April 22, 2017, Bartram Trail, Buckeye Creek towards Wolf Rock overlook, (walk location changed from Till Ridge Cove)

Posted under: North Carolina.

  Note: Location of walk has been changed due to fire damage at Till Ridge Cove. Meeting place and time remain the same.                

Meeting time and place: Ingles Parking lot, 176 US 441, Clayton, GA 30525 – 10 a.m. Ingles is on the right just past Hwy 76 crossings, and just past Wendy’s and Burger King. We will carpool to the trailhead near Otto, NC.

Field Trip Leaders:  Clayton Webster and John Brower

Description:  Our hike will be on part of the long distance Bartram Trail. We will be starting from the Buckeye Creek trailhead headed towards Wolf Rock Overlook. This is a very rich area for spring wildflowers. Trip reports for previous hikes here at this time of year include sightings of pink and yellow lady slippers, Catesby trillium, flame azalea, wild geranium, shooting stars, purple phacelia, Solomon seal, and numerous other spring ephemerals.

   Our main walk will be about three miles round trip. We will eat lunch at the turnaround point. After lunch, if wildflowers are abundant, those who wish to go further can continue on towards Wolf Rock. The trip leader will be with this group.

 Bring:  Water, lunch, bug spray, rain gear, and extra shirt for after the hike. 

Facilities:  None except at meeting place.

Walking difficulty:  Moderate with some elevation gain. Trail is well maintained.

Group limit:  20 due to parking limitations.

Registration:  Sign up via e-mail so carpools can be determined.

Contact:  Clayton Webster webs4740@bellsouth.net  404-633-8955 Home – 678-925-1091 Cell (day of hike)


Sunday, April 23, 2017, East Palisades, CRNRA, Cobb County. TRIP CANCELLED!

Posted under: Atlanta area.

East Palisades, CRNRA


NOTE; This trip has been cancelled at the request of the Trip Leader!

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, East Palisades, Indian Ridge to Cabin Creek Loop Trail

Spring Flora, Ferns, and Fun

Sunday; April 23, 2017

10:00 am to 3:30 pm

Trip Leader: Jerry Hightower

Description: Join the Georgia Botanical Society and National Park Service Naturalist Jerry Hightower for a look at this beautiful area in spring’s glory and the sunset from Overlook Ridge where you will enjoy the grand view above Devil’s Race Course Shoals of this very scenic section of river.  We will take Cabin Creek Trail through a beautiful forest in its along Cabin Creek and hike up the ridge past Civil War gun emplacements .  We will travel above rock cliffs, through mature oak-hickory forest, mesic ravine forest, and floodplain forest. Our hike will take us over and past extraordinary rock outcrops and formations influenced by the Brevard Fault, which runs through the Unit.  We will see spring wildflowers, ferns, and perhaps a salamander or two.

Location: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, East Palisades Unit; meet at 10:00 am in the Indian Trail parking area and trail head; 1425 Indian Trail NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30327 at the bulletin board.  Go south on Northside Drive and Indian Trail is the fourth street on the right.  Indian Trail goes directly into the park.  

Facilities:  None

Difficulty:  Moderately strenuous.  There are several steep ascents and descents.

Bring: Remember to bring a lunch to eat in the forest.  Dress for the weather and wear very comfortable hiking shoes.  Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature and your activity level.  Carry water. You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.  Note: A $3. daily entrance fee or $35. annual pass is required.

Limit:  30 persons                                                                                                                       

Please contact Jerry Hightower at 770-206-0338 or jerryhightower@hotmail.com if you are planning on joining this trip.

Additional programs continued on next page


April 29, 2017, Hemlock Falls Trail, Moccasin Creek State Park, Rabun County

Posted under: Northeast Georgia.

Saturday, April 29, 2017,  10:00 am,  Hemlock Falls Trail,   Moccasin Creek State Park, Rabun County

Notes: This park is located in Rabun but has a Habersham address.

