The 2015 Botsoc Pilgrimage brochure is now available

Posted under: Uncategorized.

For  complete details and registration forms on this year’s Pilgrimage, click on “Pilgrimage” in the top menu bar above.

Sunday, March 29, 2015, Harbinger of Spring Discovery Hike, CRNRA, Cobb County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

West Palisades Harbinger of Spring Discovery Hike Chattahoochee River NRA

Akers Mill to Paces Mill

Sunday; March 29, 2015,  10:00 a.m. – 3:30 pm

Description: Join the Georgia Botanical Society and naturalist Jerry Hightower to celebrate spring and take a look at the mid- spring forest, signs of wildlife, and great views from atop the West Palisades Ridge.  This will be an excellent opportunity to better learn this area with the leaves not yet fully obstructing the views of the rugged topography. The hike will lead us across the upper section of Trout Lily Creek, though a mature oak – hickory forest, around Blood Rock Ridge, along Rottenwood Creek to the ruins of Akers Mill, and along the river to Paces Mill.  We will see the dramatic effects of the Brevard Fault, great botanical areas, and the site of “Nancy Old Towne”, a Woodland Culture Village site.  Please note: persons wishing a shorter hike have the option of leaving the group at Rottenwood Creek and proceeding directly to Paces Mill, which is .5 miles by multi-use trail.

Location: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, West Palisades Unit: We will meet at Paces Mill parking area; 3445 Cobb Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30339 and shuttle everyone to our starting location at Akers Drive.  We will leave as many cars as possible at Paces Mill.  If you drive a multi-passenger vehicle and could help with the shuttle, please let me know. We will conclude our walk at Paces Mill. For directions see

Facilities: Restrooms are located at Paces Mill.

Difficulty: This hike will be moderately strenuous.

Bring: A lunch and water to carry along and we will picnic in the forest.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, and camera.  $3.00 daily parking fee or annual parking pass needed.

Please register for this hike at 678-538-1200 or if you are planning on joining this trip.





April 4, 2015, Powers Island and Cochran Shoals, CRNRA, Cobb County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Carters Lake and AreaChattahoochee River National Recreation Area: Powers Island and Cochran Shoals - Gumby Creek area  

Note: Well meet at the Powers Island Unit where parking is plentiful and walk over the bridge to Cochran Shoals.  Powers Island is in Fulton Couty; Cochran Shoals is in Cobb County 

Saturday, April 4, 2015       10:00 a.m. ~ 3:00 p.m.

Description:  At Cochran Shoals, we’ll use the busy riverside trail to reach the Wildlife Viewing boardwalk over the wetlands. If we’re lucky, we may see ‘Hooch, our local alligator, enjoying life in the north country.  Soon we’ll enter a world away from the joggers and dog walkers at the river. Chattahoochee River NRA

The southern nodding trillium (Trillium  rugelii) will be in full bloom.   We will find by the hundreds along Gumby Creek.  As we walk deeper and deeper in the woods, we see hepatica leaves, whose flowers have bloomed a month ago,  foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia), the toadshade trillium (Triullium cuneatum.), mayapple(Podephyllum peltatum), showy orchis (Orchis spectabilis), Atamasco lilies (Zephyranthes atamasco007

thriving far from their coastal plains habitat. As we move up the hill, we’ll notice Catsby’s trillium (T. catesbaei), bellwort (Uvularia sp.) and other upland species.

Directions:  Off Interstate North Parkway, near Powers Ferry Rd in Fulton and Cobb Counties.  GPS points:  33° 54′ 10.42″ N,  84° 26′ 28.3″ W

From I-285 East, take Exit 22, Northside Drive, New Northside Drive, Powers Ferry Road. Go to second traffic light and turn left onto New Northside Drive. Use “through” lane to pick up Interstate North Parkway. The Powers Ferry Unit is just before the bridge across the Chattahoochee River. There is a large brown National Park Service sign.

From I-285 West, take Exit 22,  turning left on New Northside Drive. Use “through” lane to pick up Interstate North Parkway and follow directions above.

Walking:  Mostly flat terrain with a few short hills, ~ 4 miles

Facilities:  Restrooms in parking areas at both units.

Bring:  $3.00 parking fee or annual /senior pass. water and a pack lunch to eat along the way. Bring camera, hand lens, field guide, notepad, binoculars optional. Wear comfortable sturdy walking shoe and bring walking poles if you use them.

Special Notes: This trip is suited for beginners. Please call the leader with any questions. The trail along the creek may be muddy in several places.

Contact:  Maureen Donohue, 770-990-7756-cell


Sunday, April 5, 2015, Arabia Mountain, DeKalb County

Posted under: Atlanta area.

Outcrop Colors

Spring Colors

Arabia Mountain National Natural Heritage Site 

Mountain Loop, Lake Loop, and Salamanders Pools 

Sunday; April 5, 2015

10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Arabia Mountain

Snorklewort, Amphianthus pusillus

Description:  Join the Georgia Botanical Society and Naturalist Jerry Hightower for a leisurely paced hike up and around the mountain to view the solution pool gardens, the amazing mosaic of lichens, and small, but interesting, patches of trees and shrubs.  Sculpted over geologic time by wind, rain, cold, and heat; these extraordinary gardens are beautiful to behold.  After lunch we will take the forest loop to the lake and then on to the salamander pools.  This DeKalb County park is both a geological and botanical treasure.

