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BMTA Activities Calendar

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Listed below are the scheduled activities of the BMTA for 2017.  Work trips will be held on the second Saturday of the month in Georgia and on the fourth Saturday in Tennessee/North Carolina.  Recreational outings (Fun Hikes) are planned on other weekends to avoid scheduling conflicts with work trips and are set up as hike leaders become available.  Videos of previous hikes can be found on YouTube at

All Are Welcome

The BMTA welcomes all who would like to participate in any scheduled activity.  Members and non-members alike are encouraged to join in; no experience is necessary.


US Forest Service Alerts and Notices

Recurring Monthly Events

  • 2nd Saturday - Georgia Work Trips - coordinated by Barry Allen
  • 4th Saturday - Tennessee/North Carolina Work Trips - coordinated by Ken Jones
  • At least two "Fun Hikes" each month - coordinated by Ken Cissna

Note: Some of these activities are considerable driving distances. Please contribute gas money to your driver when you carpool. Thank You!

Planned Activities for 2017
MonthDateLocation & Details
December  December 9 Hike: Big Frog Trail and BMT to Big Frog Mountain and back.  11-12 miles total, moderate to strenuous difficult, about 6.5 hours of hiking. Elevation change about 1300 feet: From 2900 feet at the start to 4220 at the top. Diving distance on Dirt Rd. 3.2 miles from Thunder Rock via FS 45 & 221. Beautiful views along ridgelines. Big Frog Trail intersects the BMT which leads to the top. Contact Hike Leader Tom Sewell at 'SewellTom AT'
  December 16 Hike: Etowah River Trails near Boling Park in Canton. Here is a hidden gem convenient to our Atlanta hikers. Behind Boling Park in Canton, Ga with two hilly loops and an easy return along the Etowah River. 7.6 miles with 1139 feet total elevation change. We will snack at the "Haunted Church" and visit the "Satonic baptismal". Contact Howard Baggett at howardeb AT
January  January 7 Hike: Byron Reece to Blood Mt. Hike to the highest point on the Georgia Appalachian Trail. From the Byron Reece Trail parking lot to the AT, then south to the top of Blood Mountain and return. About 5 moderately strenuous miles, including over 2 miles of uphill climbing.
Contact hike leader Mike Pilvinsky mikepilvinsky AT
  January 13 Hike: BMT to John Muir trail along the Hiawassee River (due to weather and driving conditions this hike has been rescheduled for Friday January 13th).  We will enter the BMT on Hwy 68 north of Farner, TN and hike the BMT 3.7 miles to intersection of John Muir trail (has a few "blow downs") then head back along the Hiawassee (5 miles some rocky footing and boulders along the river) to Hwy 68. Involves 2.5 mile shuttle on Hwy 68. Total hiking 8.7 miles. Contact Hike Leader Tom Sewell at 'SewellTom AT'.
  January 14 GA Work Trip: Section 11e
Where: Section 11e
When: Saturday, January 14, 2016, 9:00 AM
Meet: Village Restaurant in Blue Ridge at 8:00 or Thunder Rock Campground, Hwy 64 at 9:00.
Plan for the day: Tread work; cross tie stabilization work
What to bring: minimum 2 liters of water, long pants, boots, gloves and snack or lunch for the day.
Contact: Barry Allen at bmtabarry AT or 770-294-7384
Please join us for our January trip as we return to work section 11e near Thunder Rock Campground in Tennessee. This section of trail needs grade and drainage work on existing crosstie steps on the ascent from the Ocoee River. It also needs tread work on several areas of trail between the campground and the power-line crossing.
We will be working with Pulaski and trail hoe on tread work and sledge hammer and Pulaski on step replacement.
  January 15 Hike: After the Fire: East Cowpen and Rough Ridge Trails.  Are you, like me, curious to see the impact of the recent Rough Ridge wildfire? Join me for this special five-mile, moderate terrain, out-and-back inspection hike on the East Cowpen and Rough Ridge Trails. They are located in the southern part of the Cohutta Wilderness Area so our hiker limit is 12. The Forest Service reports only moderate fire impact on these trails. Winter views should be great.
Contact hike leader Bob Ruby at bmtabob AT
  January 19-22 Winter Hike Week in the Smokies:  Sponsored by SEFTC, Details can be found here.
  January 25 Hike: Brush Creek Trail.  The Brush Creek Trail provides an easy/leisure hike of 7 miles that begins at Boyd Gap overlooking the upper Ocoee River put-in and descends through pine forest and even passes some low-grade coal deposits. After two miles, the trail turns east and continues on the west side of Upper Ocoee Lake, with some great views of the lake. We might even have a rare sighting of the giant woodpecker that is reported to live in the area.
