-6095 (cell),, and Rich Reaves, (cell) 770-827-5186,

May 30, 2015, Fern ID & Anatomy Workshop, Dunwoody Library, DeKalb County

Posted under: Atlanta area; Workshops.

Meet:  10:00 AM at Dunwoody Library in the Williams Room

Description:  Fern Identification & Anatomy Workshop.  The morning session at the library will teach participants how to identify several species of ferns found in Georgia, using leaf, sori and spore characteristics. General fern anatomy will also be covered. This session will last until ~1:00pm. Then most will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Following lunch (weather permitting) we will drive to the Big Trees Forest Preserve in Sandy Springs for a walk and to apply the knowledge gained at the workshop in the field.

Directions:  From the West, take I-285E to Exit 29. Turn left onto Ashford-Dunwoody Rd. Bear right onto Mt. Vernon Rd. Turn right on Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. The Library is on the left. From the East, take I-285 North or West to Exit 29. Turn right onto Ashford-Dunwoody Rd. Continue right on Mt. Vernon Rd. Follow as above. Library address: 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody, GA  30338.

Bring: If you have these items, please bring: hand lens, measuring tool, fine tweezers, and fern field guides of your choosing.

Facilities: On  site.

Lunch: At local restaurant or on your own.

Leader(s): Teri Nye – 404-664-8224 or

June 6, 2015, Arnold AFB (AEDC) and May Prairie SNA, Coffee County, TN, 10:00 Central DST (11:00 Eastern)

Posted under: Other states.

Arnold AFB (AEDC) and May Prairie SNA, Coffee County TN

Meet:  at Wendy’s in Manchester TN. 10:00 am CENTRAL Time (11:00 am Eastern)

Leader: Dennis Horn 931-461-0262,

Description: This trip is a joint hike with the Georgia Botanical Society (GBS) and the TNPS. The “Oak Barrens” of Coffee County provide some of the best examples of rare plants that have migrated here from the Gulf Coastal Plain and from the prairies of the Midwest. As a result Coffee County is one of only three counties in Tennessee with 50 or more rare plant species. We will visit the AEDC first to see native orchids: Calopogon tuberosus, Cleistes bifaria (now Cleistesiopsis), and possibly Platanthera lacera and Pogonia ophioglossoides. We should also find Death Camas (Zigadenus leimanthoides) and Hyssop Leaved Skullcap (Scutellaria integrifolia). After lunch time permitting we will visit May Prairie. We should see Mock Bishop’s Weed (Ptilimnium costatum), Enyngo (Eryngium integrifolium), Coppery St. Johnswort (Hypericum denticulatum), Marsh Pea (Lathyrus palustris), Horned Bladderpod (Utricularia cornuta), and Swamp Candles (Lysimachia terrestris).

Directions: Leave I-24 at exit 114 in Manchester TN. Turn left coming from Chattanooga (right from Nashville) onto US 41 heading NW toward town. Turn right at the 1st traffic light (Raceway at that intersection) beyond the interstate. Wendy’s is half a block on the right.ld AFB

Difficulty:  Easy to moderate walking in low vegetation.

Facilities:  at meeting place. Bring water, insect repellent, sunscreen, snacks, and camera.

Contact:  Dennis Horn 931-461-0262


June 6, Basic Plant ID Workshop in Middle, Georgia

Posted under: Middle Georgia; Workshops.

Late add to the schedule – Basic Plant ID Workshop in Middle Georgia
June 6th (Saturday): Workshop will be held at Jarrell Plantation Historic Site Visitor Center in Juliette, GA from 10 AM to approximately 4 PM. Registration is required and limited to 20 participants. For questions and inquiries, contact the workshop leader Bobby Hattaway (email; cell phone 912-481-3011 or see the website schedule for more details.

June 13, 2015, Lula Falls and Cloudland Canyon SP, Dade & Walker Counties

Posted under: Northwest Georgia.

