The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Three Forks to Springer Mountain
Saturday, April 17, 2010


Brief Description: This 10.4 mile strenuous hike covers parts of the Benton-MacKaye Trail and Section 1 of the Appalachian Trail.  We will drive to the Three Forks area below Blue Ridge off GA Highway 60 and do a loop hike covering the first sections of both the AT and BMT long-distance trails. These sections have lots to offer—good views, old growth hemlock trees and the history and thrill of being on the first section of each famous trail.  Hopefully we will enjoy various wildflowers in bloom. This hike is rated strenuous due to the length and changes in elevation—around 1,200 feet up and down. I am planning on an average pace of about 2 mph.  It will be a long day, but it should be a great one!

Directions to Trail Head: Hopefully Hwy. 64 will be finished by the hike date—it is now scheduled for completion the day before, which will shorten our drive.  Otherwise we will be forced to go south to Ellijay and then back north.  We will eat in Blue Ridge after the hike—probably at the Serenity Garden Café, which we really enjoyed last year after an area hike.

Leaders:  Call Randy Morris at 423-650-0485 no later than 9 p.m. on Friday evening, April 16, if interested in attending, or for more details.

Post-Trip Report: Seven hikers enjoyed a nice spring day in the mountains of north Georgia on the Benton-MacKaye (BMT) and Appalachian Trails (AT). After driving to Three Forks, we hiked the 4+ miles to Springer Mountain on the AT passing several hikers (including about 6 to 8 thru-hikers). We enjoyed the old growth hemlocks and white pines along the AT and the views from Springer Mountain at the official launch of the AT.  A very helpful and knowledgeable “ridge runner” helped us identify the mountains west toward Ellijay and the serviceberry blossoms in bloom. He also told us about his survey results of thru-hikers for 2010. After a peaceful lunch on Springer we set off on the BMT back toward Three Forks. The 6+ mile trail was much different from the AT as we enjoyed the views toward the east and Dahlonega as well as hiked through an impressive stand of tall tulip poplars. We enjoyed a great early dinner at Serenity Garden Café in Blue Ridge on our return trip. Enjoying the trip with hike leader Randy Morris were club members James and Phyllis Anderson, Sheila Bailey, Don Bennett and Jennifer Schroll as well as guest Donna Ruiz.


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