Registration with the leader is required for this trip

Meet:  10:00 at the Hemlock Falls Trail head parking area. Once you cross into the park look for the small signpost that states “Hemlock Falls Trailhead.”  It is on a post to the left.

Description: This trip will visit a somewhat remote state park on the shores of Lake Buton. From the trailhead parking area, we will wander up a beautiful Rhododendron lined trail to an excellent waterfall. The trail is an easy wide hill that follows along Moccasin Creek for just over a mile.  On  the way, we will see several small waterfalls and many spring wildflowers, especially mountain or cliff saxifrage, Hydactica petiolaris (Saxifraga michauxii)

Bring: water, a pack lunch, camera, field guide, hiking poles, $5 parking fee or annual GA parks pass.

Leader: Maureen Donohue  marinadono67@gmail.com  770-990-7756.

Facilities:  Bathrooms available just inside the park and before you drive down to the hemlock trail parking area.

Directions: GPS Coordinates:  N 34.844916 | W -83.588087

The park is located at 3655 Highway 197, Clarkesville GA, 30523,

There are several ways to travel from Metro Atlanta – I-85 or GA400. You will connect to  Georgia Hwy 197 from Clarkesville or Clayton. For directions from other areas, contact the leader.

Carpooling Note:  Route 197 North from Clarkesville is a slow winding mountain road.  We could meet at the corner of Grant and Bridge Streets in Clarkesville where there is a small public parking lot & bathroom. If interested in carpooling, please advise the leader.

Camping / Fishing: There are tent and RV campsites.  Contact Reservations at  800-864-7275. If  you are 65 or older, you may fish at the platform in the park on the stream which contains trout as well as other fish. For more info, call the park office at 706 947-3194, starting March 16, 2017 when the park reopens.

29 April, 2017, Cay Creek Wetland Park Maritime Forest TRIP CANCELLED!

Posted under: Southeast Georgia.

29 April, 2017, Cay Creek Wetland Park, Maritime Forest & Wet Flatwoods, Liberty County

This trip has been cancelled due to storm damage to the boardwalk. Facility is closed and will not be reopened by date of the trip.

Description:  Cay Creek Wetland Park in Midway provides a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of the ecosystems found on the Georgia coast. There are examples of a maritime forest and pine flatwoods. A boardwalk including a canopy tower allows easy observation of the shift in vegetation in the transition from freshwater wetland through  tidal swamp, marsh hammock and shrubby upland edge ending on a tidal creek. Beaver, otters, water snakes, freshwater turtles, and various wetland birds often call this area home. Cypress, live oak, blackgum, arrowwood viburnum, ground nut, climbing aster, climbing hydrangea, blue flag iris, seashore mallow, various ferns, giant plume grass, and marsh grasses will be in view. A wetland demonstration garden installed in 2016 greats you at the entrance to the boardwalk. There is sure to be something to see for everyone.

Location:  Cay Creek Wetland Park, 189 Charlie Butler Rd, Midway GA 31320

DirectionsFrom the North (Savannah or Richmond Hill): Take I-95 S to exit 76 (Midway/ Sunbury). Turn right (West) at the top of the ramp onto Oglethorpe Highway/ GA-38/US-84. Take your first left onto Charlie Butler/Paul Ripley Road in about 1 mile (marked by a large white sign for Cay Creek Wetlands Park). Take your first right into the Cay Creek Park driveway.

From the South: Take I-95 N to exit 76 (Midway/Sunbury). Turn left (West) at the top of the ramp onto Oglethorpe Highway/GA-38/US-84. Take your first left onto Charlie Butler/Paul Ripley Road in about 1 mile (marked by a large white sign for Cay Creek Wetlands Park). Take your first right into the Cay Creek Park driveway.

From Highway 17/Ocean Highway: In Midway, turn onto Oglethorpe Highway/ GA-38/US-84 heading East. In about 2.5 miles, take a right onto Charlie Butler/ Paul Ripley Road. Take your first right into the Cay Creek Park driveway.

