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Benton MacKaye
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BMTA Activities Calendar

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Overview

Listed below are the scheduled activities of the BMTA for 2019.  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.

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.

Notes


US Forest Service Alerts and Notices


Recurring Monthly Events

  • 2nd Saturday - Georgia Work Trips - coordinated by Phil Guhl
  • 4th Saturday - Tennessee/North Carolina Work Trips - coordinated by John Zardis
  • 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 2019
MonthDateLocation & Details
May  May 18 (Saturday) Hike:  AT-BMT Springer Mountain Upper Loop
This moderate loop trek of 4.6 miles at a moderate pace includes 1.2 miles on the Appalachian Trail and 3.4 on the Benton MacKaye Trail and includes the southern terminus of both trails and two great vistas from atop bluffs on the way, one on each trail. Only about 0.8 mile of the trip's initial start up Springer Mountain has much climb (f a few hundred feet elevation change), and it's not all that steep. This is a favorite Georgia loop trail of many hikers. The leader will share some history of the two trails in this area along the way.
Contact hike leader George Owen evenings between 7-11 p.m. at 706-374-4716.
  May 24 (Friday) Hike:  Pinnacle Knob in Rabun County – out and back on Bartram Trail
8.5 miles, moderately strenuous
We will begin at Warwoman Dell, east of Clayton, and pass two beautiful waterfalls, Becky Branch and Martin Creek Falls, and travel through lots of rhododendron and mountain laurel thickets along the way. We’ll take the side trail to Pinnacle Knob for lunch. Hoping to see some blooms.
Contact hike leader Clayton Webster at webs4740@bellsouth.net or 404-633-8955.
  May 25 (Saturday) TN/NC Work Trip: Upper Bald River Wilderness
Time: 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Meet: Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center, 225 Cherohala Skyway, Tellico Plains, TN 37385
Description: For the May TN/NC BMTA Maintenance Work Trip, we will be working on the section from Sugar Mtn to the Brookshire Creek crossing, and if we have enough folks, we will also tackle the section from Sledrunner Gap to the Brookshire Creek crossing. These are sections 16d and 16c. Both of these sections are in the newly designated Upper Bald River Wilderness, so crosscuts, swing blades, and loppers are our tools of the trade. Both routes will be all downhill, making the day a little easier. However, both routes have creek crossings which may very well require wading. So come prepared in your own way for this. You may want to bring water sandals and a towel or just trudge across in your boots, your choice.
We will meet at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center at 8:30, and the GA folks may want to plan a meeting time and location down in GA and carpool up. After the work trip, we should all go to the newly opened Iron Works Grille on the Tellico River for beer, burgers, fries, or whatever.
This is your chance to visit this pristine newly designated Wilderness. It is worth the visit.
Contact: The trip leader is Rick Harris, so reply to him to let him know you are coming. Harrisri@aol.com, or 513.260.1184 cell, or 423.253.6358 home.
  May 25 (Saturday). Hike:  BMT - Three Forks to Swinging bridge over Toccoa River
This 8.7 mile hike is equal in difficulty from either direction (~500’ elevation change). To reduce shuttle time, we are going to do it as a “key exchange”. Details will be available once prospective hikers and drivers indicate interest
Contact hike leader Tom Sewell: SewellTom@yahoo.com or text to 706-669-6406
  May 25-26 (Saturday - Sunday) Festival Event:  BMTA’s Festival Tent will be at the 43rd SPRING ARTS IN THE PARK in Blue Ridge, GA. Be sure to stop and say “hi”!
June  June 1 (Saturday) Hike:  National Trails Day. Vogel State Park
