October 18, 2014, Panther Creek, Habersham County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Field Trip Leader: Ben Cash

Description: Starting on a dry ridge with table mountain pine, mountain laurel, dwarf rhododendron and bigleaf storax, we’ll descend into the rugged and scenic corridor carved by Panther Creek.  We’ll follow the creek upstream to the pool below Panther Creek Falls and return by the same route. We’ll eat lunch by the water. Plant diversity increases nearer to the water with yellow buckeye, black birch and magnolias appearing. Virginia willow, silky cornel, hazel alder, yellowroot and ferns flourish. We may see log fern, Blue Ridge bittercress and brook saxifrage.

Location & Directions: Traveling north on US 23 / US 441 in Habersham County, go through the intersection with GA 17 Alternate at the traffic signal in Hollywood then take the next right onto John Wood Rd. which ends at an intersection after appro 1.5 mi. Continue straight ahead onto unpaved Camp Yonah Rd. and follow it about 3 mi to the east end. We have permission to park and walk across private property to reach Panther Creek within the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Meet:  10:00 am at East end of Camp Yonah Rd.

Bathroom Facilities: No. But two filling stations / convenience stores, two locally owned restaurants and a franchised sandwich shop are on GA 17 Alternate in Hollywood.

Walking Difficulty:  Total distance, in and back, is about 3 mi. The first portion of the walk is easy but the Forest Service hiking trail along Panther Creek is often rocky, overgrown and treacherous.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water. 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, bencash@hemc.net, (706) 968-3841 cell, day of hike although service may not be available.

Saturday, October 25, 2014, Banks County, GA, Piedmont Property of Sue Mager

Posted under: North Georgia.

Meet:   10:00 am  Mager, Creek

 Field Trip Leader:  Sue Mager

 Description:  We will explore meadows and beaver ponds/wetland areas on this trip.  In the morning, we will take an easy walk through several open fields to see a variety of fall wildflowers (mostly asters), including the Georgia Aster.  We will also see a variety of grasses. After lunch we will hike/wade along 20 year old beaver habitat, identifying pond flora and fauna along the way.

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

Mager, GA AsterFrom 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.

Bathroom Facilities: Yes

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

Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water.  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, and camera.

Contact: Sue Mager, 770 365-5197 cell (works in most places), email: backacres00@yahoo.com.

November 1, 2014, Fall Color & Tree ID, Berry College Campus, Floyd County

Posted under: North Georgia.

 Chalk maple (Acer leucoderme)Fall Color Hike / Tree ID, Saturday, November 1, 2014 10:00 am

Field Trip Leader(s): Richard & Teresa Ware

Description: We hope to see some actual fall color and ID trees along the way on this trip, which is timed at the same date when color peaked last year, but you never know. The plan right now is to walk around Victory Lake at Berry College for the brilliant red / orange leaves of the chalk maple (Acer leucoderme) and a bunch of other trees. We might take a few side trails if I find “goodies” when scouting out the trip. We also plan to walk around the campus for the brilliant reds of the red maple (Acer rubrum), the virbrant yellows of American yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea), and hickory (Carya sp.). We may see the national champion southern sugar maple (Acer floridanum), the state champion northern catalpa (Catalpa speciosa) and other Berry College unique sites.

Location & Directions: Take I-75 to exit 290 (GA 20). Follow GA 20 and US 411 to Rome. At first traffic light (GA Loop 1) turn right, go to US 27, turn right. At next traffic light, turn left into the main entrance to Berry College. Turn left just before the guard house. Turn right into the first parking lot, which is behind Krannert Center. If this road is closed, go past guard house and ¾ around circle and turn right and immediately take the first left to access parking lot behind Krannert. Restrooms available inside. Mockernut Hickory, (Carya tomentosa) leaves

Meet: 10:00 am at the parking area behind Krannert Center, Berry College.

Bathroom Facilities: Meeting site only.

Walking Difficulty: This hike is on flat terrain ~ 1 to 1 ½ mi.

Bring:  Lunch (to eat at picnic tables) & 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: Richard & Teresa Ware – 706-232-3435 – (cells) 706-766-5143, 706-766-4228 – e-mail (gabotany@comcast.net)