Posted under: North Georgia.
Meet: 10:00 AM – We will meet at the home of Jennifer & David Kearns, 670 Rush Chapel Road, Adairsville, GA 30103.
Description: Shooting Stars & Other Flowers / Kearns Property. We will explore at least two different sites on Jennifer and David Kearns property in northeastern Floyd county. There are natural populations of several beautiful and rare plants including Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon meadia), Dwarf Larkspur (Delphinium tricorne), Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium reptans), Buckeyes (Aesculus sp.) and other wildflowers, plus one really huge Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii). Afterward, time permitting, there may be an additional opportunity to botanize.
Directions: Take I-75 north from the Atlanta / Marietta area. Take exit #306 (Ga. 140) in Adairsville. Turn left (west) on Ga. 140 and continue for 7 miles. Turn left onto Rush Chapel Road (look for Rush Chapel United Methodist Church sign on the right). If you get to Ga. 53 you have gone too far, turn around and Rush Chapel will be 1 mi. on the right. Once on Rush Chapel the driveway is 1.5 mi. on the right, #670.
Facilities: Yes, at meeting and lunch site
Walking: Approx. 1 to 1 ½ mi. total for the day. Trails are relatively flat, easy.
Bring: Lunch to eat outside (weather permitting), water, hand lens, camera, bug spray.
Leader(s): Richard Ware – 706-232-3435
Posted under: Atlanta area; Rock Outcrops.
Arabia Mountain National Natural Heritage Site. Mountain Loop, Lake Loop, and Salamanders Pools, Sunday; April 6, 2014, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Meet: 10:00, Park Visitor Center
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.
Facilities: In Visitor Center
Difficulty: Moderate with some fairly steep, but short, accents and decents.
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.
Please contact Jerry Hightower at 404-953-9331 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are planning on joining this trip.
Posted under: North Georgia; Uncategorized.
Trip Leaders: Dan Williams and Linda Chafin
Description: We will caravan/carpool from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Clayton to the Popcorn Overlook on U.S. Highway 76, about 15 miles west of Clayton. Here we will explore the ultramafic rocks (such as serpentinite, soapstone, and asbestos) and vegetation associated with the Hayesville-Allatoona fault, a long narrow suture zone marking the place where the Eastern Blue Ridge/Inner Piedmont volcanic island chain crashed into proto-North America around 500 million years ago. Ocean crust between the two land masses was pushed up into the fault zone here. These ultramafic rocks (bottom half of ocean crust) are very high in magnesium, and weather to soils that create a habitat called a serpentine barren, supporting plants unique to this habitat type. Characteristic or unusual plants we hope to see include Canada Burnet (Sanguisorba canadensis), a species of Special Concern in Georgia, nine-bark (Physocarpus opulifolius), a shrub in the rose family, wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), waxy-leaf meadowrue (Thalictrum revolutum), and Pitch pine (Pinus rigida). Afterwards, we will head south to Tallulah Gorge, to the old overlook, and take a look at the Tallulah Falls Dome formation and the stream capture that created the steep gradient that gave the river its cutting power.
Directions: Take U.S. Hwy 441 into Clayton. Wal-Mart is at 1455 U.S. Highway 441, on the east side of the highway, about 1 mile south of downtown.
Meet At: 10:00 a.m. in the Wal-Mart parking lot on the south side of Clayton. (Folks coming from the west may wish to meet us at Popcorn Overlook around 10:30, but beware – there is limited parking there.)
Facilities: In Clayton.
Walking: Easy to slightly rugged, over short distances.
Lunch: Bring to eat at the site.
Bring: Sturdy shoes for hiking, trekking poles, rain gear (you never know!), lunch, extra water.
Contact: Dan Williams, email@example.com OR Linda Chafin, Lchafin@uga.edu, 706-548-1697
Posted under: Uncategorized.
