MaryAnne Hinkle Photography | 2011 Waterfalls and Hiking Trails in Georgia

2011 WATERFALLS and HIKING TRAILS

The following waterfalls and hikes are on this blog:

CANE CREEK FALLS

HIGH SHOALS CREEK FALLS on WALDEN CREEK HIKE

BLOOD MOUNTAIN TRAIL {SNOW} HIKE #1

PANTHER CREEK FALLS {SNOW} HIKE

TALLULAH GORGE {SNOW} HIKE

SPRINGER MOUNTAIN {SNOW} HIKE

CANADA CREEK FALLS HIKE

SEA CREEK FALLS HIKE

LITTLE ROCK CREEK HIKE 

RAVEN CLIFF HIKE

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CANE CREEK FALLS

2 January 2011

N 34° 556482 | W  -84° 0088

Cane Creek Falls is located on the Camp Glisson grounds.

Near Cane Creek Falls

Near Cane Creek Falls

That's me in front of Cane Creek Falls in my element of a waterfall.

Jeffrey in front of Cane Creek Falls

Cane Creek Falls

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HIGH SHOALS CREEK FALLS on WALDEN CREEK 

2 January 2011

PARKING:

N 34° 38.76 | W 84° 00.62

FALLS:

N 34° 38.91 | W 84° 01.33

This falls has about a 18 foot drop and is located on Walden Creek in the Chattahoochee National Forest. A fairly recent addition of a swing has been added which now provides a relaxating way to view the falls in comfort. 

Jeffrey, Sharon and Thomas - our hiking buds!

Sharon and me.

Jeffrey and Thomas at the bottom of the falls.

Jeffrey is whistling for me to look and I'm just too busy trying to wade my way over the rocks and getting plummeted by water.

There I go climbing to the top of the mountain with no hiking poles; sometimes it's just easier to get to the top by pulling yourself up by branches, rocks and roots. Right beyond the boulder, it got very steep to climb, but I made it to the top!

We love going off the trail discover so much when we do. Jeffrey is about to scramble up the side of the mountain to meet me.

Thomas and Jeffrey are discussing the best route to get further upstream which is something we always try to figure out; it's just part of the adventure.

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BLOOD MOUNTAIN TRAIL {SNOW} HIKE #1

8 January 2011

N 34° 735093 W -83° 918072

P.S. The shots of Blood Mountain were taken with my small pocket Canon camera, so they aren't the best.

Worn out hiking boots hang on a tree outside the Walasi-Yi Center at Neels Gap.

The elevation at Neels Gap is 3,109 feet and the elevation atop Blood Mountain is 4,461 feet, so the ascent up Blood Mountain is quite steep, especially the last mile, gaining most of those 1350 feet.

Please do not park at the Walasi-Yi Center to hike Blood Mountain trail. There is a paved parking lot off the road about 1/4 mile north of the Walasi-Yi Center at Neels Gap.

Inside the Walasi-Yi Center

Jeffrey at the Walasi-Yi Center before we drove to the trailhead to climb Blood Mountain. It is advisable to stop here to use the restroom before trekking up the mountain on a 2 mile upward hike as there are no bathrooms - only woods. I sure hope you pack some toilet paper because the center does not always have a roll on hand. :-)

The mountain's name comes from an interesting Indian legend. It has been said that long ago there was a great battle between the Cherokee and Creek Nations on this mountain. According to the legend so many warriors died in the battle that their blood ran down the sides of the mountain and into the rivers turning everything red. It is easy to see from that legend alone how the mountain got its unique name. The Cherokee also thought that Blood Mountain was home to the Nunnehi. The Nunnehi were a spirit people that watched over hunters and people hiking through the region.

The Blood Mountain Wilderness is the first designated wilderness area along the Appalachian Trail as the hiker heads north toward Maine.

Mountain Crossing at the Walasi-Yi Center.

The signs leading out of the Walasi-Yi Center. Pull out of the Walasi-Yi Center and take a right to go toward the trailhead which is on the left side of the road.

Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Trailhead Parking

We started our hike to Blood Mountain from the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Parking Area off GA 19/129 near Neels Gap. It's a steep climb to the summit at 4,461 feet; it overlooks an area rich in streams, hiking trails, and scenic recreation spots, one of which—Sosebee Cove—is probably Georgia's only north-facing cove traversed by a paved road at such a high elevation. It has a boulder field, northern hardwoods, and large buckeyes and provides an example of how tulip poplar takes over following too-thorough logging of cove hardwood forests. 

In summer months before trekking up Blood Mountain, please be sure to take plenty of water with you. In the winter months, please be sure to dress in layers and take plenty of water with you. It is advisable to take some snacks as well. If you enjoy taking photographs like I do, then you will need snacks for that extra boost of energy to get you either up the trail or back down the trail. We usually take quite a bit of time hiking up both ways and so time normally gets away from us. 

Jeffrey at the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Trailhead Parking lot after a dusting of snow.

Blood Mountain is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, and it is the second highest peak in the State (after Brasstown Bald). As a result, the area is heavily used and no campfires are permitted near the summit. There are a number of side trails in this area, however, and a variety of hikes and campsites are available that use blue blazed side trails instead of the Appalachian Trail (where most of the foot traffic is focused).

Blood Mountain Wilderness and Chattahoochee National Forest sign at the beginning of the trailhead.

This is not a kid friendly hike because of the difficulty. This hike is 2 1/2 miles before reaching the beautiful Blood Mountain summit. This trail is a part of the Appalachian Trail and takes you from Neels Gap to the top of Blood Mountain. This hike is also a strenuous hike for beginners. However, the views are worth every step of the way. Nevertheless, if you have a heart condition, please know this hike will get your heart rate speeding to zones you may not be used to. Rumors from other hikers have stated the paramedics in this area have to stay in shape in order to hike up this trail to rescue those who have had heart attacks either on the way up or on the way down. Please be careful and make sure you can handle this sort of hike before trekking up there.

The first mile is easy, just be careful when fording across the streams as the rocks can be very slippery, especially after a dusting of snow or if there is ice on the rock path leading over a creek bed and especially if you are not use to fording across streams.

After the first mile, you will come to the junctions of both the Freeman Trail and the Byron Herbert Reece Trail. The final mile traverses short and steep switchbacks which quickly gains altitude.

Byron Herbert Reece Trail was constructed because access to the Appalachian Trail at Neel’s Gap had become a hazard due to the ever increasing volume of  auto traffic on this winding mountain road. The Blood Mountain portion of the AT is the most popular in Georgia. Good views, challenging trails and a growing population contribute to the problem. The path offers an alternative to hiking in from Neel's Gap and has a lot of parking, essentially in a small loop.

Freemon Trail connects to the Appalachain Trail at Bird Gap and Flatrock Gap. These trails provide an easier path between the two as it bypasses Blood Mountain and Slaughter Gap. A hiker can make a loop of the trail by traveling from Flatrock Gap to Blood Mountain and Bird Gap via the AT, then bearing left and returning to Flatrock Gap via the Freeman Trail.

This is what my friend, Dale and I did when we hiked it. We wanted that long boulder/rock jumping experience and we sure got it. Our legs were killing us by the end of that hike. 

Our view once we reached one of the summits on the Blood Mountain Trail Hike.

Blood Mountain is the highest point on the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, and it is the second highest peak in the State (after Brasstown Bald). As a result, the area is heavily used and no campfires are permitted near the summit. There are a number of side trails in this area, however, and a variety of hikes and campsites are available that use blue blazed side trails instead of the Appalachian Trail (where most of the foot traffic is focused).

Several hikers we met inside the shelter. It was freezing on January 8, 2011. The gentleman in the bright blue jacket told us (according to his watch), that the temperature inside the shelter was -8 degrees. BRRRRRRRRRR!!!

