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Hiking w/ Cabin Overnight : BMT

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Wilscot Gap, Hwy 60   Hike: Hiking w/ Cabin Overnight : BMT    National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Oct 29 2016  9:30 am >> Sun, Oct 30 2016 4:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Tue, Oct 11 2016 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Mon, Oct 24 2016 8:00 pm
Event Duration:1 Days 6 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:17 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Ann Howard
Ralph Howard
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 10 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


   Debbie Hayes has kindly volunteered to host the AOC for a weekend in her cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. We will be completing an all day hike on Saturday and one on Sunday.  You will be required to participate in both events. 

   Dinner and Breakfast will be provided by the event organizers. We will be asking everyone (except Debbie) to chip in for groceries. Please bring $10 per person food money in addition to your carpool money.

You will need to bring your own trail lunches and trail snacks.

   There will be room for two two-person tents. Trees available for hanging hammocks.   If you are interested in camping please e-mail the event leaders when you register. Everyone else will be sleeping in the cabin. There are some beds, but you are not guaranteed a bed or a private room. Space should be adequate, though cozy.  The cabin is rustic but has a bathroom, shower, kitchen, decks, and other modern amenities. Cold spring well water is available for drinking and to fill your water bottles.

   Parking at the cabin is limited, so please carpool if you can. Also, low- rider cars may have difficulty with the driveway to Debbie's cabin. Directions to the cabin will be provided at the carpool.

   Lights out at 10:30PM, wherein quiet time begins.  It is cozy environment and voices travel. 


Saturday Hike - The Benton MacKaye Trail is a long trail that goes from Georgia to the Smokies.  This section is a remote part of the trail south of the Cohuttas.   But the trailhead is only five miles from the divided highway in Cherry Log, so it is not a tough ride to get there.

We will be hiking along a ridge that is the rim of the Tennessee Valley Divide.  To our right, water flows to the Mississippi, to our left, water flows to Mobile. 

We will be going thru hardwood forest with some pine mixed in.  We should have some decent winter views on the ridge tops.  

Our low point is at 2,090 ft where we start and our high point is 2,940 ft on one of our ridges, so we have some ups and downs on this one.

Starting at Bushy Head Gap we cross or skirt the five peaks of Bear Den Mountain and then descend into Hudson Gap.  From there we go back up the ridge and then drop to McKenny Gap.  Then we go back up again and drop to Hatley Gap, where we turn around and come back the way we came.

We are going at a moderate pace.  There are some tricky turns on this, so nobody gets too far ahead or behind.  Thus, we have to ask that fast hikers not sign up.  That said, it is a D-4, so the trip leaders reserve the right to remove people without recent D-4 experience.

Saturday Evening - Dinner to be provided by event organizers. Games and chit-chat for the rest of the evening. Quiet hours will be from 10:30pm to 7am. If you wish to stay up later, you may, but you will need do this outside and an appropriate distance from the cabin or any tents, to allow others to sleep. 

Stargazing and optional campfire.


Sunday Morning -  

We plan to give a wake-up call around 7:30. Breakfast will provided around 8am, heading for the trail-head around 9am. We will hike 6 miles at Stanley Gap. 



About The Trail:

The Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) is a footpath of nearly 300 miles (480 km) through the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States. It is designed for foot travel in the tradition of the Appalachian Trail (AT).

Running from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Big Creek Campground on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park the BMT passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, including eight federally designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas. Online trail guides can be found here: tm





Required Items to Bring:

Water - 2-3 liters minimum

Trail snacks and two lunches

Well-broken-in hiking boots or shoes

Your own towels.

Your own non-disposable plate and cup.

Sheets and/or sleeping bag, pillow, pad or small blow-up mattress, other sleeping gear

Clothes for sleep and for Sunday

Toiletries as required

$10 for groceries, in addition to carpool money


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

Games, cards, guitars, harmonica's, etc.

Adult beverages (optional).




Rain Gear



How to Get There:
Event Directions:

From Park & Ride, exit and go back toward Chastain Rd, turn right onto Chastain, turn left on to I-575 North, it will eventually become 515, stay on 515. 

We will have a bathroom break at the Burger King, on the right in Ellijay. (1022 Maddox Dr, East Ellijay 30540) 

After leaving the Burger King, continue north on 515 for 10.5 miles and turn left on Lucius Rd past Cherry Log.  Go 2.8 miles and take a slight right onto Boardtown Rd.  Go 0.3 miles and take a left on Bushy Head Road, which starts paved but turns into an all weather gravel county road.  Follow this for 1.7 miles to the top of Bushy Head Gap where you will see a small post for the Benton MacKaye Trail.  Go down the hill past this for about 0.1 miles and you will find a wide part of the road where we will park, before the intersection with Cashes Valley Rd.


Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):158Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $63.20 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

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

Cost Includes:

Dinner Saturday night, breakfast Sunday morning.

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