Hiking with the Hearthstone Hikers

This is a group organized by the Forsyth County Senior Services.  These hikes are generally shorter and closer to home than those done by the Sonny Day Hikers.  I have not included every hike, just a sampling.

Pine Log Creek (October 2019):  A hike on a very nice trail, including a very nice quarry. The sun was high and bright, so the light on the trees and rocks was difficult to expose correctly, but it all worked out alright. 🙂

The first four images are from the full group hike. The final three images are from the scouting hike several days before.

Noses Creek (September 2019): A hike from the Pigeon Hill lot south to Cheatham Hill via the Hardage Mill trail, returning by the Noses Creek trail.  It was a hot and humid day or we might have gone further.

Riverside Park (February 2018): A hike along the Chattahoochee River.  Only the last three pictures are from the hike.  The first four are from West Bank Park before the hiking began.  In between is a picture of the “big oak” at Central Park.

Arrowhead Nature Trail (June 2017):  A ranger-led walk through a Wildlife Management Area (WMA).  These area are managed for the wildlife habitat rather than for the convenience of people, and so the trals may not be as we expect.

Hemlock Falls (June 2016):  Did this trail twice. The first was the pre-hike with Larry Collins, and the second with the whole group hike later.  Both hikes were great fun.  While the weather was warm-ish, it was not uncomfortably hot.  The pool below the falls was wade-able but rather cold (although that didn’t matter once my feet were numb.)  There are a number of falls on Moccasin Creek below this falls, but the bushes obscure many of them.

Martin’s Mine trail at Smithgall Woods (April 2016):  A nice  hike, but the bulk was on a roadway.  Nice views on the short trail through and past the mine.

Chicopee Woods (March 2016):  A very nice 4 miles in the woods with a very nice little waterfall along the way.  Good footing and not very muddy after all the rain.  Not much pine, almost entirely hardwoods.  Ought to look really nice in the fall.  Have to remember to arrange something then.  Our leaders did not co-ordinate with Ma Nature and allowed snow on the way back to Central Park.  🙂

Gold Branch Trail (Feb 2016):  A nice trail along the Chattahoochee River just west of Roswell, GA.

Amicalola River Trail (October/Novermber 2015):  Hiked this one three times.  The first one was in the rain in late October.  We did not find the correct trail, gave up due to the rain and came home.  The second try in early November was successful.  It was misty/drizzly, but not so bad.  And we found the right trail.   The pictures are from the last hike.

Fort Mountain State Park (October, 2015):  Fort Mountain State Park (October, 2015):  Went there twice in one week, once to check it out and then to lead the hike.  Good color in the higher elevations, but not below.  We did the top trails with the tower and fort wall, then we did the Big Rock Nature Trail with the waterfalls.  Lunch afterward at Biguns Barbecue in Talking Rock, GA.  Probably should have taken a picture there also.  I shall do better on future hikes.  🙂  From both the pre-hike and the “real” hike.

High Shoals Falls on Walden Creek (Feb 5, 2015): Three of us pre-hiked this one leading up to the full group of Hearthstone Hikers doing it next week.  We had cool but nice weather, and the walk was relatively easy.  We arrived about 11:00 am, so the sun was up a bit further than I might have liked.  However, I think I got decent pictures.  If I were to go with folks willing to spend some time taking pictures, I’d climb across the rocks in several spots to shoot other angles.  I’d also try to arrive much earlier in the morning.  There is a second falls past the end of the trail, but that would require wading the creek and bushwhacking up the hill another 100 yards or so. (Feb 12, 2015):  The last pciture is from the actual hike a week later.  The weather was not good (30’s and 20+ mph wind), but I climbed around a bit more to get better shots.  All without a tripod. Note on the name:  There are at least two other High Shoals Falls in north Georgia.  This is the one north of Dahlonega on Walden Creek, not either High Shoals Falls on Moccasin Creek (outside Dallas, GA) or High Shoals Creek Falls (near Hiawasee, GA.)

Dauset Nature Trails (March 2015):  This place is south of Jackson, GA, south of Atlanta.  So it was a long drive from Central Park.  A nice place, with a zoo of sorts and trails through the woods.  We were there before things started blooming, but still quite a nice walk.

Dockery Lake to Miller’s Gap (October 2014):  A  nice hike past part of the lake and then up the hill to the intersection with the Appilachian Trail.  Saw some amazing fungi along the way.

Raven Cliffs Falls (September 2013):  A hike to the falls from Warwoman Road east of Clayton.  A very nice trail, although there are some roots and rocks if you don’t watch where you’re going.  The main falls was not flowing much, so some of the smaller cascades downstream actually looked better.  At one point, we saw a bunch of piles of rocks that no one could explain.  All in all, a nice hike through the woods.  Might be more impressive in the spring with the rhododendron blooming.

Holcomb Creek Trail (May 2015):  I pre-hiked this for the group, but found it not accessible for the van.  We went in from Warwoman Road, and that forest service road was miserable.  May deep potholes and big rocks.  We returned going north into NC (but the van is not allowed to leave the state of Georgia) on a much, much better road.  The trail is quite steep, going down to the falls, then back up the other side.  The first two falls are on very steep hillsides with few vantage point for viewing.  The third is much better from that perspective.

Angel and Panther Falls (September 2015):  INancy and I did the the pre-hike, and we included a number of other falls not hiked by the larger group.  Not much water in Angel and Panther Falls, and deadfalls took away some of the vantage points at Panther Falls.  The group hiked this the next week as the second hike of the season.

Nancy and I also went to Minnehaha Falls, Wolf Creek Falls (no pictures there) and Bad Branch Falls, all west of Lake Rabun.