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Lula Lake on Lookout Mountain, GA: Helping improve its scenic Trails + optional free Camping beginning Sun after Cloudland Canyon day trip

The Basics:
Event Type:Volunteer
Event Location: ~100 mi NW of Atlanta near Cloudland Canyon State Park   Volunteer: Lula Lake on Lookout Mountain, GA:  Helping improve its scenic Trails + optional free Camping beginning Sun after Cloudland Canyon day trip  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Mon, Oct 22 2018  10:00 am >> Mon, Oct 22 2018 3:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Fri, Sep 28 2018 9:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Oct 20 2018 9:00 pm
Event Duration:5 Hours. Campers are welcome to arrive as early as 2PM Sunday and stay thru Tue AM.
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:25
Minimum Group Size:5
Number Registered So Far: 5 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


WANTED!...Enthusiastic fun-loving adventurers for this fall color "give-back" experience at Lula Lake, whose centerpiece high atop Lookout Mountain, GA is the incredible 100' Lula Falls pictured above, just a short drive NE of Cloudland Canyon State Park.  Our friends who manage the ruggedly beautiful 8000-acre "Lula Lake Land Trust" have invited the AOC to join them for some trail maintenance work (no previous experience necessary) from 10:00 AM until about 3:00 PM on Monday, Oct 22nd As a "thank-you" gift we volunteers will have exclusive use of their spacious creekside group campsite near the falls from Sunday afternoon thru Tuesday morning.  We hope each volunteer can plan to spend either or both nights (Sun and/or Mon) camping with us - and if not, after our trail work at least enjoy exploring with us a couple of the gorgeous waterfall trails and overlooks that adjoin our campsite before you depart.  Each of us who wishes to camp is welcome to arrive and set up our tent, hammock, etc. as early as 2:00 PM Sunday and depart as late as noon on Tuesday- see more details below).  Cloudland Canyon Sunday Hiking Option:  Volunteers are encouraged also to register to join us for a series of spectacular AOC dayhikes at nearby Cloudland Canyon, on Sunday Oct 21st from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, which has been specially planned to immediately precede this Lula Lake & Falls service trip.  Click here for that separate AOC event:

SERVICE PROJECT PLAN: Our host at Lula Lake will be our friend Patrick Kelly, the Land Trust's manager who did a splendid job overseeing our similar AOC trail work & camping trip there over "St. Pat's weekend" in March 2017.  Pat will provide everything we need for our Monday project including a variety of easy-to-use tools for soil moving and brush cutting, plus a training briefing with safety tips. Our mission will be to assist him and his staff in maintaining and improving a portion of the trail network about 1 mile west of our group campsite.  We volunteers will meet Pat a few minutes before 10:00 AM at the "Campsite Information Kiosk" by our parked vehicles (see Driving Directions below).  After introductions we'll depart with him on foot (with our own daypacks, picnic lunches & water) and can expect to be back at the campsite no later than ~3:00 PM after the trail work.  Feel free to bring any favorite trail maintenance gear of your own and be sure to dress properly as discussed below in "Required  & Suggested Items to Bring". We intend to go ahead with this trip Rain or Shine, unless unusually dangerous weather, etc. interferes.

DRIVING & CARPOOLING TIPS:  Those of us who wish to camp are urged to drive up independently or by arranging "custom carpooling" with other AOCers (including those of us who register for our Sunday Cloudland Canyon hikes discussed above).  For the benefit of volunteers who prefer joining us only for the day on Monday, I include below an optional 7:00 AM Monday group carpooling plan, meeting at the "Busbee Park & Ride" just off I-75 at Exit #271 near Marietta.  Drivers should pay close attention to my detailed Directions about reaching our meetup spot at the campsite kiosk via the padlocked Lula Lake gate, whose combination I'll email to all event confirmees.  Using GPS alone can be a problem in this wilderness area.

TIPS for VOLUNTEERS who wish to CAMP with us:  Our spacious "exclusive-use" Group Campsite at Lula Lake has Picnic Tables, a Campfire Ring, a roofed kInformation Kiosk, and a nearby well-maintained Toilet Building.  Although it's "pioneer style" (with no piped water or electric power) this beautiful creekside group site has directly adjoining free parking so it's easy to bring as many "comforts of home" as we like.  Below are lists of "required and suggested" things to bring, including camp chairs, headlamps, lanterns, jugs of water, iced-down coolers of food & refreshments, plus tents, hammocks, sleeping bags, air mattresses, stoves, tarps, etc.  On the other hand, feel free to go as light as you like and camp "backpacking style" if you prefer!   We're welcome to pitch our tents anywhere that doesn't disturb the gorgeous terrain - much of it is flat and grassy, and there are plenty of trees suitable for hanging hammocks. We campers who stay thru Tue AM may tackle a few extra light maintenance tasks (based on Pat's advice, before we depart)  - perhaps along the short "Rock Creek Nature Trail" that directly adjoins our group camping area & kiosk.

SUGGESTED MEALS & CAMPFIRE PLAN:  At the Lula Lake group site on both Sunday and Monday evening I suggest that we campers who are present gather for a social hour, "potluck" group dinner and campfire from about 6:00 till 9:00 PM - also similar family-style group breakfasts on Monday & Tuesday, ~7:30 till 9:00 AM.  If you wish to join us for a particular group meal simply be prepared to contribute about 4 or 5 servings of a single food or beverage item that you personally enjoy and would like to share - also pitch in of course with meal prep, serving and cleanup.  For your Lunch on Monday please bring an appropriate assortment of lightweight picnic-style food and drinks that can be conveniently carried in your Daypack and consumed while we're doing the trail work.  Also consider bringing snacks & water on our hike to the Waterfall overlooks, etc. after the work project.

