Print-Friendly Version
Add this event to your calendar (Outlook, iCalendar)
Add REGISTRATION REMINDER to your calendar

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

Fall Colors at F.D.R. - Wolfden, Dowdell Knob & Sunset Rock

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park - Pine Mountain, Ga.   Hike: Fall Colors at F.D.R. -  Wolfden, Dowdell Knob & Sunset Rock   National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Nov 11 2012  9:30 am >> Sun, Nov 11 2012 5:30 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Sun, Nov 4 2012 9:48 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Nov 10 2012 12:12 pm
Event Duration:8 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Distance:13 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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:14
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 11 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


At 9,049 acres, Georgia's largest state park is a hiker's and backpacker's haven. More than 40 miles of trails, including the popular 23- mile Pine Mountain Trail, wind through hardwood and pines, over creeks and past small waterfalls. Many visitors are surprised to find rolling mountains 80 miles southeast of Atlanta. 

As the fall colors peak in Atlanta and begin to migrate south, this will be a good weekend to check out FDR's Pine Mountain just outside of Warm Springs, GA. The brilliant reds of maple, dark reds of the flowering dogwood, the yellow of the pignut hickory and various oak punctuated by the evergreen of broadleaf and shortleaf pine make the Pine Mountain Trail an exceptional hike from October into late November, when the leaves finally journey to the ground.

We will hike along 13 miles of the Pine Mountain Trail starting from the east end of the park. Along the way, we will hike through a variety of eco systems, past numerous small waterfalls, and across several areas ravaged by a spring tornado. The trail climbs in and out of the cool, damp bottomlands onto the drier, sunnier ridges. None of the climbs are excessively tiring, and switchbacks make up the longer ascents. The rewards are the impressive rocky ledges on the ridges and the cascades and waterfalls along the creeks. The tornado, which devastated 5.5 miles of trails, has also opened up several new vistas along the Dowdell Knob loop.

The first five miles will include the Wolfden Loop which is considered one of the most beautiful stretches of trail in the Southeast and is the most popular section of the PMT (Pine Mountain Trail). The Wolfden Loop includes land that was once part of a farm owned by President Roosevelt. This section of the hike will include a stop for an early lunch at Cascade Falls and the Wolf's Den. After a brief visit with Old Ferney, a Loblolly pine 14 feet in circumference, we will cross several small streams and head toward Rocky Point.

From Rocky Point, it is 3.5 miles to Dowdell Knob. This portion of the hike will take us across several ridges cleared by the April 27 tornados. The Pine Mountain Trail Association has since cleared and re-opened all the trails, but the aftermath is stunning. We will take another extended break at Dowdell Knob to enjoy the view of Pine Valley. This is where President Roosevelt enjoyed picnicking and pondering world affairs, while looking at the majestic views from this location.

From Dowdell Knob, the last 3.5 miles of our hike will follow the trail toward Castle Rock, along Bethel Creek, past Rock Garden and the Whiskey Still Campsite and then to Sunset Rock. From a small outcropping near the trail, Sunset Rock has views to the southwest and may be a good place to stop for a late afternoon break before heading back to the cars.

We should arrive back at the cars between 5:00 and 5:30, depending on whether the group is inclined to linger to see the sunset. Sunset is at 5:35 p.m.

It is optional, but we plan to stop for dinner after the hike. I'm sure that most of us will be quite hungry after we have completed the hike. If you are carpooling, I would recommend discussing your plans to eat, or not eat, with your carpool buddies.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Water or sports drink - 3 liters minimum
  • Good Hiking Shoes
  • Lunch and snack
  • Clothing appropriate for the weather (cooler in the morning and late afternoon)
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • Sunscreen
  • Headlamp or flashlight

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

We will begin the hike from the WJSP Tower Parking Lot in the FDR State Park.  From the intersection of Hwy 41/US 27 and Hwy Ga 85 in downtown Warm Springs, travel 3.3 miles south on US 27/85 and the parking lot will be on the right.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):135Mile(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 $54.00 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:

Share gas costs and parking fee with driver. The parking fee at FDR State Park is $5.00 per car unless you have a Georgia State Park Parking Pass.  If you have a State Park parking pass, please bring it with you whether driving your vehicle or not, so that it may be used by your carpool driver during the event.

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