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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed through the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for details; you will be given payment instructions after you sign up. Late payments are NOT accepted for this event, in any circumstance.

Dauset Trails Annual Fall Camping & Adventure Weekend: Free Kayaking & Canoeing!

The Basics:
Event Type:Adventure
Event Location: 1 hour south of Atlanta, just off I-75   Adventure: Dauset Trails Annual Fall Camping & Adventure Weekend: Free Kayaking & Canoeing!  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Sep 23 2016  7:00 pm >> Sun, Sep 25 2016 4:00 pm
Registration Opens: Thu, Jul 28 2016 9:30 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Sep 9 2016 4:00 pm
Event Duration:Midday Fri thru 4 PM Sun: Come & go as you please!
Difficulty Rating:D2: Easy to Moderate
Trip Leader(s):
Charlie Cottingham
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:$25.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:25
Minimum Group Size:15
Number Registered So Far: 27 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


IN a NUTSHELL:  Ask any of the hundreds of AOCers who have enjoyed this trip in the past.  It's a blast!!  As usual we'll have exclusive use all weekend of the lovely lakeside group camping area at Dauset Trails Nature Center, an easy 1-hour drive south of Atlanta (see detailed Directions below).
  Our unbelievably low event fee ($25 due to AOC by Fri Sep 9 - see below) includes two delicious group meals and a wide variety of exciting optional activities, including unlimited free use of Dauset Trails' fleet of kayaks & canoes, miles of scenic mountain biking/ hiking trails, nightly campfires and much more—just chillax by the lake anytime you like!  Feel free to arrive as early as midday Friday and stay as late as 4:00 PM Sunday.
  There are dozens of beautiful shaded campsites, and if you choose to spend either or both nights you can sleep comfortably WITHOUT a tent or hammock in one of the "Turkey Roost" covered open-air sleeping structures (see more below).  Our volunteers will serve up a big Saturday group dinner and Sunday morning breakfast at our exclusive-use lakeside Dining Pavilion.  It's incredibly well equipped, with hot showers, flush toilets, power outletselectric lights - also plenty of free parkingpicnic tables and charcoal grill space.
  Camping not your thing?  Since our reserved group recreation area is so conveniently close to Atlanta, feel free to do your sleeping at home if you like, and join us during the day(s) & evening(s) all weekend for whatever activities (or "inactivities"!) that appeal to you - plus our 2 provided meals, campfires, etc. - all included in the $25 event fee.

"C TO THE 10TH" EVENT!  This semi-annual AOC adventure and R & R getaway can aptly be described as "C to the 10th Power."  Convenient, Close and Cost-Conscious, it even includes big group Cookouts & Campfires—a quality Carside Camping and adventure experience for outdoor enthusiasts from beginner thru expert.  In lieu of bringing a tent or hammock feel free to sleep in a Covered-Camping "Turkey Roost" sleeping structure (see more below). 
  We’ll have FREE weekend-long Canoeing and Kayaking with the Nature Center's nice fleet of boats - plus Swimming, weather permitting - in the lake by our campsite.  There are also great Cycling and Hiking opportunities, including leader-led group Mountain Bike rides and hikes on the huge network of wooded trails—so bring your hybrid or mountain bike if you have one and don't forget your hiking shoes or boots.  For the benefit of any who may be new to any of such wilderness pursuits, we'll have experienced AOC volunteers on hand to offer free Counseling in the basic skills of Camping, Hiking, Paddling, and the lore of GA's beautiful native plants and animals.
  A huge bonus of the Nature Center is its free 15-acre “Critter Corral” a.k.a. the "Wildlife Trail,"  This shady open-air zoo and its adjoining visitor center & museum display dozens of GA's native wild mammals, birds, reptiles and fish in a picturesque lakeside setting.  Esp. for the enjoyment of AOC "Dauset Newcomers" we always offer a Saturday AM "Orientation HIke" 
(~10:00 till lunchtime) from our Pavilion to the nearby Wildlife Trail & Nature Museum and back.
  You newcomers will quickly discover why we Dauset "veterans" love this in-Credible place! -Your trip Co-leader Charlie Cottingham, a.k.a "C-square."  :-)