The infamous Blood Mountain Shelter was built in 1934 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The Blood Mountain Shelter is a two-room stone shelter that is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Jeffrey and I were so cold we could hardly move. We had lunch inside the shelter and the plastic spoon got stuck inside the peanut butter jar so careful maneuvering was accomplished in getting it out so we could fix a sandwich.

I made it to the top of Picnic Rock!! It sure was slippery trying to get on top of this rock after a good snow fall with an additional bonus of ice. I don't think I've ever been so cold in my entire life. Yepper! I know I look goofy, but I sure would rather look goofy anytime than to freeze to death!! I even had on 2 shirts, a sweatshirt and my son's coat and I was still freezing. I think it was much colder on top of this rock verses being inside the shelter. :-)

Even though we had gloves on while heading back down the trail, the tips of my fingers were getting numb, tingling and burning. When I told Jeffrey, well he pretty much turned white because he was afraid I was getting frost bite. So, we stopped on the trail and he took my hands and blew on them to help warm them up. The rocks were so slick from all the ice, it was all I could do to keep my balance while traversing back down. I've never been so happy to see my Honda so I could climb inside and turn that heater on!!

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PANTHER CREEK FALLS {SNOW} HIKE

15 January 2011

N 34.698752º | W 83.419456º

This was a gorgeous hike. Please be sure to pay the $3.00 fee before trekking across the street to the trailhead.

A 3 1/2 mile hike in and another 3 1/2 mile hike out. Take plenty of water and snacks with you. A seven mile hike is nothing to play with - with no food or water.

Once you hike about 2 miles or so, you will come upon the streams and creeks. This one though however, is near the waterfall itself.

Jeffrey is so incredibly brave. There was no way I was going to hike up to the top of that boulder and stand there looking off into the distance. Nuh uh - not me...

 I love the way the water just shoots off the side of this huge boulder. Check out the ice to the left and right of the heavily frozen water. While everyone else in this area was inside staying warm, we had to go waterfall chasing.

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TALLULAH GORGE {SNOW} HIKE

16 January 2011

N 34.739750º | W 083.395233º

Tallulah Gorge 

Standing at one of the viewing areas of Tallulah Gorge.

L'Eau d'Or Falls

Going down these 600 metal steps really made me nervous because I could see the earth through the steps.

Standing on the suspension bridge that sways 80 feet above the rocky bottom, providing spectacular views of the river and waterfalls.

Only 100 people are actually allowed down into this area per day. Just gorgeous!!

Hurricane Falls

Jeffrey in front of Hurricane Falls

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SPRINGER MOUNTAIN {SNOW} HIKE

22 January 2011

N 34 39.815º | W 84 07.787º

My small hand held Canon camera went with me on this hike.

This sign is across the street from the main parking area. Even though it is only .9 miles on this side of the mountain - this side offers much better views as opposed to hiking the Benton McKaye trail which is what we did. I took this shot on my way to the Honda.

I just love snow scenes that look this blue when the sun is shining just right.

Views are FABULOUS up here!

My first time here and I have to say it was quite exhilarating. I felt as though I had conquered the world and was about to embark on even bigger hikes.

It really was pretty, pretty cold up there on the summit of Springer Mountain - thus the reason my hat was on.

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CANADA CREEK FALLS

26 January 2011

N 34° 41.44 | W 84° 02.53

Elevation: 2560 ft.

This is such a popular starting point for many hikers to do sections of the A.T.

Our hiking guide, Bill and Jeffrey heading off into the woods.

Jeffrey and Bill at Canada Creek Falls

 

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SEA CREEK FALLS

26 January 2011

N 34-46'12'' W 084-05'41''

 

 

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LITTLE ROCK CREEK FALLS

26 January 2011

 

I don't allow fallen trees over a path to get in my way; I just scurry underneath it.

 

Little Rock Creek is a gorgeous waterfall; however, please know it takes some scrambling to get to the area that could result in slips and falls. We had to carefully slide down this embankment to get to the base of the falls and the underbrush can be very thick getting to the trail itself.

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RAVEN CLIFF FALLS HIKE

29 January 2011

N 34.709969 |  W -83.788837

 

 

 

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