Blood Mountain, GA - Reece Trail - Freeman Trail - Appalachian Trail - June 9, 2009

Today's hike was to Blood Mountain, GA on a nice loop starting at the Byron Reece Trail to the Freeman Trail to Bird Gap on the Appalachian Trail and on up to the Summit of Blood Moountain and continuing back down the A.T. to the Reece trail. Blood Mountain is the highest peak on the GA portion of the A.T. at 4,558 ft. The total distance was just over 6 miles.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, June Bellamy, Karen Brown, Phil Brownrigg, Greta Driggers, Jim Driggers, Pam Euliss, Dave Hinson, Tyler Hinson, Sharon Horwitz, Jack Jacobi, Don Johnson, Linda Johnson, Jeanne O'Connor, Don Preece, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Joe Raguckas, Vic Robson, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Lynne Saporito, David Whitaker Geri Whitaker and Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFORMATION - A nice loop incorporating three trails. This is a very scenic hike on a very hilly and rocky terrain. The A.T. portion is the most popular part of the A.T. in GA. At the summit of Blood Mountain you will find the old rock shelter built by the C.C.C. in the 1930's. This trail features hundreds of Flame Azaleas, Sweet Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Mountain Laurels for a spectacular botanical show. The mountain views at the summit are awesome.

Today's hiking distance - 6+ miles with large elevation changes - somewhat strenuous.

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 Mountain Crossings Store / Walasi-Yi Center.

Another great day for a hike!  Fair and mild with Temperatures ranging from 70-80 degrees F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Tall Bluet, Bluet, Cow Wheat, Foamflower, Mountain Laurel, Flame Azalea, Sweet Azalea, Tulip Poplar, Black Locust, Gray Beardtongue, Michaux's Saxifrage, Common Ragwort, Rattlesnake Weed, Indian Physic, Deerberry, Highbush Blueberry, Huckleberry, Blackberry, Dewberry, Fire Pink, Cinquefoil, Yellow Woodsorrel, Spiderwort, Whorled Loosestrife, Sundrop, Galax, Four-leafed Milkweed, Poke Milkweed, Meadow Rue, Hawkweed, Flowering Spurge, Bindweed, Golden Alexander, Catawba Rhododendrun, Maple-leafed Viburnum and Carolina Rose.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Red Wing Blackbird, Red Eyed Vireo, Oven Bird, Towhee, Blue Jay, Red Start, Hooded Warbler, White Breasted Nuthatch, Pileated Woodpecker, Black and White Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Mourning Dove, PeeWee, Dark Eyed Junco, Summer Tananger, Chimney Swift, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Pine Warbler, Crow, Worm Eating Warbler, Veery, Broad Wing Hawk, Tufted Titmouse, Black Throated Green Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Cedar Waxwing.
Other fauna- One adult Copperhead Snake and a Squirrel.

scroll down for photos.......



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Starting out from the Byron Herbert Reece Park.
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The Reece Trail intersects with the Freeman Trail here.
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Walking through a natural botanical garden.
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A view from the Summit of Blood Mountain.
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Standing on the rocks at the summit looking down to the Blood Mountain Trail Shelter.
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Another view from Blood Mountain.
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Yikes!  We find a Copperhead snake on the rock face along the trail.
These are two views of the same snake.
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Many of the A.T. markers were painted on the rocks instead of trees.
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The amazing balanced rock near Flat Rock Gap!
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Some of today's beautiful flowers. (top left then clockwise) Fire Pink,
Flame Azalea, Sweet Azalea and Mountain Laurel.
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One more view...
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The OFHC gang for today's hike at Blood Mountain. (l-r kneeling) Tony Presley, Linda Johnson, Don Johnson and Jeanne O'Connor. (2nd row l-r) Jack Jacobi, Doug Russell, Vic Robson, , Donna Presley, Geri Whitaker, David Whitaker, Pam Euliss and Carole Wintle. (3rd -4th row) Dan Ross, Dave Hinson, Tyler Hinson, Joe Raguckas, Don Preece, Jim Driggers, Gretta Driggers, Phil Brownrigg, Lynne Saporito, June Bellamy, John Bellamy, Sharon Horwitz, Karen Brown.


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