Sun, Jun 16 2019 - Smithgall Woods State Park and Optional Secret Waterfall (View Original Event Details)|
Russ Peters led us on a nice tour of Smithgall Woods State Park, out and back to Chunanee Falls. The road was wonderfully shaded, had some decent hills, and was almost empty. It allowed free flowing introductions and conversations among the group. Scrambiling above the waterfall for a few of us was fun, but not that revealing of additional sights. With a deliberately easy pace and many pauses, it was a nice 4.5 hour jaunt.
The side trip to gold mine remnants revealed the hard work and landscape disruption that still has impacts with landslides and mudflows down the creeks. The ditch above the falls was more evidence of miners' arduous efforts to harness water to power mills and wash away soil.
Another side loop around the wetland had a nature sign describing efforts to restore GA's only native bamboo, River Cane. It is surprisingly vulnerable compared to invasive bamboo species which can't be stopped once established.
Most of the group drove to a "secret waterfall", where Russ led us up an Tolkein-esque scramble with enchanted log water spouts and challenging side slopes. All finished, slightly soiled, and exhilerated.
Photos Here; https://photos.app.goo.gl/RokuHEfQmYvdWRVR7