CAMPING FACILITIES:  There's plenty of nicely shaded level campsite space near our dining pavilion and lake, and for any who prefer more privacy it's fine to pitch your tent (or hang your hammock) in any of the many flat clearings in the adjoining forest.  If you prefer you're welcome to sleep on one of the convenient “Turkey Roost” platforms - see below.  From the parking area at our group site its no more than a 2- or 3-minute walk to any of the dozens of beautiful tent or hammock sites - or to the Turkey Roosts.  Esp. if the weather is unusually cool or wet, feel free to sleep inside your own vehicle or RV, as I (Charlie) often do!
“TURKEY ROOST” COVERED SLEEPING STRUCTURES:  These three open-sided roofed buildings are available to us at no extra charge and conveniently adjoin our tent sites.  Each Turkey Roost can sleep up to about six with or without tents.  Each has two "stories" of wooden decks (~12 feet wide by ~10 feet front-to-back) with stairs and surrounding safety railings.  
To sleep in a Turkey Roost without a tent simply lay your pad and sleeping bag directly on the deck and perhaps pat a little insect repellent on your face and neck as you go to bed. If you have a small or medium-sized self-supporting dome-style tent (and there's available space) feel free to pitch it directly on one of the covered decks—no rain fly necessary!

GROUP MEALS:  The lakeside dining pavilion by the campsites and parking area has eight large picnic tables, and is ideally suited for preparing meals and dining together in a friendly group such as ours.  Its excellent shelter means that we can be confident of enjoying the trip "rain-or-shine."   Large coolers are appropriate to bring, with plenty of ice to preserve our favorite beverages and food items – the pavilion is the perfect shady place to consolidate them over the weekend.   The king-size raised charcoal grill by the pavilion is ideal for group barbecuing.
  For this trip the AOC event leaders will provide the main ingredients and supplies for a big Saturday evening meal (~7:00-8:30pm) and for Sunday morning hot breakfast (~8:00-9:30am). 

   We’ll also host optional “potluck-style” group meals at the Pavilion for our Fri dinner (~7:30-8:30pm) Sat breakfast (~8:00-9:30am) and Sat & Sun lunches (~12:30-1:30 both days). For any potluck-style meals that you choose to take part in, simply show up and contribute an ingredient or two of your choice - or a small prepared dish, salad, dessert, beverage etc. (E.g., for Fri Dinner perhaps an hors d'oeuvre plate, pre-cooked covered dish, grilled item, salad, dessert item, etc.  For Sat breakfast: perhaps a dozen eggs, pound of bacon, quart of juice, fresh fruit, half-dozen bagels, etc.) – also please do your share to help with food prep, cooking & cleanup for all of our meals at the Pavilion.
  "" is a free website that gives potluck meal participants convenient access to a well organized online chart of items that each person wishes to contribute.  You can easily see what there may be too little of or too much of and insert or adjust your own contribution accordingly!  If you'd like to participate please click and use the following online tables ASAP to insert food/refreshment items and/or gear & supplies that you would like to bring to share.

For our Friday Evening Potluck "Cookout Dinner" click this link:

For our Saturday Potluck Breakfast click this link:

On Friday evening, for the benefit of those who arrive by about 7:30 PM, the Pavilion's charcoal grill will be lit and implements provided for those who would like to barbecue a REASONABLE-sized personal item of your own: e.g., a piece of steak, chicken breast, 2 or 3 hotdogs, couple of burgers, etc.

The Club will provide a limited supply of napkins, paper towels, steel silverware, cooking utensils, etc. for group use at the Pavilion all weekend.  Our Club policy is to minimize the amount of disposables, so to "BE GREEN" please bring your own personal insulated and covered drinking mug and your own personal washable plate and bowl, plus personal knife, fork & spoon.  We’ll provide a hot-water dishwashing station, "camp suds," scrubbing pads, & towels, and will recruit a small crew to wash & dry dishes after each group meal.

"PRE-TRIP PLANNING DROP-IN," TUE SEP 20th at AOC SOCIAL at the TACO MAC in the PRADO," ~7:00-8:00 PM:   For all of you who can conveniently attend, we'll get together informally on the "front end" of the Social.  Not a problem if you can't be there or need to arrive late. This gathering is recommended esp. for you "Dauset first-timers" to address your questions and introduce you to others who are on the trip.  I'll give out some nice brochures & maps of the beautiful Nature Center.  We'll clarify how to drive to our remote group camping area and what gear, food & refreshments we each may wish to bring.
  The Taco Mac is in the Prado shopping center at 5600 Roswell Rd, Sandy Springs, GA 30342 - about 1/2 mile south of the I-285 "Roswell Road" exit.  As your GPS or destination for the Social you can enter the Taco Mac's Lat/Lon Coordinates33.9077, -84.3795   Look for us on the covered open-air porch.  Click here for more info about the Social and to register to attend it:

FOR MORE about DAUSET TRAILS NATURE CENTER visit their official website at  Phone number: 770-775-6798.  Founded in 1977 and just 50 miles south of Atlanta, the nonprofit nature center focuses on Environmental Education for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.  The heavily forested 1300-acre park was privately endowed by two highly esteemed local land owners, Hank Daughtry and David Settles - hence the coined name, DAU-SET."  Its friendly hard-working staffers oversee its Visitor Center & Museum, Antique Barnyard, Botanical Gardens and the Zoo and other amazing free attractions discussed above. Reserved and paid camping groups such as ours have exclusive use of the entire lakeside camping area and its nice included extras. For a color topo map which includes the extensive hiking/biking trails network go to:

 An added bonus of Dauset Trails is its proximity to historic Indian Springs State Park and its quaint adjoining village - also to High Falls State Park.  These adjoining parks offer fabulous hiking trails, waterfalls, lakes, botanical gardens, country stores, antique shops, etc.  A beautiful lakeside hiking & mtn biking trail was opened that conveniently connects Dauset Trails with Indian Springs.  High Falls is a very pretty place to explore, and a convenient stop while en route back toward Atlanta from Dauset Trails.

 FOR SOME COLORFUL DAUSET TRAILS PHOTOS (plus an archive write-up)  of our AOC September 2010 weekend, go to the following link.  Click on "Photo Album." for Courtney & Tom Harjung's superbly done Picasa album:

September 30 - October 2, 2011 photo album:

Thanks to Angela Nelson for the above beautiful group "beach & boats" shot taken on our May 2009 Dauset Trails trip.

Required Items to Bring:

•  Sleeping Bag (or sheets & blanket)
•  Sleeping Pad & Pillow
•  Clothing, Athletic Shoes & Rain Gear appropriate for weather forecast
•  Toiletries, Towel & Washcloth
•  Headlamp & extra Batteries 

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Tent or Hammock (+ Rain Tarp, etc. if wet weather is forecast) —or sleep in a roofed "Turkey Roost" structure - open-air without a tent or in small dome tent placed on the Turkey Roost deck. We've had remarkably few biting insects on past trips!
Large Cooler with plenty of Ice & favorite Food & Beverages* *Dauset Trails has a strict policy regarding Alcohol consumption, which we expect all AOCers to discreetly observe!
For each group "Potluck Meal" that you'd like to participate in (see above) just bring some Item or prepared Dish of your choice to contribute - also an extra Cooler with extra Ice might come in handy - the nearest store is several miles away.  Consider pre-freezing some bottles or jugs of water—use them for longer-lasting and less messy solid ice in your food cooler and you can also drink the cold water as it melts inside the plastic container.  The piped water at our dining pavilion is perfectly fine to drink and to use for cooking, cleaning, etc., but has a slightly sulfury taste when first drawn from the tap. 

Camp Stove if you have one (+ fuel canister) + Large covered Pot & Pan.
Folding Camp Chair for Pavilion Area & Campfires + Firewood, if you have some on hand and can conveniently bring!
Personal Drinking Mug, Plate, Bowl, & Knife/Fork/Spoon
• Covered plastic Food Storage Box (+ Ziploc Bags, etc.) for perishable food items.
Camera w/extra Batteries, Memory, etc.
Mountain Bike (+ Helmet) if you have one and would like to use it to explore the hiking/biking trails network surrounding our campsite area.
Fishing Rod & Tackle if you'd like to fish in the lake by our campsites.
The Nearest Stores are Several Miles Away! - So it's best to bring everything we may need for the weekend - including plenty of ice (perhaps in an extra cooler).  Our dining pavilion has hot & cold running water (safe to drink) and plenty of electric outlets & overhead lights.  We can conserve Coleman fuel, etc. by utilizing onsite electricity.  Trip leaders will bring for group use a large electric coffee percolator and hotplate - even a small microwave for heating beverages, etc.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

EASY DIRECTIONS from ATLANTA to AOC GROUP CAMPING AREA & PAVILION at DAUSET TRAILS NATURE CENTER:  The camping area is only about 45 miles from the I-75/I-285 interchange on Atlanta's south side
 - normally less than an hour's drive if you can avoid Rush Hour. For a zoomable map & satellite view of our special camper entrance gate and its surrounding area click the rectangular blue & green "Event Location" icon near the top of this article.

IMPORTANT:  Please pay close attention to these directions which give the precise mileage of each driving leg and explain our special AOC entrance procedures.  Don't try to rely solely on GPS!  (As an adjunct to these directions you GPS users can enter Lat/Lon 33.2321,-83.9489 as coordinates of our special AOC entrance gate discussed in detail below.)

1. From the southside I-75/ I-285 Interchange (east of the Atlanta Airport) take I-75 South about 35 miles and get off at Exit #198, "High Falls Rd." (If you live on Atlanta’s east side consider this shortcut:   From I-285 Exit #52 take I-675 southward to I-75 South, then it's just 29 miles further to Exit #198 at High Falls Rd.)

