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.

May 2, 2015, Duncan Ridge Wildflowers, Union Co, GA

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet:   10:00 am

Field Trip Leader:  Tom Govus

Description:  We will explore a series of north aspect rich mesic coves on the central portion of Duncan ridge just east of Mulky Gap. Several species of trillium and yellow ladies slipper are known from this site – but an extensive botanical assessment of the old forests here (over 100 years of age) has not been made. We can expect an array of Blue Ridge Spring ephemerals and hope to find some rare and showy species. There is a rich boulderfield forest (not yellow birch) at the end of our hike and we may explore the periphery as safely as we can.

Limit: 12 people.

Location & Directions:  We will meet at the Park & Ride on the west side of Blairsville adjacent 515. This parking area is one block west of the last traffic light on 515 where US 19 heads north to Murphy, NC. Go one block west of traffic light and turn onto old US 76 (Blue Ridge Hwy) and the parking area is on your immediate left. From here we will leave some vehicles and carpool to Mulky Gap (about 9.5) mi

Bathroom Facilities: There is a McDonalds adjacent the Park & Ride.

Walking Difficulty: This hike is easy to moderate, we will follow an old woods road from Mulkey Gap and walk about 3 miles (or slightly more) round trip.

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:  To pre-register, contact: Tom Govus –; (cell) 706-669-1491; (home) 706-276-3360.

May 2, 2015, Wild Edibles Workshop has been cancelled!

Posted under: Workshops.

Wild Edibles Workshop & Wild Edibles Walk,  Saturday, May 2, 2015

This trip has been cancelled due to construction at the CRNRA Education Building




May 16, 2015, Rivercane Propagation/Restoration & Conservation Ecology, Athens/Clarke County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Saturday, May 16, 2015   10:00 am

Field Trip Leader:  Thomas Peters

Description:  Less than three miles from the heart of downtown Athens lies a fifty acre tract in perpetual conservation with the Athens Land Trust. The forest and trails around Lexington Lake include old growth hardwoods, native wildflowers and pristine wetlands. The site also serves as a “basecamp” for canebrake ecosystem research and propagation. Conservation ecologist, Thomas Peters, is growing large numbers of rivercane and actively restoring floodplain ecosystems onsite. Some of his other projects include work at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Cowpens National Battlefield. Come see this beautiful location and learn about the innovative horticultural practices employed in growing our unique and mysterious native bamboo.

Location & Directions:  397 Old Epps Bridge Rd, Athens, Ga, 30606. Coming from Hwy 316 turn right on red light at Old Epps Bridge Rd/Abbey West. Take second right into River Station Townhomes and continue through gate marked private rd. Lake will be on right approaching gate. Park at end of driveway. Blue Ranch Style house with gardens and rabbit hutches.

Meet At:  397 Old Epps Bridge Rd

Bathroom Facilities: in house

Walking Difficulty:  easy

Bring: Clothing appropriate for weather

Contact:  Thomas Peters;  706-207-6913


May 17, 2015, Palisades Canoe Float Spring Flora, Cobb County

Posted under: Atlanta area; Canoe Trips.

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Saturday, 10:00 a.m. ­– 3:00 p.m.  

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Trip Leader: Jerry Hightower

Description:  Bring your own canoe or kayak and join the Georgia Botanical Society and naturalist Jerry Hightower for a leisurely float on the Chattahoochee River. We will float a three-mile section of the river from Powers Island to Paces Mill at US Hwy 41, exploring plants, geology, and wildlife, including an extraordinary array of late spring wildflowers. There are three mild Class 1.5 rapids suitable for beginners along this part of the river. The Palisades have narrow floodplains and steep ridges rising to over 1,000 feet. The area offers a great diversity of habitats and includes oak-hickory forest, steep north-facing slopes, mesic ravine forest, and floodplain forest. Created by the geologic action of the Brevard Fault, the river, and the effects of weather, this is a rugged and beautiful section of the river. We will stop at Devil’s Stair Step Beach (Diving Rock) for lunch and a short loop walk.