Bring:   Comfortable shoes for walking, Sun and bug protection, water, snacks and lunch. Bathroom facility not on property but Parkers gas station is close by. Length of walk is 7/10ths of a mile one way. Boardwalk is handicap accessible. Difficulty of the walk is easy on level boardwalk. Prefer a group of 20 or so.

Facilities:  Parkers Gas station very close to the site and right at the exit you would take at off I-95.

Registration Required by emailing Eamonn at  Eamonn.leonard@dnr.ga.gov

Trip leader:  Eamonn Leonard – 912-506-1920.  Let me know if you need additional information.


Sunday, April 30, 2017, Mountain Bog & Swamp Pinks (Union County)

Posted under: North Georgia.

Trip leader: Carrie Radcliffe

Description: We will tour a restored bog that protects multiple rare plant species, as well as bog turtles, that have been successfully established in a cooperatively managed site on the Chattahoochee National Forest near Suches and Blairsville. Swamp pink (Helonias bullata) should be in bloom, and we can see the many seedling recruits that have been taking hold as the site has been opened to enhance habitat for the sun-loving bog denizens. Visitors will be required to sign and honor a secrecy agreement that protects the location of sensitive species and habitat (per Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance guidelines). 

Meet: 10 am at the Suches general store/ gas station at the intersection of Hwy 180 & Hwy 60. 

Facilities: At gas station/ store. 

Difficulty: Medium. Curvy roads, limited parking, wetland habitat. We will carpool and/ or caravan to the site (~5 miles), travel a very short short distance on foot along flat ground, but rubber boots are recommended for the bog itself. 

Bring: Rubber boots, hat, water, bug spray, etc. If you bring lunch, we can picnic in the shade by the bog. 

Please contact Carrie Radcliffe (cradcliffe@atlantabg.org) if you would like to attend. 

May 6, 2017, Sprewell Bluff WMA, Meriwether and Talbot Counties

Posted under: Middle Georgia.

Meet:  10:00am, Mitchell Gap on Chalybeate Springs Road, near Manchester. 

Squarehead, Tetragonetheca helianthoides

Squarehead, Tetragonetheca helianthoides

Description:  This will be the first Botanical Society field trip to a newly purchased portion of Sprewell Bluff WMA. Included in the new area is a bluff overlooking Pigeon Creek that may have the largest population of turkeybeard, Xerophyllum asphodeloides, in the state. The slopes are a heath bluff with mountain laurel and Piedmont rhododendron, Rhododendron minus, both of which should be in flower.  Montane longleaf pines are the dominant tree on much of the bluff. We should also see showy skullcap, Scutellaria pseudoserrata, which has the largest flowers of all Georgia’s skullcaps species.  After the Turkeybeard Bluff, we will drive toward the confluence of Pigeon Creek and the Flint River. Along the way, we should encounter a good variety of wildflowers, including squareheads, Tetragonotheca helianthoides. If the group is willing, we may wade across Pigeon Creek to see a rare Piedmont glade with some interesting plants.

Directions:  From the Atlanta area, take I-85 south to Exit 41, US 27 Alt, and head south. Stay on US 27 Alt through Warm Springs, and 3 more miles to the crest of Pine Mountain. Turn left onto GA 190 and take it to GA 41, just outside of Manchester. Turn right on GA 41, heading south. In about 5 miles, just as you are approaching the small town of Woodland, turn left onto Pleasant Valley Road. There is a sign here for Old South Farm Museum. Take Pleasant Valley Rd. to where it dead ends at Chalybeate Springs Rd. Turn left and take Chalybeate Springs to where it crests Pine Mountain at Mitchell Gap.  There is a large brown and white sign for Sprewell Bluff WMA at the gap. Turn right on to the dirt road and park along the road at the bottom of the hill. If you are using Google for navigation, you can search for Mitchell Gap.

Bring:  Water, lunch, bug spray, hand lens, dress for the weather. Bring a camera for some spectacular views. We will stop at some point just inside the WMA and carpool the rest of the way. The road in is rough and high clearance vehicles are recommended.