Wood Lily, Lilium philadelphicum

Wood Lily, Lilium philadelphicum

Meet:  10:00 am, at parking area for Ascalon Trail Head, Lula Lake Land Trust on Lookout Mountain  

Description: We will, for the first time since 2006, be able to visit the rare river-scour community found at Lula Lake Land Trust on the Cumberland Plateau in extreme northwest Ga. This is the preferred habitat for the rare Virginia Meadowsweet (Spiraea virginiana). Also at Lula we hope to see Mountain Camellia (Stewartia ovata), Menges’ Fameflower (Talinum mengesii), two species of Azaleas (Rhododendron cumberlandense & R. arborescens) and many others. Then we will visit Ascalon Wet Meadow, a Ga. 189 roadside and Cloudland Canyon for another spectacular rarity Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum). We may visit a powerline right-of-way for wildflowers and the lower section of the canyon for more Mountain Camellia.

Stewartia ovata

Mountain Camellia, Stewartia ovata

Directions: From I-75 (exit 320) at Resaca, Ga. (next exit north of Calhoun exits), go west on Ga. 136. You will make 3 turns to stay on Ga. 136. At LaFayette turn right to follow Ga. 136 (and US 27). Turn right to exit bypass and then shortly turn left to follow Ga. 136. At the top of Lookout Mtn. turn right onto Ga. 157. Travel approx. 3.7 mi., then turn left on Ascalon Road (Ascalon Baptist Church on left). Look for gated / freshly graveled parking area on right (Ascalon Trailhead). Meet at back near restrooms.

Facilities: at meeting & lunch sites

Lunch: bring lunch to eat at picnic tables

Spirea virginiana

Virginia Meadowsweet, Spirea virgiana

Walking: Lula: less than 2 mi., some uphill to see Fameflower (if we can’t drive). Cloudland: mostly roadside stops. We will have to wade a creek to see the Spiraea, possibly knee deep, depending on rainfall.

Bring: Lunch, shoes for wading creek, water, bug spray, and $5.00 for parking permit.

Leader(s): Richard Ware (706-232-3435, cell 706-766-5143, & Rich Reaves (770-827-5186,



Sunday, June 14, 2015, Chestatee River Canoe Float & Spring Flora, Lumpkin County

Posted under: Canoe Trips; North Georgia.

Chestatee Canoe TripG

Chestatee Canoe Trip

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Trip Leader:  Jerry Hightower

Botsoc Fied Trip

Lunch Break on the Chestatee

Description: The beautiful Chestatee River flows out of the mountains north of Dahlonega into the Chattahoochee and is an easy 6.3 mile float punctuated with several very mild rapids. Paddle past banks covered with rhododendron and mountain laurel, ferns, and wildflowers. River birch, oaks, and sycamores tower overhead, draped with muscadine, Virginia creeper, and cross vine.  Sheer cliffs slip into currents that flow around the remains of old gold mining operations. We will stop at Big Bend Beach for a picnic lunch and perhaps a swim. This river is more beautiful than the gold beneath its waters.

Location:  We will meet at the Appalachian Outfitters Outpost on Highway 60 near Dahlonega at 10:00 a.m.  There is a small shuttle fee. Bring your own boat or rent canoes and kayaks for the outfitters.  If you would like more information on rentals or to reserve a canoe or kayak please call Appalachian Outfitters at 1-800-426-7117.

Facilities:  Restrooms and changing rooms are available at Appalachian Outfitters Outpost.

Difficulty:  Suitable for beginners with some experience on rivers.  Class 1.5

Bring:  Lunch, snacks, sunscreen, hat, rain gear, and water. Camera, binoculars, and hand lens are recommended. Bring a day pack or other bag and also a water proof container or bag for your valuables.

Please contact Jerry Hightower at 404-953-9331 or if you are planning on joining this trip.



June 20, 2014, Blue Ridge Natural Communities Workshop: Whitley Gap, White County

Posted under: North Georgia; Workshops.