Diving Rock, CRNRA

Diving Rock, CRNRA

Location: Meet at Powers Island, 5862 Interstate North Pkwy., Sandy Springs, Georgia at 10:00 a.m. to unload equipment.  We will then take the majority of the vehicles to Paces Mill and shuttle the drivers back to Powers Island.  Please let Jerry know if you have a multi-passenger vehicle and could help with the shuttle.

Bring:  Lunch, sunscreen, hat, rain gear, and water.  Camera, binoculars, and hand lens are recommended. Bring a day pack or other bag to secure items inside your boat. $3.00 daily parking pass or annual parking pass needed.

Directions:  See or call 678-538-1200.

Bathroom Facilities:  At Powers Island, our lunch stop, and at Paces Mill. Fees: $3 parking fee at the Recreation Area unless you have an annual pass.

Reservations are required: Contact Jerry Hightower at <   or  678-538-1200

May 17, Canoe Trip at Bond Swamp – Trip Rescheduled from May 2nd – Bibb & Twiggs Counties

Posted under: Canoe Trips; Middle Georgia.

Note: This trip was originally scheduled for May 2nd.

Trip Leader: Ed McDowell – PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED Botsoccers at Bond Swamp

Description: Background – Bond Swamp NWR, located 6 miles south of Macon, was established in 1989 to protect, maintain and enhance the forested wetland ecosystem of the Ocmulgee River floodplain. It opened to the public in 2000 and currently consists of 6,500 acres of mixed hardwood-pine, bottomland hardwoods, tupelo gum swamp forests, creeks, tributaries, beaver swamps, and oxbow lakes. The refuge is rich in wildlife diversity including white-tailed deer, wood ducks, black bears, alligators, wild turkey, a nesting pair of bald eagles, and excellent wintering habitat for waterfowl. Extensive bottomland hardwoods provide critical habitat for neotropical songbirds of concern, such as Swainson’s warbler, wood thrush, prothonotary warbler, and yellow-billed cuckoo. The combination of warm weather and wet areas at Bond Swamp provide ideal conditions for a variety of reptile and amphibian species.

We will explore Stone Creek, both north and south from the launching, time permitting. Plan to spend about 3 hours on the water with a couple of beaches. Bond Swamp is a classic coastal plain blackwater bottomland swamp very similar to Ebenezer Creek minus the huge bald cypress.

Location and Directions: The Bond Swamp NWR is 6 miles south of Macon. From Macon, take Interstate16 SE toward Savannah to Exit #6, US Hwy 23 and US 129 South toward Cochran. Go 4.2 miles to the Bond Swamp NWR at the Stone Creek entrance on the west side of the highway.

Meet:  10:00 am just inside the entrance at the kiosk and parking area.

Bathroom Facilities:  None at the Refuge. Last pit stop is the service stations at the exit #6 off-ramp. We will beach a couple of times for exploration during the run and many of the Black Gum buttresses are quite huge.

Canoeing Difficulty:  You must bring your canoe and life preservers for all aboard. There are no rental agencies in the area – the closest is Ocmulgee Expeditions 478-757-8226. If you want to rent a canoe or kayak, you should call their number and make arrangements for pickup and delivery. The canoeing will be easy in a very slow moving, wide creek with plenty of time for observing the flora and fauna.

Bring:  Your own canoe or kayak and life preservers, snacks, water, insect repellent (remember swamp mosquitoes never sleep), binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera. Early May is summertime in south Georgia so dress accordingly. Bring water shoes and other comfortable shoes (and maybe a change of clothes). The trip will go unless the FWS closes the Refuge due to river flooding or there is a period of thunderstorms and lightening at launch time. In order to pass on timely last minute information on the status of the trip, I request pre-registration.

Pre-registration required:  Please email me at <> to register for this trip. Enjoyment guaranteed (unless you flip your canoe). Call me at 478-929-1267 or 478-396-8901 (cell) if you have questions or concerns.


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

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