Sat, Mar 20 2004 - trail maintenance on Bruce’s section of The Georgia Appalachian Trail, with short hikes (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Bruce
Participants:Bruce, Michael Aubertine, Vani Duddilla, Ravi Mekala, Michelle Moran, Don Norton (Chicken Feathers), Gary Treater, Kang Wang, Robert Morris

Write Up:
After waiting 15 minutes after meeting time we all decided the remaining six of original 9 signees would go on in two vehicles. We traveled on I-575 to East Ellijay and had a short break, ‘dined’ at Burger King before going to Highway 52 east to our road S.R. 1010 or Big Creek Road-Doublehead Gap Road into the back country to our turn onto F.S.road 42 to Springer Mountain. We stopped at the ‘Crosstrails’ parking area, which already had several cars in the early morning. We hiked to the overlook and beginning of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain, and the overlook was initially looking out into the mists of morning; but soon burned off to a nice view of the valleys and smaller hills below. Many people started arriving, as it seemed to be the place to be on the first day of spring. We talked to some of those folks, some from Maine who were visiting and were very nice, with the soft R’s (ahh’s) in their speech often heard in the northeast. Many more people started arriving, so we moved down the mountain away from the crowds, and back on to a decidedly rougher F.S.42 after Crosstrails parking area; ran into a deeply rutted section of the road, which bottomed out our two cars, thankfully not badly. With no further incidence we arrived at our small parking area at Hightower Gap, and took a couple of shovels, a pair of lopers for weeds on the trail and did a little maintenance on this section. Not much more trash was present in the five weeks since I maintained it last; but got to explain the ‘trail window’ expected of the trail, about water bars and drainage, footpath width, etc. We had the unexpected pleasure of five residents at the shelter at Hawk Mountain, who we sat down with, shared food (some good jerky from one resident), ate lunch and talked with gentlemen from Maine, New Jersey, and several locals starting north to do the entire trail. It was heartening to see the trail and shelter being used. Very little maintenance was needed again, and talking to the several residents was a highlight of this portion of our days adventure before moving on.

We then traveled back to F.S. road 58, and turned right and traveled a couple of miles to the Three Forks parking area for our hike to Long Creek Falls on the combined AT and Benton MacKaye trails. It was pretty and benefited in volume from the previous nights rain. We snacked, took pictures walked up and around the waterfalls and then back to our cars for goodbyes to three of our hikers. Three of us-Michael, Michelle and myself went to and enjoyed a nice gourmet meal at the Toccoa Riverside restaurant on Aska Road before returning to the big city. As usual, thanks to all who came for their help on maintaining the trail, and being part of another good group of people for these nice hikes on a beautiful weather day.
Written By: Bruce Aldridge
Photos From: None