Sat, Apr 2 2005 - Beginners Hike - Fort Mountain State Park (View Original Event Details)|
|Participants:||Kristin McDermott , Heather Gatcombe, , James M Storey, , Denice Fischer, Patricia Evans-Quayson, Asamoah, Lynn Gaspar, Michelle Spence, Janet Rhodes, Beth Arnold, Jana Jackson, Jennifer Vermillion, Crystal Jones, Mark Harrison, Aklea Whalen, Melissa Whaley, Ray Rybicki, Tracy Dawson, Steven Koonce|
This hike proved that having so called perfect weather is not necessary to have a very enjoyable outing. There were thunderstorms the two days preceding the hike but the forecast promised clear skies and it was suggested in the pre-hike e-mail that some might want to bring sunscreen. Instead it was still cloudy and we were greeted with snow as we entered Fort Mountain State Park. It was not below freezing, but winds were estimated at 30 mph plus. And yet we 17 people gathered at the Old Fort Wall Parking to begin the hike at about 10:30 AM. Well over half of the group was on their first or second AOC outing.
The first part of the hike was only about 1 1/2 miles, but we saw a lot for the distance we covered. We started with a nice uphill climb along a ridgeline to warm us up. One participant called hiking in 30 mph plus winds invigorating. We then went in the Stone Tower, which provided a little protection against the wind and gathered everybody up after the climb. Next we went to one of the most stunning overviews in Georgia where we could see sweeping views of the valley below. Then we went to the Old Fort Wall which is several hundred feet long and put there by some unknown group between 500 BC and 1500 AD. Finally we headed back to the parking lot to prepare for the second part of the hike.
We drove down to the campground area and got ready to hike the Big Rock Nature Trail and a short portion of Gahuti Trail. The distance covered here was only about 2 miles, but we experienced true mountain hiking conditions with plenty of rocks, mud and rock hopping over a stream. The distance and terrain was short enough to survive without hiking boots, but showed why they are needed. This portioned was highlighted hiking along side a cascading waterfall, which provided many photo ops.
We finished a little before two oclock. Everyone seemed glad they braved the less than ideal conditions to enjoy the beauty of Fort Mountain State Park. We then headed back to Chastain Road Park and Ride where some of us proceeded to have a nice meal at Los Reyes Mexican Restaurant.
Written By: Steven Koonce
Photos From: Steven Koonce