Botsoccers on Arabia Mountain

Botsoccers on Arabia Mountain

Location:  Park Visitor Center

Facilities: In Visitor Center

Difficulty:  Moderate with some fairly steep, but short, ascents and descents.

Mtn Top

Top of Arabia

Bring:  A lunch and water to carry along and we will picnic in the forest.  You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, and camera.

Limit: 26

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





April 11, 2015, Cloudland Canyon State Park: Mid-Spring Wildflowers

Posted under: Northwest Georgia.

Trip Leader: Rich Reaves

Sitton Gulch Creek

Sitton Gulch Creek

Meet: Saturday, April 11 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, azaleas, wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), larkspur (Delphinium tricorne), 6 – 10 species of violets, and more.

Delphinium tricorne

Delphinium tricorne, Photo by Anita & Rich Reaves

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.

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.

Trillium sulcatum

Trillium sulcatum, Photo by Anita & Rich Reaves

Facilities: None at meeting site – facilities at the top of the canyon at the visitor center and at the overlook or at fast food joints in Trenton.

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

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

April 11, 2015, Broxton Rocks, Coffee County

Posted under: South Georgia.

Broxton Rocks, Saturday, April 11, 2015   10:00AM

Broxton Rocks Preserve

Broxton Rocks Preserve

Field Trip leader: Frankie Snow

Focus:  Flora of Altamaha Grit

Description: We will visit an unusual sandstone outcrop on Georgia’s coastal plain near Broxton, GA.  Broxton Rocks is a late Miocene rock formation owned by The Nature Conservancy.  It harbors over 560 plant species, many of which are not normally seen on the coastal plain.  Disjunct species, mostly from the piedmont, include: Delphinium carolinianum, Schoenolirion croceum, Packera tomentosum, Minuartia uniflora and Evolvulus sericeus.  Unusual ferns include Vittaria lineata, Trichomanes petersii and Cheilanthes lanosa. Two undescribed species are currently being named from here, an Isoetes and an Oxalis.

Location:  We will meet at the Broxton, GA Post Office at 10:00AM.  From Atlanta go south on I-75. At Macon get on I-16 and go to the US 441 exit at Dublin, GA.  Go south on US 441 to Broxton, GA. The post office is located on GA 268 in Broxton.

Bathroom Facilities: None

Walking Difficulty: Moderate with some uneven rocky slopes.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, insect repellent (just in case) and water.

Contact: Frankie Snow at 912-260-4343 or

April 12, 2015, Botanical Exploration Trip, The Lillian E. Smith Center, Rabun County

Posted under: Northeast Georgia.

Field Trip Leader:  Timothy Menzel 

Description:  We will explore the grounds of the Lillian E. Smith Center, which includes a minimally traversed 100 acre tract on the west slope of Screamer Mountain in Rabun County. It is a low mountain slope mesic forest with elevations ranging between 2,000 and 2,600 feet. The slope is divided into several low ridges and wet coves which are bound to be rich with plant life, including trillium, orchids and who knows what else! The Center and its properties were recently acquired by Piedmont College, and this trip will be the first spring venture to discover what botanical riches lay in its deep coves. The visit will also include a brief tour of the buildings and lodgings of Lillian Smith, a civil rights activist and highly-acclaimed author of Strange Fruit and Killers of the Dream.

Meet:  10:00 am at the large circular parking area at top of ridge on Hershey Lan

Location & Directions:  The property is located approximately one mile east of Highway 441 off Route 76 in Clayton, Georgia.  From Highway 76 make a left on Old Chechero Road and then a right onto Hershey Lane (there will be signs at both intersections). Follow Hersey Lane as it climbs the ridge to the Center’s main buildings. Be careful, the road gets narrow near the top.

Bathroom Facilities: available

Walking Difficulty: The hike will be short in distance but could be strenuous at times. We will be exploring coves and ridges without the benefit of trails.

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: Tim Menzel at Piedmont College. Cell number is 662-324-9039, email


April 18, 2015, Ebenezer Creek Canoe Trip, Effingham County

Posted under: Canoe Trips; East Georgia.

Ebenezer Creek Canoe/Kayak Trip: Natural Communities of Georgia – Featured Place – Cypress-Tupelo River Swamp Southeast Georgia

Ebenezer Creek

Ebenezer Creek

Trip Leader: Bobby Hattaway

Meet: Saturday, April 18 at 10:00 am

Description:  Ebenezer Creek is a small creek in Effingham County that flows into the Savannah River. Its banks and channel can be likened to a cathedral lined with some of the most spectacular giant water tupelos (Nyssa aquatica) and baldcypresses (Taxodium distichum) anywhere. Some of the buttresses run 8-12 feet in diameter at the low water level. We might see Oconee azalea (Rhododendron flammeum) in bloom. Backwater Expeditions will be our canoe livery.  They will also rent canoes and kayaks. Contact Bobby for details. Plans are for about 10 canoes (slightly more if solo kayaks). So please contact Bobby Hattaway in advance preferably by email.

