April 30, 2016, Manassas Bogs, (Tattnall & Evans Counties)

Posted under: South Georgia.

Saturday, April 30, 2016,   10:00 am Manassas Bogs (Tattnall & Evans Counties)

Meet:  10:00 am in parking lot across from Bernie’s store in Bellville, GA.

Description:  This site is a 5 mile stretch of power line ROW consisting of alternating sandhill and bog areas.  Three species of pitcher plants can be seen (Sarracenia purpurea, S. minor, and S. flava) as well as several orchid species (Cleistesiopsis divaricata, Pogonia ophiglossoides, Spiranthes spp.). Oceola’s plume (Stenanthium densum), four species of milkweed (Asclepias humistrata, A. verticillata, A. cinerea, A. michauxii), 3 species of milkwort (Polygala nana, P. lutea, P. ramosa), and Helenium pinnafitidum, bitterweed were found last year at this time.

Directions:  From Atlanta: take I-75 south to I-16.  East on I-16 to exit 98/GA 57. Right/South on GA 57 to Cobbtown and Collins.  In Collins take GA 292 left/E through Manassas to Bellville. From Savannah: Take I-16 west to exit 116/US 301. Turn left/S on US 301 to right turn onto GA 169. Continue on GA 169 to Bellville and intersection with GA 292 at Bernie’s.

Walking: Easy.  Prepare for wet feet, full sun, and burned conditions.

Lunch: Bring to eat in field.  Some food at Bernie’s.

Leaders: Martha & Hew Joiner      marthajoiner41@gmail.com


912.481.1623 cell on day of trip.

Facilities: At Bernie’s

Notes: Bring: Water, insect/tick repellent, sunscreen, long pants, and hat.


May 7, 2016, Woody Gap: Indian paint-brush, Outcrops, and Lady’s Slippers

Posted under: North Georgia.

Saturday,  May 7, 2016   10:00 am 

View from Trail near Woody Gap

View from Trail near Woody Gap

 Limited to 12 people!

 Field Trip Leader:  Hal Massie

 Description:  This trip will start at Woody Gap and follow a little-known trail southeast along Cedar Ridge.  We will first stop to see a huge population of wood betony, Pedicularis canadensis which is usually in full flower in early May.  Afterward, we’ll hike about a quarter mile uphill to a site where you can actually see eastern Indian-paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea, up close and in relative safety.  The same area has a population of small yellow lady’s-slipper, Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum.  When we have sated ourselves on bright red and brilliant yellow flowers, we will continue to the top of the ridge to a rock outcrop with magnificent views to the south.  After we return to Woody Gap, we may drive down to the Chestatee Overlook (less than 2 miles south) to look for pink lady’s-slippers. Due to the sensitive nature of the Indian-paintbrush site, only 12 people will be allowed on this walk.  Contact the trip leader directly to sign up.

Location & Directions: Woody Gap is north of Dahlonega in the Chattahoochee National Forest. Take GA 60 (either the Bypass or the

Indian Paint Brush, Castilleja coccinea

Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea

Business route) north from Dahlonega.  US 19 and GA 60 split at Rockpile Gap, take GA 60 to the left.  The parking lot is on the right side just as you crest the ridgeline after a long, winding uphill stretch.  Woody Gap is approximately 14 miles from Dahlonega.

Meet:  10:00 at the Woody Gap parking lot on the north side of GA 60 (the side with the…latrines).

Bathroom Facilities: There is a Forest Service ‘restroom’ with pit toilets at Woody Gap.

Walking Difficulty: This hike is mostly easy with a moderate uphill climb in the beginning. Both the Indian paint-brush and the yellow lady’s-slippers are off-trail and will require walking through some serious poison ivy, as well as uneven rocky ground and deep leaf litter. Total walking will be less than 1.5 miles.

Bring: Dress for the weather.  Bring a lunch to eat at the outcrop.  Bugs should not be a problem.  Those susceptible to poison ivy or particularly beautiful vistas should plan accordingly. Because of the short distances, we will have more time for photography at each site than is typical of mountain trips. Bring a camera.

Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum

Small Yellow Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum

Contact:   Hal Massie massiefarm@aol.com,  478-957-6095 (cell, will be on the morning of the hike, reception can be iffy)

Photos by Hal Massie


Sunday, May 8, 2016, Lake Winfield Scott Loop: Jarrard Gap Trail/Appalachian Trail/Slaughter Creek Trail Loop, Union County

Posted under: North Georgia.

