Sat, Dec 29 2018 - Key Swap: BMT Section 8 - Changed to Waterfalls, Talc Mine hike (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Ann Howard, Lisa
Participants:Ann Howard, Lisa, Ralph Howard, Mike S, AmyEvans, Alice G, Steve T, Debbie G, Julianne

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Write Up:

That time when Plan B turns out to be the best plan ever. Forest service roads were washed out to the BMT, so we headed to Fort Mountain State Park in north Georgia to hike the bike and equestrian trails. We started on the Gahuti Trail for just a short distance before turning onto bike trail #301. The 301 is like the total package of hiking trails. We had it all, drop dead gorgeous mountain views, commanding boulders, creepy abandoned mine shafts, rusted hulking equipment, Paradise trees, picnic bench lunch tables, and more waterfalls than you can shake a stick at. 

We explored one of the old mine entrances and felt the velvety softness of the talc - a mineral made up mostly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As we crested a ridge we admired the cotton candy clouds gathered below us in the valley. We followed the power line clearing steadily down, down, down, seemingly endlessly down. We hopped on the horse trail #407 for a bit, before reconnecting with the good ol' 301. This is where the trail really burst forth into its full glory. We first heard, then saw, torrential waterfalls spilling from hundreds of feet above. And then, on the other side of the trail, the water continued tumbling down the mountain for as far as we could see. So many waterfalls! Plenty of water crossings where the poles came in handy.

The undulating path hugged the bank of the creek as we hit one more steep descent, then a consistent uphill push as we ascended the last two miles alongside the tumultuous shoals and falls. We shared great cameraderie amongst our team members, both established and newer members. A warm welcome to new AOC member Alice, and welcome back to Julianne after a several year hiatus.