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This Week at the Museum

January 19, 2016

Friends Field Trip to Black Rock Mountain State Park
6-8 May 2016
Led by Dale Hoyt and Robert Wyatt


Please join us for one of the most beautiful displays of spring wildflowers in the Southeast.  Early May is peak time for low- to mid-elevation sites in the mountains of northeast Georgia.

Black Rock Mountain State Park is Georgia’s highest state park and lies along three miles of the Eastern Continental Divide.  It offers easy hiking trails and access to other outstanding mountain destinations.

Cabins will be rented for members who want to stay in the park Friday and Saturday, as is customary for Friends field trips. To increase participation, however, we are modifying our policy to allow other Friend members and guests to attend any of the walks with the group free of charge. (Meeting sites and times will be announced in advance to the membership.)  BRMSP is less than two hours drive from Athens, reached from Mountain City on US 441, just north of Clayton.

Two trails we plan to explore are located in the park itself.  The Tennessee Rock trail winds for 2.2 miles through lush forests with spectacular views, while the Norma Campbell Cove trail is a new, short trail that descends into a lush Appalachian cove forest.

We will also visit a site that most experts, including Hugh and Carol Nourse, consider the best location in northeast Georgia for species of Trillium and other vernal wildflowers.  It is on 600 acres of the Blue Ridge foothills near Dillard, Georgia, and is owned by the Hambidge Center, a residential artist community.

Warwoman Dell, located just east of Clayton, is a hemlock-hardwood forested valley, with nearby Becky Branch Falls on the Bartram Trail. The site is also of historical significance: we will view the remnants of an unfinished railroad that was to run from the Atlantic to Ohio, as well as a trout-holding facility built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

Finally, we will explore Rabun Bald, a true Appalachian heath bald and Georgia's second highest mountain. From the trailhead at Bee Gum Gap, the distance to the top is only 1.5 miles, but the last part is steep. We will approach the bald on a Forest Service road to the point where it meets the Bartram Trail and then return to the trailhead via the Bartram Trail, where the wildflower display is best.  Stalwarts can continue to the top of the bald and then return.

Please contact Robert Wyatt (rewyatt@uga.edu) to indicate your interest in either staying in the park (cost is $200, including a tax-deductible $100 donation to the Friends) or receiving directions on when and where to meet the group for hikes on Saturday.  Space is limited.
Please visit out our web site (http://www.gmnhfriends.org) for a list of Friends activities, officers and Board Members.
-- Cheers from Dac Crossley, President
Friends of the Georgia Museum of Natural History.
Comments or suggestions, or just want to chat, I’m soilmite@earthlink.net.

Our email newsletter lets you know what is happening around the Museum and details about upcoming trips and activities of the Friends. Be sure to check out our website at  http://gmnhfriends.org and  Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

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