Facilities: None. Strategically placed trees and shrubs will be provided.

Walking difficulty: Mostly easy on rocky slopes. There are no trails yet, so walking will be cross-country, or along roads. 

Contact:  Hal Massie, 478-957-6095. Reception may be iffy on the morning of the trip.

Sunday, May 7, 2017, Freeman Trail and Blood Mountain, Union County­

Posted under: North Georgia.

Sunday, May 7, 2017,     10:00 am

Trip Leader:  John French

Description:  We will meet at the Byron Herbert Reese (BHR) Parking Area and hike the first 0.7 miles on the BHR Trail, which switchbacks through rhododendron and mountain laurel up stone staircases to Flatrock Gap, where the Freeman Trail begins. The Freeman Trail winds around the south side of Blood Mountain, over a rugged and rocky terrain, crossing several small rocky streams and rock outcrops. At this elevation, the woods should be awake with spring wildflowers, such as lady’s-slippers (Cypripedium spp.), wood-lilies (Clintonia spp.), possibly some early trilliums (T. erectum, T. grandiflora, T. undulatum) and some remaining toothworts (Cardamine spp.). There is a sizeable relic American chestnut tree on the south edge of the trail just before Bird Gap.

After 1.8 miles, we will reach Bird Gap and the Appalachian Trail (AT). At this point, some of us may backtrack to the parking lot on the Freeman Trail (for a moderate, round-trip hike of 5 miles). Others may want to proceed on the AT to the summit of Blood Mountain, then descend back to Flatrock Gap junction via the AT, then back down the Reese Trail to the parking lot (a strenuous hike of 6.8 miles).

Directions to Meeting Location:  10:00 a.m. at the Byron Herbert Reese parking area on the west side of U.S. Hwy 129 north, about 0.5 mile north of the Mountain Crossing Appalachian Trail Store at Neel’s Gap. Neel’s Gap is 18 (slow and curvy) miles north of Cleveland. There may be a $5.00 parking fee to park at the BHR lot; parking is not allowed at the Trail Store.

Bathroom Facilities: None on the trail; bathrooms, snacks, water, etc at the Trail Store.

Walking Difficulty: The BHR trail is moderately steep. The Freeman Trail is relatively flat but there are some very large, tricky boulders to scramble over and several rocky streams to cross. Ankle-protecting boots strongly advised; hiking stick may be useful.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, and water. Dress for spring weather with possible thunderstorms. 

Contact: John French, 678-575-1655 or frenchjrfry@att.net

May 13, 2017,  9:00 (Note Early Time) Woody Gap, Spring Ephemerals, Lumpkin County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet: 9:00 am. (Note Early Time) at the trailhead  at Woody Gap, near the paved parking lot and bathroom.

Description: The hike is on a beautiful part of the Appalachian Trail. View lush deciduous forests, ferns and spring wildflowers. We will start hiking east on an easy part of the trail, We will venture up the steeper portion to Preacher’s rock if agreed upon by the group. The view from Preacher’s Rock is one of the prettiest in the Blood Mountain Wilderness area.

Location/Directions:  From Dahlonega:  Take GA 60 (on either the Bypass or the Business route) north from Dahlonega.  Where US 19 and GA 60 split at Rockpile Gap, take GA 60 to the left.  The parking lot at Woody Gap is on the right, about 17 miles from Dahlonega. Go slow: this is a winding 2 lane mountain road, with lots of motorcycles on weekends.

Bring: water, a light snack, sturdy shoes, camera and bug spray.  Free paved parking.

Facilities: Bathrooms at Woody Gap

Walking length and difficulty 2.3 miles. The first 2/3 is easy and the last 1/3 is Moderate/Difficult.

Field Trip Leader, Rachel Perez, Rachel.ann.perez@gmail.com , 678 232 9291 


May 20, 2017, Pitcherplants and Dewthreads, Dixie Bog, Brooks County

Posted under: South Georgia.