Description: Spring is a great time to visit Chickamauga National Battlefield Park, one of the nation’s largest and best preserved Civil War sites, and also home to Cedar Glades, one of Georgia’s rarest habitats. In the glades, the thin layer of soil covering a limestone bedrock restricts trees to red cedars growing at the edge of the glades and in cracks between the rocks. The wildflowers include some found nowhere else in Georgia. This year, we are planning two spring visits to the park, each with their own distinctive plant life. On this first trip, we will look for some of the signature wildflowers found in cedar glades, such as Nashville Breadroot, Pediomelum subacaule, the tiny Least Glade Cress, Leavenworthia exigua var. exugua, and Heartleaf Plantain, Plantago cordata. Afterwards, some of us may wish to take a short drive up Lookout Mountain to see if a rare orchid is blooming early.
Directions: From Interstate 75 in northwest Georgia: At Exit 350, take Battlefield Parkway (Georgia Hy 2) west for 7 miles to Fort Oglethorpe. Turn left at the intersection with Lafayette Road (US Hy 27 south). Go one mile on Lafayette Road to the park entrance and visitor center on the right.
GPS address: 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742
Facilities: In park office.
Bring: Lunch to eat at a picnic area in the park. Pick up a copy of the excellent park trail map in the office, if desired.
Trip Leader: Mike Christison, 770-973-6482, firstname.lastname@example.org. Co-Leader: Richard Ware, 706-232-3435, email@example.com.
Cell phones for day of field trip: Mike: 770-596-3564, Richard: 706-766-5143.
Posted under: Canoe Trips; Middle Georgia.
Meeting Time: 10:00 am
Trip Leader: Ed McDowell
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 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 at: 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. The last of April 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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.
Posted under: North Georgia.
Date: Sunday, April 27, 10:00 AM at Fort Mountain State Park, Murray Co., Ga.
Meet: 10:00 am
Description: Walk approx. 2 1/2 mi. on backcountry trail at Ft. Mountain S. P. We hope to see Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria montana), Speckled Wood Lily (Clintonia umbellulata), Spotted Mandarin (Disporum maculatum), Vasey’s Trillium (Trillium vaseyi), Pink Ladies Slippers (Cypripedium acaule), Dutchman’s Pipe Vine (Aristolochia macrophylla), Doll’s Eyes (Actaea pachypody), and many others. We will then eat lunch at picnic tables in the park. We will then travel to Carters Lake Rereg Dam Area, which will be on the way home for those traveling south, and walk a short 3/4 mi. trail. We hope to see an amazing array of plants including: Yellow Trillium (Trillium luteum), S. Nodding Trillium (T. rugelii), Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica), Columbo (Frasera caroliniensis) (not in bloom), Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon meadia), Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), and others.
Directions to Meeting Place: From I-75 at Cartersville, Ga., take US 411 north to Chatsworth, turn right (east) on GA 52 and follow it to the entrance of the park (on the left). Drive past the office and take the first left, we’ll meet in the large picnic area parking lot on the left.
Lunch: We will eat in Picnic Area at Ft. Mtn. State Park. Do not carry lunch on walk.
Hike: Approx. 3 ½ – 4 mi. total. Hiking Difficulty: Ft. Mtn.: Moderate to strenuous, Carters Lake: Easy
Facilities: At meeting & lunch site.
Trip Leaders: Richard & Teresa Ware (706-232-3435) (cell – 706-766-5143) (email@example.com)
Posted under: Atlanta area.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Jerry Hightower, April 27, 2014 East Palisades, Indian Ridge to Cabin Creek Loop Trail, Spring Flora, Ferns, and Fun
10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Description: Join the Georgia Botanical Society and National Park Service Naturalist Jerry Hightower for a look at this beautiful area in late summer’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 late spring wildflowers, ferns, and perhaps a salamander or two.
Location: Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, East Palisades Unit; meet at 10:00 a.m. 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.
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous. There are several steep ascents and descents.
Bring: Remember to 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 $25 annual pass is required.
Limit: 30 persons
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED by contacting Trip Leader, Jerry Hightower. Reservations and directions: 678-538-1200
Posted under: Middle Georgia.