Meet: 10:00 am   

Field Trip Leader:  Leslie Edwards

Description:  This workshop/field trip will explore some Blue Ridge natural communities in sites that provide beautiful settings and excellent examples of the environmental factors that work together to form some higher-elevation natural communities.  At Whitley Gap on Wild Cat Mountain, we will explore variants of Blue Ridge montane oak (grading to northern hardwood or cove forest) and high elevation outcrop communities.  If we have time, we will then proceed to Duke’s Creek just down the mountain to explore seepage, mesic cove (acidic variant), and spray cliff communities.

Location & Directions:  From downtown Helen, take GA. Hwy. 17/Unicoi Turnpike north approximately 1.3 miles.  Turn left (southwest) onto Ga. Hwy. 75 Alt.; proceed about 2.3 miles.  Turn right onto Ga. Hwy 348/Richard B. Russell Scenic Hwy and proceed about 7 miles to parking for the trail on the right.  We will start at Whitley Gap Trail, and then proceed to Dukes  Creek.

Meet At:  The parking area at Hog Pen Gap

Bathroom Facilities: facilities at Dukes Creek.

Walking Difficulty: This hike is moderate, with some somewhat steep ascents in places.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water.  Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes.  Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature and your activity level.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.

Contact: Leslie Edwards,, 404-915-9944.

Sunday, June 21, 2015, GA Piedmont Property of Sue Mager, Banks County

Posted under: Northeast Georgia.

 Field Trip Leader:  Sue Mager

Meet:  10:00 am

Description:  We will explore 3 different habitats:  Open meadows, woods, and an old beaver pond wetland area.  In the morning, we will take an easy walk through several meadows and along a creek, where we will likely see St. Johnswort, Rose Pink and Rattlesnake Master, along with a variety of grasses.

After lunch we will hike through the woods, perhaps catching Pipsissewa and Foamflower in bloom.  We may travel through some short, steep woods areas to maximize our viewing pleasure.  Then we will tiptoe/wade along 20 year old beaver habitat, and look for Seedbox in bloom, budding White Turtlehead and Cardinal Flower, and identify other pond flora along the way.  For those who may be concerned about trail steepness, there will be an alternate trail to the pond area with an easier downhill grade.

Location & Directions:  GPS should work if you use neighbor’s address: 285 Moccasin Gap Rd, Lula, GA 30554  (Please verify that GPS matches directions below.)

From Atlanta: Take I-85 north to I-985 north, which becomes GA 365 after Gainesville.  About 8 miles past Gainesville, pass GA 52 and take the next right onto Athens St.  Go through stop sign in Lula and follow GA 51 towards Homer to mile marker 4, turn left on Mt Sinai.  Turn left at the first paved road, Moccasin Gap Rd.  Go 0.2 mile and turn left into driveway with mailbox for #285.  Bear right at fork and go to the second field to the house.

From Clayton/Clarkesville:  Take GA 365 south to Tribble Gap Rd (the crossroad after Mud Creek Rd) and turn left.  Go to end, turn left onto County Line Rd.  Go through stop sign and road name changes to Moccasin Gap Rd. Go 3.2 miles, turn right at mailbox for #285. Bear right at fork and go to the second field to the house.

From Athens:  Take US 441 north through Commerce; after 3 miles turn left on GA 164 west. After 3 more miles, turn left on GA 51 west.  After 6.5 miles, turn right on Mt Sinai Rd. Turn left at the first paved road, Moccasin Gap Rd.  In 0.2 mile, turn left at mailbox with #285.  Bear right at fork and go to the second field to the house.

Meet At:  House

Bathroom Facilities: Yes

Walking Difficulty: The morning part through the fields is easy, one hill, less than a mile; afternoon is moderate with some up/downhill areas, also less than a mile, and may have to cross shallow water, depending on recent rainfall.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water.  Dessert will be provided – probably blueberry pie and brownies.  Yum!  We will eat on the porch at the house.  Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes.  Will need water boots or waders, or bring old boots that you don’t mind getting wet for the afternoon part to the beaver ponds.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, camera, bug spray, and walking stick(s).

Contact: Sue Mager, 770 365-5197 cell (works in most places), email:

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