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12th Annual Dauset Trails Spring Camping and R&R Retreat: Free Kayaking & Canoeing and miles of Hiking & Biking trails!
|Event Location:||50 miles SE of Atlanta, just off I-75|
|Date(s) & Time:||Fri, May 8 2020 7:00 pm >> Sun, May 10 2020 3:00 pm|
|Registration Opens:||Thu, Mar 5 2020 9:00 pm|
|Registration Cut Off:||Fri, Apr 24 2020 4:00 pm|
|Event Duration:||All Weekend! Come & go as you please from midday Fri thru Sun PM..|
|Difficulty Rating:||D2: Easy to Moderate|
|Trip Leader(s):||Charlie Cottingham|
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|Member Cost:||$25.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)|
|Who's Invited:||Members Only, 21 And Older Only|
|Maximum Group Size:||25|
|Minimum Group Size:||15|
|Number Registered So Far:||15 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)|
|Are Dogs Permitted:||No|
UPDATE from Charlie as of April 1st: As with other AOC events that are posted (for May 2020 and later) the worsening Coronavirus pandemic makes it uncertain whether we can actually go ahead with this event. Dauset Trails' main visitor area and group campsite are closed at least through the end of April. My friends who manage the Nature Center assure me that they will let us know ASAP whether they can reapprove our May 8-10 camping reservation. Confirmees are urged NOT to pay your $25 fee until I get the final go-ahead from them, in which case I'll email you immediately. No problem or financial penalty if you choose to cancel your AOC registration for any reason.
IN a NUTSHELL: Ask any of the hundreds of AOCers who have enjoyed this trip with us in the past. It's a blast! As usual we'll have exclusive reserved use of the amazing lakeside group campsite, dining pavilion and surrounding recreation area at Dauset Trails for the entire 3-day 2-night weekend. The huge wildlife preserve/ nature center is an easy drive from Atlanta, ~50 miles SE via I-75. You're welcome to arrive/ depart/ return, etc. at our group site at your convenience between midday Friday and Sunday afternoon. (See detailed Directions below.)
Included at no extra charge in our unbelievably low $25 event fee are a wide variety of exciting optional activities: Unlimited use of Dauset Trails' fleet of Kayaks & Canoes (+ paddles & PFDs), miles of scenic Biking & Hiking Trails, nightly Campfires and scheduled guided Hikes, etc. If you prefer you're also welcome to explore the amazing attractions and wooded trail network on your own, or just "chillax" by the lake at our lovely group site - the perfect place for outdoor rest & relaxation.
"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 includes big group Cookouts & Campfires—a quality Carside Camping and adventure experience for outdoor enthusiasts from beginner thru expert. As mentioned above, in lieu of bringing a tent or hammock feel free to sleep in a "Covered-Camping Turkey Roost" (see more below). We’ll have FREE Canoeing and Kayaking all weekend with the Nature Center's nice fleet of boats (+ paddles & lifejackets) in the pretty lake by our dining pavilion. As usual we'll provide free 1-on-1 Classes in basic paddling strokes & skills for any who request it. 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 if you have a hybrid or mountain bike, consider bringing it - 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. An amazing free bonus of the Nature Center is its 15-acre “Critter Corral” a.k.a. "Wildlife Trail," This shady open-air zoo and its adjoining Visitor Center, Museum and Botanical Gardens display dozens of GA's native wild mammals, birds, reptiles & fish and native plants in a picturesque lakeside setting. We like to walk together from our Pavilion to this fascinating main visitor area and back during a Sat AM "Orientation HIke." You newcomers will quickly see why we Dauset "veterans" love this in-Credible place! -Your trip 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 big shady 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 happens to be unusually wet or cool, feel free to sleep inside your own vehicle or RV, as I (Charlie) often do!
"PerfectPotluck.com" is a free website that provides easy access to online charts of Food & Refreshment items, Dining Supplies, Cooking Gear, etc that each person wishes to bring to share. It's incredibly easy to "click below" and enter or re-edit your own info, and I encourage each meals participant to do so ASAP for the benefit of the group. You can easily see what there may be too little of or too much of and insert or adjust your own contribution accordingly.
