RESCHEDULED due to weather to: Saturday, February 13, 2021

Come celebrate the dawn of a new year with a New Year’s Day hike. What better way than a walk in the woods to cast away 2020 and welcome the promise of 2021?

Hike hosts will be Brooks Franklin, Lisa Ezzard and Marie Dunkle, and three hikes of three different distance and difficulty levels are offered, followed by a New Year’s Day feast outside the home of Brooks and Lisa near Rabun County GA/Otto, NC. The starting point for each hike is off Mulberry Rd close to the Georgia / North Carolina border.

Hike A will meet at 9:30.
Hike B will meet at 10:00.
Hike C will meet at 10:30.

TO REGISTER please contact Marie: 770-335-0967
Please register for the hike that meets your interest and endurance level. (The limit is 9 hikers per hike. Although you are not required to wear a mask while hiking, masks are required during the time we gather before and after the hikes.)

Hike A meet at 9:30
Distance: approximately 6 miles
Difficulty: Moderately difficult. A 1,500 ft. elevation climb, with a quarter mile strenuous climb, moderate but steady pace.
Description: We will be hiking in both the Nantahala and Chattahoochee National Forests. Leaving Leah Lake and meandering on the highest ridges between NC and GA along Owen’s Gap, we will travel up to Hog Mountain and then descend below and around Owen’s Mountain back to Leah Lake. This is a perfect circuit spanning the beautiful borders of North Carolina and Georgia. Your hike leader will be Marie Dunkle, a GAFW past board president and current District Leader.

Hike B meet at 10:00
Distance: approximately 4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Description: Shed the old and bring in the new with a poetry and Native song hike to the summit of Owen’s Mountain, a sacred ceremonial spot of the Cherokee. Enjoy wonderful winter views and poetry stops on the way up and down the mountain. Lisa Ezzard, long time poet and vintner at Tiger Mountain Vineyards, will be leading the hike.

Hike C meet at 10:30
Distance: approximately 3 miles
Difficulty: moderately easy with short, moderate hills and leisurely pace.
Description: Leaving Leah Lake on winding trails below Owen’s Mountain, we will hike to Nomoho Rock on the Hambidge Center property., a 600 acre natural preserve, and then return to Leah Lake. For those interested in a welcoming New Year’s treat, this is a hike of beauty and communion that will be led by Brooks Franklin, long-time leader of hikes for Georgia Forest Watch. He’s back with his New Year’s Day hike!

Following completion of each hike, registered hikers will be treated to a traditional Southern New Year’s Day feast. Our hike leaders will serve up “black eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread and ham” at our end point, Leah Lake.
Covid safety must be practiced, so serving and eating will be done at tables in the great outdoors. Please do not bring a covered dish, but chocolate or other single serve dessert goodies are welcome for sharing.

What to Bring and Wear: Water, hiking pole, rain gear, cold weather clothing, personal meds for emergencies, cover protection mask

Cancellation: If Outing is cancelled due to weather or unforeseen circumstances, we will notify you via email by 6:00 pm on the evening before.

Pet Policy: No pets this time please.
Participation Limit: 10 each hike