Description: We will explore small ravines in the Culloden, and Musella area, northern Crawford County. Trilliums and fringed campion (Silene polypetala), along with other spring ephemerals will be featured. At least 4 small ravines will be explored, accessed from main highways. A special bonus visit to a Crawford County pitcherplant bog and stand of conjurer’s nut (Nestronia) will be optional.
Meet: 10:00 a.m.
Directions: From Forsyth, GA (on I-75 north of Macon) and take GA Hwy. 83 southwest toward Culloden, or from Roberta take US Hwy. 341 north to jct. of 341 and 83. Meet at the gas station parking area in traffic circle at this intersection.
Facilities: At the meeting and lunch spots.
Difficulty: Moderate bushwhacking off the beaten path but not treacherous, under 3 miles total all day.
Bring: Snacks, water. Optional lunch stop in downtown Knoxville or bring lunch. Wear hiking shoes with ankle support for sometimes rocky slopes.
Trip Leader: Tom Patrick, tom.patrick@ dnr.state.ga.us 706-476-4541 (cell)
Posted under: Atlanta area; Workshops.
Trip Leader: Jerry Hightower
Description: Join us for breakfast on the upper deck of the lodge at the Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center. Hot coffee, tea, cereal, muffins, and baked eggs will be offered followed by a brief slide program and discussion of wild edibles found in the Chattahoochee River corridor of Georgia’s piedmont and mountains. We will closely examine some edibles, followed by a bring-your-own lunch. After lunch, we will leisurely walk the grounds of the Lodge and Lutra Loop Trail seeking wild edibles.
Meet: 09:00 a.m.
Location: Chattahoochee River Environmental Education Center, 8615 Barnwell Road, Johns Creek, Georgia 30022. 678-538-1200. For directions see: http://www.nps.gov/chat/index.htm
Facilities: Restrooms are located in the Lodge.
Difficulty: Leisurely walk of less than two miles.
Bring: Please bring your own lunch to enjoy on the upper deck with its views of River Glen Pond and the Choestoe Meadow. Sunscreen, a hat, and water are recommended as well as camera, binoculars, guide books, hand lens, notebook, and pen.
Contact: Jerry Hightower: 770-845-7997 or 770-206-0338 (cell) or 678-538-1245 (office); OR <firstname.lastname@example.org> or <email@example.com>
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED. Limit 30 persons. Reservations are required: contact Jerry at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or 770-845-7997
Posted under: North Georgia.
Field Trip Leader: Tom Govus
Trip Limit: 12 people.
Description: We will make a one way loop from Lake Winfield Scott over the summit of Slaughter Mountain and, via the Duncan Ridge Trail, continue on to Wolfpen Gap. Like nearby Blood Mtn, Slaughter is a high elevation rocky summit (4,338 ft) with many notable species. Plants that we hope to encounter include Sibbaldiopsis tridentata (three-toothed cinquefoil), Paronychia argyrocoma (silverling) – both characteristic species of Appalachian mountain summits. We also hope to see Sorbus americana (mountain-ash) and high elevation red oak communities as well as small rock outcrops. This is an exploratory hike, all of these species are reported for the area, but their exact location is not known. We will undoubtedly encounter many more interesting species and see outstanding landscapes.
Meet At: The parking area for the Duncan Ridge Trail at Wolfpen Gap (see above).
Location & Directions: We will meet at Wolfpen Gap and leave enough vehicles to ferry drivers back to their cars at Lake Winfield Scott, where we will begin the hike. This gap is located on GA Hwy 180 about 3.4 mi W of junc with US 19 (near Vogel State Park and Sosebee Cove), or about 8 miles E of the junc of GA 180 with GA 60 in Suches. There is a parking area for the Duncan Ridge Trail at the top of the Gap on the N side of GA 180.
Bathroom Facilities: at Lake Winfield Scott.
Walking Difficulty: This hike is moderately strenuous, about 4.5 mi long with an elevational climb of over 1,500 ft.
Bring: Lunch, snacks, & water. Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable hiking shoes. You may wish to bring binoculars, hand lens, notebook, and camera.
Contact: Tom Govus – email@example.com, (H) 706-276-3360 (C) 706-669-1491