Save the date – more information to follow next month.
  June 7 (Friday) Hike:  DOG-FRIENDLY HIKE (adult humans may bring a leashed dog)
5 miles, easy to moderate along the shore of Carter’s Lake. Lunch at the marine campground.
Contact hike leader Ken Cissna at kcissna@usf.edu
  June 9 (Sunday) Hike:  BMT - Wilscot Gap to Shallowford Bridge
This 7.6-mile trek is not the easiest Benton MacKaye Trail section in Georgia, but it is pretty typical of the trail in the peach state. While rated moderately strenuous, this particular trek has the advantage that the leader is getting older (81) and slower, and loves little rests on the uphills (or anywhere else he can have them)! The trip begins with the longest, hardest uphill of 1.3 miles with just under 700-ft. elevation climb. We will take that in a slow and modest speed, to top off on Tipton Mountain (3,147'). Lunch will be at the fire tower on Brawley Mountain (3,027'). We will end the hike walking alongside the tumbling Toccoa River for a half mile to our waiting vehicles at Shallowford Bridge. Shuttle involved.
Contact hike leader George Owen evenings between 7-11 p.m. at 706-374-4716.
  June 15 (Saturday) Hike:  BMT from FS 221 to Thunder Rock Campground and back the picnic tables on the Rhododendron Trail
4.9 mile, easy; 98% downhill. We will include watching the water arrive at the Ocoee Whitewater Center before we hike. The rhododendron should be in full bloom and the patch of wild raspberries, too.
Contact Clare Sullivan at clare7982@gmail.com
  June 22 (Saturday) Hike:  BMT (section 4): Skeenah Gap to Wilscot Gap.
5.3 mile, moderate. Includes discussion of the rocks, tree, plants, and birds we find along the trail. Short shuttle.
Contact hike leader Gilbert Treadwell at gilcraft@etcmail.com or by text to 404-660-4551.
  June 24 (Monday) Hike:  Turtletown Creek Falls
4 miles, moderate. Two beautiful falls in one short hike
Contact hike leader Howard Baggett at Howardeb@windstream.net
July  July 4 (Thursday) Hike:  Special holiday hike
Stay tuned for further information.
  July 12 (Friday) Hike:  Pine Log Creek
5 miles, moderate (one steep 400’ climb). See beautiful lake at old rock quarry with lots of fish.
Contact hike leader Howard Baggett at howardeb@windstream.net
  July 14 (Sunday) Hike:  Gahuti Trail
8.1 miles, moderate to strenuous. Explore Fort Mountain State Park back country, including gorgeous overlook vistas and the cascades of a remote waterfall. State parking pass or $5 parking fee.
Contact hike leader Larry Dumas at ledumas@hotmail.com
  July 20 (Saturday) Hike:  Mud Gap to Whigg Meadow (FAMILY AND DOG FRIENDLY HIKE—adult humans may bring children and one leashed dog)
3.2 miles, easy (500’ elevation change). From Mud Gap, along the Cherohala Skyway in North Carolina, we will walk on the Benton MacKaye Trail uphill to Whigg Meadow at 5000 feet with 360-degree views of the surrounding Tennessee and North Carolina mountains. Shortly after leaving Mud Gap, we will leave North Carolina for Tennessee. In addition, we will have a short detour to see the grave of an unknown person who was killed by the Kirkland Bushwackers during the Civil War (Google “Kirkland Bushwackers” before your trip for an interesting history lesson for all). The trail is rocky in some places so we’ll take it slow and easy. Bring a sack lunch to picnic at the meadow and plenty of water.
Contact hike leader Larry Van Dyke at BMTAHiker@gmail.com
  July 22 (Monday) Hike:  Emery Creek in Cohuttas
5 miles, moderate. The trail itself is fairly easy, but 26 stream crossings (a number up to your ankles and two to your knees), a bunch of downed trees that have to be traversed (over, under, and around), and a section of potentially slipper rock toward the beginning and again at the end make it more difficult than it otherwise would be. Holly and Emery Creeks, two lovely waterfalls, and a nice trail make it worth the trouble.
Contact hike leader Ken Cissna at kcissna@usf.edu or 813-310-6084



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