2. Turn Left onto High Falls Road (over the I-75 bridge) and go 4.6 miles to Mt. Vernon Church Road (passing through High Falls State Park en route).

3. Turn Right onto Mt Vernon Church Rd and go 3.0 miles to the SPECIAL ENTRANCE for DAUSET TRAILS CAMPERS, a gravel road on your left.  (
There's a "Camping" sign here now and the entrance is surrounded by a long bank of pines along a rightward bend in the highway). The following Lat/Lon coordinates of this gravel road entrance may be useful as your entered GPS or "destination": 33.2321,-83.9489  (If you happen to overshoot it, in just 0.1 mile you'll reach the main Dauset Trails paved entrance, in which case you should make a U-turn and backtrack 0.1 mile to the proper gravel entrance.)

4. From Mt. Vernon Road turn Left into this gravel Camper entrance road and bear leftward for about 100 yards where you’ll find a steel gate. (The gate is just beyond a “check-in bulletin board” and a gravel parking lot for mountain bikers & other “day-use” visitors.)  CRUCIAL DETAIL:  Enter through this gate toward our Camping Area as follows: The gate is "Fake-locked" with an old padlock on a chain.  Simply lift the end of the chain off the nail, open the gate, proceed through it with your vehicle, then reclose the gate just as you found it by wrapping the chain and padlock around the gatepost and re-hooking it on the nail.

5. After rewrapping the chain and "fake lock" drive about 0.8 mile up the gravel road to our covered lakeside campers’ Dining Pavilion ("Group Pavilion #2") and campers’ Parking Area on your Right.  (Just before you reach this group area you'll pass through a second steel gate that is normally left unlocked and open for reserved camping groups.  We like to leave this second gate in the OPEN position all weekend.  If you arrive early and find this second steel gate locked, feel free to ask a ranger at the nearby Nature Center Office to assist you, and you could try reaching them by phone at 770-775-6798.

6. When you arrive, park initially at the pavilion, and consolidate there your coolers, camp chairs, and cooking/dining gear, etc.  If other AOCers have already arrived they can assist you in choosing a campsite. The main tent camping area  is in the forest near the lake, about 100 to 200 yards to the right of the pavilion beyond the little open-air chapel.  The “Turkey Roost” camping platforms are about 50 yards beyond this tent camping area, via the same forested trail.

Important information for paid events in which payment is managed through the AOC:

     - Payment must be received by the payment due date and prior to participation in the event.

     - Some paid events require a minimum number of registered participants. If that number is not met, the event will be canceled and refunds will be issued to those who have already paid.

     - Third-party vendors often require damage deposits. Each registrant agrees to be liable for and required to reimburse the Atlanta Outdoor Club for any withheld deposits due to the actions of or damages caused by that registrant.

     - No partial payments. All registrants must pay the posted Member Cost regardless of any agreement you may have with any party involved in the event.

     - Read the event description carefully for additional information, and contact the trip leader(s) with any questions.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost & Payment:
Member Cost:$25.00/Person
Cost Includes:

• Hot Dinner for group Sat evening + Dining Supplies for all meals,
• Hot Breakfast for group Sun morning + Hot Coffee both mornings,
• Weekend-long Camping in shaded Campsites and "Turkey Roost" covered camping structures. (Exclusive use by our AOC gp.)
• Use of large Lakeside Dining Pavilion (with its Restrooms, Hot Showers, Flush Toilets, potable Water & electric Outlets).
• Use of fleet of Canoes & Kayaks + paddles & lifejackets all weekend in lake by camping area & pavilion. (Exclusive use by our AOC gp.)
• Use of Hiking & Mountain Biking Trails and Wildlife Trail (free zoo)!

Payment Cut Off:Payment must be received by the AOC on Fri, Sep 9 2016.
Make a Payment:Click here for the details. PLEASE PAY AFTER YOU HAVE SIGNED UP BELOW.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

It is your responsibility to get your AOC event payment in on time.  Please allow at least two days for processing a PayPal or Electronic Funds Transfer transaction.  Cash and mailed checks are no longer permitted.  If you pay by check it must be hand carried to an AOC Officer or Treasurer by the payment deadline.

CANCELLATION POLICY:  If you cancel on or before Sep 9, full payment will be refunded less a $3 administrative fee to cover processing of the payment and refund. No refund for cancellation after Sep 9 unless another AOC member replaces you and pays in full, and then you may request a refund less the $3 fee.  No partial payment for partial attendance will be accepted or returned.  This is considered a "Rain-or-Shine" AOC Event, esp. since we have such excellent shelter in Dauset Trails' spacious dining pavilion and "turkey roost" structures - also since we have quick access to our vehicles.