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Benton MacKaye Trail Maintenance & Hiking in the Cohutta Wilderness

The Basics:
Event Type:Volunteer
Event Location: ~20 miles west of Blue Ridge, GA   Volunteer: Benton MacKaye Trail Maintenance & Hiking in the Cohutta Wilderness  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Aug 12 2017  8:00 am >> Sat, Aug 12 2017 3:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 6:45 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Jul 27 2017 12:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Aug 11 2017 9:00 pm
Event Duration:7 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Distance:5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Charlie Cottingham
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 2 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Note added by Charlie on Thu Aug 10th:  We definitely could use a few more AOC "hiker-volunteers," so if you're free this Saturday please join us.  The "spot" weather forecast for the Cohuttas looks good!  Temperatures in the comfortable 70s all day, with only about a 30% chance of light showers in the AM rising to about 60% by midafternoon.

Looking for an excellent way to "give back" to the beautiful trails and scenic areas that we AOC hikers and backpackers so often take for granted?  Please join us on Sat Aug 12th - no special skills required!
  The purpose of this trip will be to
 partner with our friends in the Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) to improve "Section 10" of the famous trail in the Cohutta Wilderness, just south of the TN state line. We AOCers will join our BMTA hosts initially in Blue Ridge, GA at 8:00 AM for a hearty breakfast buffet at "The Village Restaurant" (optional, at our expense).  Then at 8:30 AM we'll  depart in a vehicle caravan for the "Dally Gap" trailhead, about 20 miles NW of Blue Ridge. While hiking with our hosts and other volunteers we'll cut back overgrown vegetation along the trail with tools that they will provide. Special thanks to BMTA volunteers Ben Yaun, Ralph Heller, Barry Allen and Ken Cissna for inviting us to pitch in!

Details of this Aug 12th Volunteer Project from Website: Please join us on Saturday, August 12 as we work section 10 in the Cohutta Wilderness. This will be a joint BMTA event with Team Conasauga, Back Country Horsemen and the U.S. Forest Service. We need a great showing from volunteers, so please put this on your calendar. Plan for the day: Lopping, trimming and sling blade work, esp. to clear overgrown brush from recent regular rains.
  With a good turnout, goal is to take 3-4 adventurous folks all the way to Double Spring Gap to work with the horsemen on the stretch of trail from Double Spring back to Hemp Top. The rest of the group will be spread out from Dally to north of Hemp Top. The day is over when the horsemen meet up with the rest of the group coming from Hemp Top.
  Several years ago, we did a similar event and ended the day with a cookout, including hamburgers, hotdogs and all the fixin's, complete with watermelon and dessert; we could also use volunteers to help coordinate food, drink and cooking at Dally Gap – ending the day around 4:00.

Target Schedule for Aug 12th AOC Participation:
6:45 AM -   AOC participants who wish to carpool will depart (optionally) from Busbee Park & Ride near Marietta for a car caravan to Blue Ridge, GA. See Carpool Directions below.  Please BE PUNCTUAL since the schedule for the day is tight!
8:00 AM -  Breakfast Buffet (optional) at "The Village" Restaurant in Blue Ridge with our BMTA hosts.  See Directions and Address below..
8:30 AM -  Carpool from Restaurant to "Dally Gap" BMT Trailhead (with our hosts leading the way. See Directions below.)
9:15 AM -  BMTA Safety Briefing & Crew Assignments at Dally Gap
3:00 PM -  Target time for completing trail work and re-gathering at Dally Gap for the planned Hamburger/Hotdog Cookout.  Please bring a food or refreshment item of your choice to share!
6:30 PM - Target time for AOC carpoolers to return to Busbee Park & Ride lot near Marietta.

Benton MacKaye Trail Background Info from Wikipedia article: The Benton MacKaye Trail or BMT is a footpath nearly 300 miles (480 km) in length in the Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States and is blazed by a white diamond, 5" wide by 7" high. The hiking trail was created and is maintained by the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, and it is named for Benton MacKaye, the Massachusetts forester and regional planner who first had the idea for the Appalachian Trail in 1921.[1][2]  The BMT runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia (sharing the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail) to Davenport Gap[3] in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail passes through eight United States Wilderness Areas and Wilderness Study Areas, while traversing three states (GeorgiaTennessee and North Carolina).

Required Items to Bring:

- Minimum 2 liters of Water
- Sturdy closed-toed  Boots
- Long Pants,
- Work Gloves,
- Lunch and/or Snacks in a Daypack or fanny pack.
- For the Hamburger/Hotdog Cookout just after the trail work please bring a food and/or refreshment item of your choice to share - perhaps in a small cooler.

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

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

TO "THE VILLAGE" restaurant in BLUE RIDGE, GA from the I-575/ I-75 JUNCTION in NW METRO ATLANTA (about 70 miles total, as follows):
1.  Beginning at the I-575 junction with I-75 near Marietta, take I-575 and its "GA-515" extensions northward about 70 miles to the GA-5 junction in Blue Ridge, GA (bypassing Jasper and Ellijay, GA en route.  Notice the large McDonalds on your left just beyond this GA-5 traffic light).
2.  CONTINUE straight ahead on GA-515 for another 3/4 mile to "Old US-76" (bearing slightly rightward through the traffic light at GA-5)"
3.  Turn Right onto Old US-76 and go just  0.1 mile to the 1st traffic light at E. 1st Street
4.  Turn Right again onto E. 1st Street and go just another 0.1 mile to "The Village" restaurant and parking lot on your right.
GPS and Users: Feel free to augment the above directions by entering either of these as your destination for the Restaurant:
Street Address:    4131 E 1st St, Blue Ridge, GA
Lat/ Lon Address: 34.8735,-84.3122  (Include comma & minus sign.)

CONTINUING to BMT DALLY GAP TRAILHEAD from The Village restaurant:
1.  Return to the GA-515 traffic light at its junction with GA-5 (mentioned above - via E 1st St, then Left onto Old GA-76 and Left onto GA-515 for 3/4 mile).
2.  Turn Right at the traffic light onto GA-5 North and go 3.7 miles to Old Hwy 2.
3.  Turn Left onto Old Hwy 2 and follow it carefully for 10.2 miles to the junction with Forest Svc. Rd 22.
4.  Take a hard Right onto FS-22 and go about 3.6 miles to the gravel parking lot at Dally Gap where we'll gather for the trail work.  GPS users may find it useful to enter the following concise Lat/Lon as your destination address for Dally Gap:  34.9336,-84.5187

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):190Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 6:45 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $76.00 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.

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