April 1, 2008
|Today's hike started on the Byron Herbert Reese trail and connected with the Appalachian Trail up to the summit of Blood Mountain (elevation 4,458 ft) and over to Bird Gap to the Freeman Trail and back down to Flat Rock Gap and continuing to Neels Gap. Total hiking distance for the loop was 6+ miles.
HIKERS - John Bellamy, Phil Brownrigg, Greta Driggers, Pam Euliss, Sam Hay, Deena Johns, Ann Jones, Bailey Jones, Larry Jones, Lauren Jones, Bob Magee, Wanda Miller, Wayne Miller, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Vic Robson, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker.
TRAIL INFO. - This is a very popular section of the Appalachian Trail that goes over the summit of Blood Mountain, the highest peak on the Georgia portion of the trail. We accessed the trail by the Byron Herbert Reese connector trail and we also made the hike into a loop by returning on the Freeman Trail.
Difficulty: The trail is moderately difficult with lots of elevation change and rocky terrain that is slippery in wet conditions like today. The hike is a liitle over 6 miles.
Directions: Take US 19 and 129, north from Cleveland, GA and drive approximately 18 miles to the Byron Herbert Reese Park just a half mile past Neels Gap and the Walasi-Yi Center.
Another great day for a hike! Cloudy, with heavy fog later becoming mostly sunny and breezy. Temperatures ranged from the low 50's to mid 60's F.
WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Yellow Round-leafed Violet and Yellow Halberd-leafed Violet, Purple Toadshade Trillium, Bloodroot, Purple Violet, Star Chickweed.
BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Red Eyed Vireo, Crow, Junco, Crested Flycatcher, Towhee, Carolina Wren, Black and White Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Screech Owl, Oven Bird, Broad Wing Hawk, Pine Warbler, Turkey Vulture, Titmouse
scroll down for photos.......
The Byron Herbert Reese parking lot.
Heading up the connector to the Appalachian Trail.
Another great day for a hike! 21 OFHC hikers.
The wet rocks were slippery in some spots. .
The trail sign at the Blood Mountain Shelter.
Arriving at Bird Gap.
We turn off of the A.T. at Bird Gap onto the Freeman Trail.
The fog has lifted and the skies are clearing!
Taking a short break.
The amazing balanced rock just north of Flat Rock Gap.
The view from Neels Gap.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r front) Pam Euliss, Wanda Miller, Donna Presley, Geri Whitaker, Lauren Jones (middle) Doug Russell, Bob Magee, Vic Robson, Phil Brownrigg, Bailey Jones, Ann Jones, David Whitaker, Tony Presley (Back) Sam Hay, Bob Thompson, Wayne Miller, Dan Ross, John Bellamy, Greta Driggers, Deena Johns, Larry Jones.