Sat, Dec 16 2017 - AT Hike: Byron Reece trail to Cowrock Mountain (and back) (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Chuck R
Participants:Mike Pawloski, Brian K, John, Bob J, Steve, Chuck R

Write Up:
If you like winter hikes, this was the hike for you! I dreamed of hikes like this one and it came true. We started at Byron Reese trailhead with 25 degree temperatures and 5 hikers all eager to get their feet moving. When we hit the trail, immediately the onslaught of mother nature's wrath began. There was a vision of ice and snow everywhere! Conversation came to a stop when we realized what we were in store for - the remaining 13 miles, so we gripped a little tighter on our trekking poles and pushed onward!! Touching base with Neel Gap was another sign of concern - not one car or person in the parking lot. Looks like we had the trail, which is the most popular trail in Georgia, to ourselves. How awesome can that be?! I was so excited that I could have thrown my hiking boots in the tree of boots, but not a good idea at that time so I left them on . Approaching Levelland Mountain we stopped at mile 3 to regroup while nobody was shedding layers at this time. We hiked on to several fantastic ridges. Looking to our north and south you can see crystal clear views - only in the winter you can experience this! Some areas of the trail we had to post hole our footsteps. Keeping a sharp eye on the blazes, if not paying attention, you can easily meander off trail! Later we took a stop on Wolf Laurel Top for a break and refueling at mile 4.7. Next we headed to Cowrock for lunch - basking In the sun with no wind and quiet conversation which made this a pleasurable lunch. Jumping back on the trail we, retraced our tracks where the pace soon picked up. Surprisingly on the backside of Levelland Mountain it was quite a steep climb and some of us had on heavy packs which made it more difficult. Soon we heard the sound of highway 19 and we were back to our cars! I would like to welcome STEVE to the A.O.C. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to hike with experienced hikers. MICHAEL P. - you did a great job on your training of Koty to be the best trail dog ever!! I really enjoyed him on the trail. Cheers, Chuck R.