Fri Group Potluck Dinner (~6:00 - 8:00 PM): If you expect to participate, please Click this Link ASAP to enter or re-edit your items: (May 2020 Dinner Link will be inserted here ~2 weeks prior to Trip.)
"PRE-TRIP PLANNING HAPPY HOUR": ( "TBA" here after LOCATION & TIME are determined. ) Normally this optional Q&A meeting is held just prior to an AOC Social and at same location). No problem if you need to arrive late (or can't make this drop-in Dauset gathering at all). It's esp. recommended for you "first-timers" to address your questions about Dauset Trails and introduce you to others who are on the trip. I'll try to arrive early to hold a couple of tables for us and will give out brochures & maps of the beautiful 1800-acre Nature Center. We'll clarify how to drive to our remote group camping area and what gear, food & refreshments each of us may wish to bring - also firm up a schedule of exciting optional group activities (and relaxing"inactivities")!
Click here for our AOC Social planners' article and to register (optionally) to attend the Social as an AOC Member: (TBA)
FOR MORE about DAUSET TRAILS NATURE CENTER visit their official website at www.DausetTrails.com. Phone number: 770-775-6798. Founded in 1977 and just 50 miles south of Atlanta, the 1800-acre preserve focuses on environmental education and outdoor activities for nature lovers of all ages. The park and its beautiful forested property were privately endowed by two highly esteemed local citizens, Hamp Daughtry and David Settles - hence the coined name, DAU-SET." Its friendly hard-working staffers oversee its Visitor Center & Museum, Antique Barnyard, Botanical Gardens, Zoo and other amazing free attractions discussed above. For a nice color Map, which includes Dauset Trails' amazing ~25-mile network of hiking & biking trails click here: http://www.dausettrails.com/bikemap14.pdf The lakeside group camping area surrounds "Pavilion 2" and the "Chapel" by Junction "18" in the center of the map.
An added bonus of Dauset Trails is its proximity to historic Indian Springs State Park and its quaint village - also lovely High Falls State Park is just a 5-minute drive away. These adjoining parks offer more 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. Also the trails to the waterfalls, etc. at High Falls are conveniently accessible along our driving route between Dauset Trails and Atlanta.
FOR DOZENS of COLORFUL DAUSET TRAILS PHOTOS: Google on "Dauset Trails Photos" and then click "More images..." below the first block of images that appears.
Thanks to Angela Nelson for the above beautiful group "beach & boats" shot taken on our May 2009 Dauset Trails trip.
|How to Get There:|
IMPORTANT: Please pay close attention to the numbered verbal Directions below. They give the precise mileages between turns and explain the special entrance & exit procedures for reaching our remote AOC Group Site. 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.)
4. Turn Left off Mt. Vernon Church Road onto the gravel "Camping" entrance road discussed above, and bear leftward for about 100 yards where you’ll arrive at a steel gate. (The gate is just beyond a “check-in bulletin board” and gravel parking lot for mountain bikers & other “day-use” visitors.) CRUCIAL DETAIL: Drive through this gate toward our Camping Area as follows: The gate is normally "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. Then drive beyond this Camping gate about 0.8 mile northward via the gravel road to our lakeside campers’ Dining Pavilion ("Group Pavilion #2") on your right. There's plenty of free Parking along both sides of the gravel roadway. (By the way, just before you reach the Pavilion area you'll pass through a second steel gate that is normally left unlocked for reserved camping groupss. We like to leave this second gate in the OPEN all weekend. If you arrive early and find this 2nd 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.)
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:|
• Weekend-long optional Camping in shady tent or hammock sites or in "Turkey Roost" open-sided roofed structures.
|Payment Cut Off:||Payment must be received by the AOC on Fri, Apr 24 2020.|
|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 event payment in on time to our AOC Treasurer, by 4:00 PM on Fri April 24th. Please allow at least two days for processing a PayPal or Electronic Funds Transfer transaction. Cash and mailed checks are not permitted. If you pay by check it must be hand carried to an AOC Officer or Treasurer by the payment deadline.