Trip Leader:  Linda Chafin

Description:  This is a moderately strenuous hike with 1 mile on the Jarrard Gap Trail (mostly uphill), 2 miles on the Appalachian Trail (mostly level), and 2.5 miles on the Slaughter Creek Trail (mostly downhill). We will hike through several natural communities, including both rich and acid cove forests and montane oak forest.  Interesting wildflowers that should be in bloom include yellow lady’s-slipper, pink lady’s-slipper, speckled wood lily, doll’s-eyes, blue cohosh, toothwort, umbrella leaf, yellow mandarin, perforate bellwort, six species of violet, and four species of trillium. We will see many of the day’s wildflower species in flower during the first mile (on the Jarrard Gap Trail) – feel free to come for the first mile and return when you are ready.

Directions:  From Atlanta, take GA 400 north for about 60 miles, until it ends just south of Dahlonega.  Turn left there onto Ga Hwy 60 and take GA 60 toward and around Dahlonega.  Continue for about 15 miles on Hwy 60, heading toward Suches through the National Forest.  You will drive through Stone Pile Gap, bearing to the left at the pile of rocks to stay on GA 60. Continue uphill, crossing Woody Gap, then going downhill, passing Woody Lake on the right.  Shortly after the lake, watch for Ga Hwy 180 on the right (there is a service station/convenience store at that corner).  Turn right on Hwy 180 and go for about 4.5 miles.  Turn right into Lake Winfield Scott Recreation Area, stop to pay the $5 entrance fee, then continue to the parking area above the lake.

Meet: 10:00 AM.. Park in the parking lot above Lake Winfield Scott bath house and walk back downhill to meet at the trailhead.

Facilities:  At the convenience store and at the bathhouse on the lake near the meeting site.

Walking:  Mostly moderate with some easy and some strenuous stretches. Total distance 5.5 miles.

Lunch:  Bring to eat on trail.

Bring:  Five dollars per vehicle for entrance fee to Lake Winfield Scott (less with federal senior pass), sturdy shoes for hiking, trekking poles, rain gear (you never know!), lunch, extra water.

Contact:  Linda Chafin, Lchafin@uga.edu, 706-548-1697


Friday, May 13, 2016, Coastal Plains Endemics, Fort Stewart, Liberty County, etc.

Posted under: East Georgia.

Field Trip Leaders:  Larry Carlile and Dee Mincey

Description:  Ft Stewart is a mosaic of many habitats including longleaf pine-wiregrass sandhill, and longleaf, loblolly, and slash pine flatwoods communities. There are hardwood/cypress/gum drains, swamp forest, seeps, bogs, and bottomland. At more than a quarter-million acres, Ft Stewart manages the largest remaining acreage of the longleaf-wiregrass ecosystem in Georgia. We will encounter an abundance of rare, native, and coastal plain endemic species as well as the habitats of silky camellia (Stewartia malacodendron), hooded pitcherplant (Sarracenia minor), shiny coneflower (Rudbeckia nitida), trailing krameria (Krameria lanceolata), fever-tree (Pinckneya bracteata), snowy orchid (Platanthera nivea), dwarf witch-alder (Fothergilla gardenii), and smooth coneflower (Echinacea laevigata).

Meet:  10:00 AM at the unpaved parking area located at the intersection of Hwy 119 and Hwy 144.

Directions:  From I – 16:  Take I-16 to exit 127 GA Hwy 67. Take Hwy 67 south to Pembroke. Stay straight through traffic light – note road number will change to GA Hwy 119. Continue south for 17.5 miles to the intersection of GA Hwy 119/144. From I-95:  Take Exit 90 in Richmond Hill. Go west on GA Hwy 144 for 20 miles to GA Hwy 119. Turn north (right) onto GA Hwy 119 and travel for about 0.5 miles to the intersection of 119/144.

Bathroom Facilities: none

Walking Difficulty:  This hike is easy to moderate.

Bring: Lunch, snacks, and water. Dress appropriately for woods hiking and the weather. Dress for insects and remember insect repellant (the mosquitoes here are unrelenting). Wear comfortable hiking shoes. You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.

Contacts:  Larry Carlile <Lawrence.d.carlile.civ@mail.mil>      912-767-8241

Dee Mincey  <Henry.d.mincey2.civ@mail.mil>       912-531-2124