Twofer: Preacher Rock + Blood Mtn Wilderness Old-Growth 11.8.2019

Date: Friday, November 8, 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Leader(s): Master Naturalist Sue Harmon and Retired Forester Cliff Shaw
Location: Woody Gap to Preacher Rock + Blood Mtn Wilderness
Outing Description:
Hike A: We’ll gather at Woody Gap and hear a brief history of Ranger Woody and his Woody Gap, then head north on the AT about 1.5 miles (mostly uphill) to Preacher Rock. Some of this hike requires the negotiation of large rock steps/boulders. We’ll take a leisurely naturalist’s pace, practicing tree/plant ID and learning about local history. After taking in the spectacular view from Preacher Rock we’ll offer a side trip (Hike B) down to some recently discovered old-growth on the west side of Big Cedar Mountain in the Blood Mountain Wilderness. Those who do not wish to do Hike B can return to the picnic tables at Woody Gap for lunch on their own, making a total of 3 miles round trip. Time back at Woody Gap ~12p.
Hike B: Optional old-growth bushwhack – 2 miles: This part of the hike will take us from Preacher Rock, north on the AT for about a ¼ mile, then off trail, down the west side of Big Cedar Mountain. We’ll walk through a beautiful old-growth forest with a variety of very large and old oak and tulip poplar trees. We will be bushwhacking down a slope from 3,700 feet to about 3,300 feet (Hiking boots, long pants, and a long sleeve shirt recommended + hiking pole, if you need it.) We’ll then hike cross-slope along a deer trail for about a ¼ mile to a spring (headwaters of Canada Creek) to see an unusually large tulip poplar. After lunch at the spring, we’ll make a somewhat strenuous climb back up to the AT and Preacher Rock and then return to Woody Gap. Total miles for doing Hikes A + B will be 5 miles. Time back at Woody Gap ~2-3p, depending on our pace.
Meeting Place Directions: Woody Gap Parking Area on State Highway 60, north of Dahlonega and just south of Suches.
See meeting place on Google Maps
Distance and Difficulty: Hike A: 3 miles, moderate, leisurely paceHike B: 5 miles, moderate/strenuous, leisurely pace
What to Bring and Wear: Lunch, plenty of water, rain gear, sturdy footwear, hiking poles if needed, camp chair if you wish. If allergic to bees/wasps, remember to bring your meds/epi-pen. Long pants, long sleeves for Hike B. 
Cancellation: Hikers will be notified by email, by 6:00 pm the evening before the hike, if the outing is cancelled due to forecast of severe weather, etc. 
Pet Policy: One pet per hiker allowed.
Family Safe Policy: Georgia ForestWatch Outings are a smoke, alcohol, and drug-free setting.
Participant Limit: 16

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Spaces are limited. Reservations are required. Our outings are free of charge and open to everyone on a first-come, first-served basis, up to the limit. 
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