From Atlanta: Take I-75 South to I-16, E to Exit 143, turn left, E on Hwy 280 for 1.8 mi., then right onto Hwy 80 for 2.5 mi., left on Sandhill Rd. for 1.9 mi., then right on Bluejay Rd for ca. 9.8 mi. till it turns into Blandford Rd, then go 1.8 mi. to Hwy 21 and turn left; go N 3.5 mi. to Ebenezer Rd (GA 275). Turn right (E) & go 2.3 mi. to Long Bridge Rd. (caution light). WHAT FOLLOWS IS A CHANGE FROM THE INITIAL POSTING: Turn left and go 0.7 miles and then turn right onto Wylly Road. Proceed 1.7 miles to Tommy Long Road. Turn left and go 500 meters to the end of the road and the landing.

From Savannah: Go north on I-95 to Exit 109, then north on GA-21 for 11.4 miles to N of Rincon, Georgia, then turn right (E) on GA-275 (Ebenezer Rd) & go 2.3 mi. to Long Bridge Rd. (caution light).  WHAT FOLLOWS IS A CHANGE FROM THE INITIAL POSTING: Turn left and go 0.7 miles and then turn right onto Wylly Road. Proceed 1.7 miles to Tommy Long Road. Turn left and go 500 meters to the end of the road and the landing. Lunch: Bring your own and/or snacks. Canoeing/Kayaking: Easy – between 5-6 miles. Facilities: At beg./end

Bring: H20, sunscreen, insect repellent, change of clothes, camera?

Leader: Bobby Hattaway  Cell 912-481-3011


April 18, 2015, Piedmont Wildflowers, Oconee National Forest, Greene County

Posted under: Middle Georgia.

Meet:    10:00 am

Field Trip Leader:  Debbie Gosgrove

Description:  This 1.5 mile trail in the Oconee forest is a bottomland trail and is mainly flat until a moderate hill at the end. We plan to park at least one vehicle at the end of the trail to take people back to their cars.  It has been several years since I have surveyed the trail, but I remember at least 10-15 native wildflowers including two species of Trillium. This will be a fun trip for those that want to explore a new area near Athens. This trail is currently part of a horse trail so I don’t know how horses have impacted the flora. I know the latter part of the trail has a few Dolls’ eyes or white baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) and Hepatica. Some of the trail goes beside Falling Creek.

Location & Directions:  From Athens, drive to Watkinsville and take highway 15 towards Greensboro for around 17 miles. Cross the Oconee River and go to the second road on the left, Macedonia. Travel 2.5 miles to the gravel road FS 1234 on left. You should see a sign to Scull Shoals. We will meet at this junction at 10:00 am. If traveling from Greensboro you will take highway 15 towards Athens. Macedonia Rd. will be on the right after 12 miles.

Meet At:  At the sign for FS 1234 where it intersects Macedonia Rd.

Bathroom Facilities: None, but there is a restroom at Hwy 15 at the camping area which is the 1st road after crossing the Oconee River (coming from Athens).

Walking Difficulty: Trail-easy to moderate (the latter towards the end) but it could be muddy.

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: Debbie Cosgrove – 706-742-7331 – cell-706-338-4964


April 25, 2015, Stroud Creek, Mountain Cove, Towns County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Field Trip Leader:  Ben Cash

Description:  We’ll follow a steep abandoned roadbed up a north-facing cove to an elevation of about 3,400 feet.  Expect to see yellowwood, abundant leatherwood and large black birch, northern red oak, American beech, yellow buckeye, black walnut and sugar maple.  While admiring the trees we’ll try to avoid stepping on Actaeas, Cardamines, Dicentras, Prosartes, Stellarias, Trilliums and Violas.  Expect to step on a few Erythronium americanum at the least and maybe some Galearis spectabilis or Claytonia caroliniana without ever realizing it.

Location & Directions:  Stroud Creek is within the Chattahoochee National Forest, Swallow Creek Wildlife Management Area, Towns County and the Kelly Ridge Inventoried Roadless Area and appears on the Macedonia, GA – NC USGS Quadrangle.

Meet:  10:00 am in SE corner of Ingles parking lot in Hiawassee on the north side of US Hwy 76 / GA Hwy 75.  From there we’ll carpool for the 5 mile drive to the site where parking is very limited.

Bathroom Facilities:  None outside of Hiawassee.

Walking Difficulty:  Total distance, up the creek and back, is less than 3 mi.  Moderately difficult due to approximately 1,000 feet of elevation change and stream crossings.  The water is less than knee-deep and always clean.

Bring: Snacks, water & lunch to eat beside a beautiful mountain stream.  Remember to dress for the weather & wear comfortable hiking shoes.  Dress in layers so that you can adjust to changes in the temperature & your activity level.  You may wish to bring hiking poles, binoculars, hand lens, notebook, & camera.

Contact:  Ben Cash (706) 778-5155,, (706) 968-3841 cell, day of hike although service may not be available.

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