FOR MORE ONLINE INFO, PHOTOS, etc. click these links:
- Lula Lake Land Trust website with maps, etc:
- "The Story of Lula Lake," a new documentary video:
- "The One Place in GA that Must be Seen to be Believed" blog & photos
- Cloudland-to-Chattanooga Trail Building Article:
Online Principles of Trail Design, Construction & Maintenance:

Required Items to Bring:

WATER for your PERSONAL USE:  For each day that you expect to be with us, we suggest that you bring with you at least about 2 gallons of potable water for drinking, cooking, washing, etc. The inexpensive gallon jugs or 2-gallon "tapper jugs" of bottled water area a good choice - available at local supermarkets & Walmart  - also a refillable spigoted plastic container is a great idea.

APPROPRIATE CLOTHING, GEAR, FOOD, REFRESHMENTS & SUPPLIES as discussed in the adjoining "Recommended Items to Bring."  For our volunteer Trail Work we each should plan to wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts, sturdy closed-toed shoes, work gloves and a cap, and carry your Picnic Lunch + Water + lightweight rain gear, etc. in a Day Pack.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
• Camping Gear & Supplies:  Tent, Sleeping Pad, Sleeping Bag, Hammock, folding Camp Chair, Tarp, Headlamp, Lantern, small Charcoal Grill, etc. (+ precut Firewood & Charcoal if you have some on hand and can conveniently bring it).
• Food, Refreshments and Cooking/Dining Gear.  Please bring a Camp Stove (+ fuel) if you have one plus a variety of Cooking Gear and Utensils to share.  (Any stove is appreciated.  Larger Coleman stoves are great for this 
car-side group-style trip if you  - also larger pots, pans & utensils than for backpacking.)  A sturdy Cooler is appropriate for protecting and preserving your perishable food, personal beverages, etc.  If you have a lightweight Folding Table please bring it to augment the few picnic tables at the group site.
• Base Clothing Layers + Jacket (or Sweater) + couple of extra light warm Layers for night-time use, etc. 
• Swimsuit if you're feeling adventurous!
• Camera or SmartPhone (lots of amazing photo-ops!) and any other compact items of a personal nature that you expect to need - e.g., Hammock, Sunglasses, Guidebooks, Maps, Binoculars, Musical Instrument, etc.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

DIRECTIONS from ATLANTA to our AOC GROUP CAMPSITE at LULA LAKE: (This route via I-75 and GA-136 West is among the simplest, shortest and most scenic, and is the route we AOCers normally prefer for trips to Cloudland Canyon State Park, whose main entrance is directly on GA-136. Various other routes to Lula Lake are suggested by GPS, Google Maps, etc. and have a comparable ~2-hour drive time.)

1.  From the I-75/I-285 Interchange take I-75 North about 60 miles to I-75 Exit #320, "GA Hwy 136.
2.  Turn Left onto GA-136 West and CAREFULLY FOLLOW the white "136-W" SIGNS for about 40 miles to the highway's junction with GA-157.  (Cautionary notes! There are several sharp turns along Hwy 136 and you'll reach the 4-way GA-157 jcn just after a steep uphill climb beyond the little community of Cooper Heights.  En route you'll pass through the town of Villanow and bypass Lafayette.  There's a hard Right turn onto the Lafayette bypass -c oncurrent with 4-lane US-27 - then another hard Right followed quickly by a hard Left to stay on GA-136 - all within 3 miles of downtown Lafayette.)
3.  At the GA-136/ GA-157 junction  turn Right onto GA-157 and stay on it for 9.4 miles to the little community of Hinkle.
4.  Stay straight ahead in Hinkle (avoiding the GA-157 left turn) and go just 1 mile further to the prominent blue Lula Lake Land Trust sign on your right.
5.  Turn Right at this big sign
and immediately stop in front of the adjoining steel gate.  All volunteers will
 be given the secret combination to the gate's padlock so you can drive through the gate, re-lock it and continue to our group site.
6.  After re-locking the gate drive down the gravel road just 0.6 mile and bear Rightward at the "Y junction. " Our group campsite with its wooden  Kiosk is just 200 yards ahead.  The kiosk displays excellent topo maps of the Lula Lake "core property" and its surrounding area.
7.  Feel free to park in any spot where you're not damaging vegetation, etc. Look for me (Charlie - cell no. 404-921-4622) or other AOC volunteers.  Assuming that you intend to stay for one or more nights we can also help you choose an appropriate spot for your tent or hammock, light RV, etc.
  As discussed above, at 10:00 AM on Monday we'll meet up at the Campsite Info Kiosk with our host Pat Kelly for the trail work project.

GPS and GOOGLE MAPS USERS:  Feel free to augment the above written directions by entering the following Lat/Lon coordinates for the Lula Lake Entrance Gate as your destination (as you would a street address - being sure to include the comma & minus sign)34.9194, -85.3863

GROUP CAMPSITE "INFO KIOSK" LAT/LON (~0.7 mile east of Entrance Gate):  34.922, -85.381 

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):200Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $80.00 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.

Cost Includes:

No Charge for this amazing trip other than your fair share of carpooling expenses to if you choose to hook up with one or more other volunteers for the trip up and back!  Just bring your own camping gear, food & refreshments - plus a cheerful disposition and vim, vigor & vitality!

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