Contact hike leader Hank Baudet at 706-946-4318 or geezer95 AT
  January 28 TN Work Trip: Tellico Ranger District on BMT Section 15c
For the first work trip in 2017 on the 28th, we will be working in the Tellico Ranger District on BMT Section 15c, Sandy Gap to Sixmile Gap. This section currently has no one assigned as a maintainer, and must be brushed out in the winter to protect a plant, the ash-leaved bush-pea. This is a section that has beautiful views in the winter, and runs along a knife edge ridge for parts of the 2 mile section. Portions of this section are outside wilderness with other portions inside wilderness, and we will plan to brush out and log out as much of the section as we can. We will be meeting at the Coker Creek Visitor Center, at the intersection of Joe Brown Highway and Highway 68, at 8:30 am to make the 45 minute drive to Sandy Gap to start our work. Be sure to bring at least 2 quarts of water, lunch, and wear sturdy boots and long pants. Please let me know if you plan to attend so that I can plan the work and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Contact: Ken Jones 423-506-8182
February  February 4 Hike: .  After a short climb from the Brasstown Bald Visitor’s Center, it’s all downhill to Young Harris. We’ll take our time for close looks at anything of interest including the spectacular ice formations on the trailside cliffs (if temperatures cooperate), wonderful views of the Young Harris valley, and the beautiful high elevation yellow birches. Hike is 7 miles; normally easy but moderate if the trail is icy and slippery. Well-behaved trail dogs are welcome. As part of this hike is in wilderness, limit is 12. Co-sponsored with Georgia Forest Watch; hike leaders are Sue Harmon of GFW and Ken Cissna of BMTA.
To reserve your spot, please email the GFW office at or call 706-867-0051.
For further information, contact either Sue Harmon at suepharmon AT or 770-540-3672 or Ken Cissna at kcissna AT or 706-636-1741.
  February 7 (6:30 PM) Class: Beginning backpacking.  Travis Crouch, AT and BMT section hiker and owner of North Georgia Mountain Outfitters, will conduct a class for beginning backpackers and for anyone who would like a chance to benefit from his considerable experience. He will discuss backpacking techniques, equipment options, and strategies for a safe and enjoyable hiking. In March and April, BMTA will conduct beginning overnight hikes for the “graduates” of the class.
For further information or to register for the class, contact Ken Cissna at kcissna AT or 706-636-1741 or Travis Crouch at travis AT or 706-698-4453.
The class will be conducted at North Georgia Mountain Outfitters, 14244 Hwy 515 N, Suite 1200 Ellijay, GA 30536; 706-698-HIKE(4453), approximately three miles north of Ellijay on highway 515. See
  February 10 Hike: BMT Section 14 – TN 68 to Unicoi Gap via Buck Bald.  5.6 miles; moderate to strenuous; approximately 4 hrs. on the trail. The first 45 min. is uphill, but your effort will be rewarded with lots of good views, history, and culture. Lunch will be at the Buck Bald picnic area, where you’ll have a 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains. Unicoi Gap is near the TN/NC state line and is a site on the historic Unicoi Turnpike National Historic Trail. You’ll have a chance to learn more about the Unicoi Turnpike during the hike—it only sounds like it is part of the highway system. Shuttle is involved; the Coker Creek Visitors Center is on the shuttle route.
Contact hike leaders Clare and Ed Sullivan at clare7982 AT
  February 23-24 Hike: Amicalola Falls to Len Foote Hike Inn.  Once again BMTA members will be able to enjoy the Len Foote Hike Inn—at half price rates! Five miles, moderate difficulty. This is for BMTA members. For reservations, contact the Hiking Director for the BMTA code. Then, go to Cost (including tax) is $70.15 for one person in a room, $100.63 for two. Includes their superb dinner and breakfast. For information about the Len Foote Hike Inn, go to Space is limited.
For further information, contact the Hiking Director, Ken Cissna at kcissna AT or calling 706-636-1741.
March  March 4 Hike: Etowa River Trails near Boling Park in Canton.  Here is a hidden gem convenient to our Atlanta hikers. Behind Boling Park in Canton, Ga with two hilly loops and an easy return along the Etowah River. 7.6 miles with 1139 feet total elevation change. We will snack at the "Haunted Church" and visit the "Satonic baptismal."
Contact hike leader Howard Baggett at howardeb AT

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