Meet:  10:00 AM, Liberty Gas Station, north side of Barwick along GA Hwy. 33.  We will caravan to Dixie Bog. 

Spreading Pogonia, Cleistesiopsis divaricata

Description:  This is an opportunity to visit one of Georgia’s largest displays of pitcherplants and by far the greatest show of dewthreads (Drosera tracyi).  In mid-May, several orchids will be blooming, especially spreading pogonia, ladies-tresses and grass pinks in profusion.  This 2,000-acre private tract is expertly managed, continuing the use of prescribed fire to promote habitat for quail.  Historically, it was known as the Easter Plantation.  Many other plants of uplands and bogs will be seen.  Birding is also fantastic around a large cypress pond, where bald eagles nest and water birds abound.

Location:  Dixie Bog is located on Plantation (Drew) Road, ca. 5 mi. southeast of Barwick.  Sometimes the road signs are missing, so a caravan from the meeting site is necessary.  Also, in case of recent rains, an alternative route will be taken. 

Walking:  Short, easy walks from vehicles with limited off trail excursions.

Facilities:   We will have access to a fully furnished cottage as a starting place and lunch site.  We will tour the bogs by wagon, truck and jeep.  Plenty of places to park personal vehicles on site.

Tracy’s Dew-Threads, Drosera tracyi

Bring:  Rubber boots, old sneakers or hiking boots recommended due to some brushy habitats and moist bogs.  Also binoculars, tick and insect repellent, lunch and snacks.

Leader:  Tom Patrick (706) 476-4541, tom.patrick@dnr.ga.gov.   Note:  Registration is necessary.  Trip limited to 25 persons.  Call or email trip leader to confirm reservation.  We can plan additional trips if necessary. 

May 20, 2017, Canoe Trip on Flint River, Shoals Spider Lilies, Talbot & Upson Counties

Posted under: Canoe Trips; Middle Georgia.

Description:  The purpose of this upstream paddle on the Flint River will be to get up close and personal with the shoals spiderlily, or Cahaba lily, Hymenocallis coronaria. At normal water levels, the lilies are difficult to reach by wading into the river, so we are going to paddle right into the heart of a very large population of this lovely wildflower. We should also see American Water-willow, Justicia americana flowering among the hundreds of shoals lilies. Southern catalpa, Catalpa bignonioides, which has remarkably showy flowers, may also be in flower along the banks of the river. Because we are only paddling less than a mile upstream, we’ll have plenty of time to spend mingling with the lilies. This trip will be an excellent opportunity to photograph the shoal lilies.

Special Considerations: The nearest outfitter, The Flint River Outdoor Center, does not normally shuttle canoes or kayaks to this site, so you must bring your own boat, or make arrangements with someone who has space in a boat. 

Directions: From Thomaston, take US 19 south for about 3.5 miles. Turn right onto Indian Trail Road. At the first stop sign, stay to the right. Follow Indian Trail Rd. to Pobiddy Rd. and turn left onto Pobiddy. Stay on Pobiddy Rd. for several miles. You will cross the Flint River on a new bridge and head uphill. After about 3 miles, turn right onto Bunkham Rd (there is a sign for Big Lazer Creek WMA at the intersection). Drive until you see the DNR Check Station on the left. After everyone gathers at the Check Station, we will drive to the actual canoe ramp.

Meet:  10:00, Big Lazer Creek WMA Check Station

Facilities:  None

Difficulty:  Because we will be paddling upstream, participants must be in fair physical condition. We’ll only paddle less than a mile on the way to the shoals lilies, but it will seem like 2 or 3 miles. Once among the lilies, you can sunbathe on the rocks, or wade to your heart’s content, or paddle farther into the shoals. After that, it is all downstream! Expect to get your feet wet and probably muddy.

Bring:  Lunch, water, camera, sense of adventure. Oh, and bring a boat.

Contact: Hal Massie (478-957-6095), cell reception may be poor on morning of trip.

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