Learning Hemlocks with Stacie 7.10.21

photo by Stacie James

Date: Saturday, July 10, 2021
Time: 10:00 – 4 pm
Leader(s): Stacie James, Program Coordinator
Partners making it possible: UNG Environmental Leadership Center
Location: Hemlock Falls Trail at Moccasin Creek State Park, Rabun County

Outing Description:
Educational hike along the beautiful and easy strolling trail at Hemlock Falls. We’ll learn about the history of the woolly adelgid, an invasive species that kills hemlocks. We’ll learn what damage has already been done, how this pest is being managed, and what the future outcome might be. As the cool, shady trail follows the mossy rocks and tumbling waters of Moccasin Creek, we’ll point out flora and fauna species to those interested in learning more.

Meeting Place Directions:
Hemlock Falls Trailhead. Go to the trail head parking lot off of Hwy 197, right across from the Lake Burton Trout Hatchery (which is next to the Moccasin Creek State Park Campground on Lake Burton). Although you would typically turn onto Andersonville Lane at this intersection, you will likely find it blocked by heavy equipment (they are building a new dam) in which case you just take the asphalt driveway directly south of Andersonville Lane and go up hill, passing right by the carport of a home on your left. Continue downhill from the carport to Andersonville Lane (gravel road) and turn left. Continue straight ahead on Andersonville Ln. You’ll pass one road coming in on the left, but you continue straight. Next the road will fork and you’ll see signage for a camp to your right. Go left at that fork and you’ll soon come upon the gravel parking area for the trail head on your left.

See meeting place on Google Maps

Distance and Difficulty: 
Lower Falls: 3 miles total, out and back – Easy but typical rocks and roots and muddy, wet seeps to cross. Can be slippery. Leisurely pace. Likely time back at your car is 2pm.

Upper Falls: 4.5 miles total, out and back – Strenuous due to scrambling several steep, wet trail sections + negotiating blow downs + creek crossing on slippery boulders + possible short bushwhacks. You must be fit, agile, have good balance, and strong legs to do this portion of the hike. Likely time back at your car is 3pm or 4pm, depending on pace and interest in exploring the area. Appropriate shoes (with good treads) and long pants are required for this hike to the upper falls. Some will want to have a hiking pole.

What to Bring and Wear:
Lunch, plenty of water, rain gear, sturdy footwear, hiking poles if you want them. If allergic to bees/wasps, remember to bring your meds/epi-pen.

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: Pets are allowed.

Participation Limit: 20

Photos!