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5 Miles on Cinco de Mayo! Cohutta Panther Creek Beginner Backpacking

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Cohutta Wilerness Blueridge Access   Backpacking: 5 Miles on Cinco de Mayo! Cohutta Panther Creek Beginner Backpacking  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, May 5 2012  9:00 am >> Sun, May 6 2012 4:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 9:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Apr 16 2012 7:00 am
Registration Cut Off: Sat, May 5 2012 9:28 am
Event Duration:1 Days 7 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Distance:5 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Grant Brown
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 12 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes

Hi All!
This is an awesome trip into the heart of the Cohuttas.  It is a beautiful little fall with a very nice overlook out onto the wilderness.  It will be really nice to be there in Spring.

We are organizing this backpacking trip for those who may be new to backpacking as well as the expierenced ones.  We hope beginners will use it as an opportunity to get out there on the trail.  Please feel free to contact Kristi or myself about any questions on equipmnet.  We have items you can borrow or you can rent things from REI as well.

The pace will be slow to accomodate for anyone who doesn't wish to go fast and to allow us ample time to look around and take photos along the way.

We will meet at 9:00 AM at the Chastain Road Park and Ride lot located behind the Brandsmart USA at 3305 Busbee Drive Northwest, Kennesaw, GA 30144. We can meet, talk, and decide carpool options there. A regular vehicle can travel on the roads of the wilderness without issue.

The Hike:
Though there are some moderate sections, there are also some nice strenuous sections, but we can take it slowly. We will do a steep drop and then climb [on our way back home] over about a 1 mile section. It is challenging, but beautiful too. 
First, we continue on what was once GA HYW 2. Basically, the road ends at the parking lot and is now renamed the East Cowpen Trail. We will hike about 2.5 miles along the old road on the moderate part as it gracefully follows the ridge line. Then, we turn into the forest proper and head down the northeastern section of the Panther Creek Trail for about 1.75 miles. For a while we hike along the ridge before descending several hundred feet into a gorge leading eventually to the top of one of the most beautiful areas in all the Cohuttas, the brink of Panther Creek Falls. We will sit atop about a hundred foot drop and look out over the wilderness as Panther Creek topples before us. We will camp in this watery area around the brink or just upstream. There are some mild water crossings getting here as we negotiate the creek. Here is a map of all that.

Here are some descriptions from the best book going for hiking in Georgia, "The Hiking Trails of North Georgia" by the most awesome author Tim Homan.

Post Hike:
We always love to frequent the quaint downtown area of Blueridge after our backpack trips. There are a number of nice restaurants to choose from for a nice return to civilization meal. We should get out, eat lunch, and make it back to the park and ride by 4 or 5 pm.

Required Items to Bring:
Do go lightly!  If you haven't already done so, look into ultra-light backpacking methods.  A lighter load on your back means you'll have a lighter spirt on the trail.  If being happy and relaxed as you experience nature is something you might like, then check out one of the many websites devoted to helping you escape being an overloaded packer.  Packing lightly is a mind-set.  Be prepared to re-evaluate your backpacking needs and wants.  Be specific about weather concerns/preparedness, exact amounts of food, etc.  Liquids are the most dense and heavy things in your pack.  We will be near a water source at camp, so only pack about a liter or two of water for the hike in - we will filter once we get there.  Maybe check out this site for ideas:

Otherwise, carefully review our AOC Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Saturday Lunch
Saturday Dinner
Sunday Breakfast 

Feel free to ask me any questions about lightening up or sharing gear [an excellent way to lighten the load].

For the drive home: a change of shirts/clothes, towel to sit on, sack for muddy boots. 
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
nice trail dinner, some sort of camp seat, camera, light weight musical instrument for the camp talant show : )

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

We will drive to Blueridge and then at the intersection where there is a McDonald's, we continue on north towards McCaysville on US 76/GA 5 for 4.2 miles. Then, we turn left onto GA2 heading west. We continue on it for 18.8 miles. The map ends at a point on GA 2 where it turns to gravel. Here is a map of what can be seen on Google Maps. Once we reach the wilderness boundary at Watson Gap, we turn left and continue on FS64 [Forest Service Road]. We turn right at Dyer Gap not turning onto FS64A, but rather staying on FS64 toward Three Forks Mountain parking lot at the southern head of the East Cowpen Trail. Here is a map of all that.
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):120Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 9:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $48.00 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 E tiquette Guidelines at all times while participating in AOC events.
- Details of this event are subject to undergo a change at any point in time, with or without warning.
- Questions about equipment or rentals? Send them to safety@atlantaoutdoorclub.c om.
- Notice any errors or problems in the information on this page? Please notify our Content Editor(s), Paula Schubert, atcontent@atlantaoutdoorclu

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

Cost Includes:

Carpool Cost:
Approximate vehicle expense for this event is $49.20 (calculated at total miles (120) * $0.410, effective Friday, April 08, 2011). This is based on the current gas, maintenance, and other costs of $0.410 per mile as stated by the IRS & This should be divided by the total number of people in the vehicle (incl driver).
For example: With 4 people in the vehicle, the expense per person on this trip would be $12.30.  Alternately your carpool driver may choose to split the maintenance cost plus the actual gas cost among all in the vehicle. Your carpool driver will confirm exactly how much money they require to cover costs. Please split the actual cost among all people in the vehicle.

Additional advice: The cost of your trip is up to your driver. Your cost should not be greater than what is listed above, unless there is extenuating circumstances. If you want to be sure about the cost of the trip, check with your driver before you get into the vehicle. If you are the driver of the vehicle, this is a guideline to what you charge and not a rule.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.
*Note: Please review our Cancellation Policy carefully!