The time has really gotten away from us, but we have been making plans and have some exciting upcoming adventures (more on that later). As you may know Big Canoe is in the North Georgia Mountains and is our base camp/training ground. It has some amazing hiking (over 30 miles), beautiful scenery, waterfalls, and basically is a very tranquil place to enjoy the outdoors.
This is a normal training day and typically we carry 1.5-2 liters of water with us(always our emergency supplies and food), but that all depends on the temperature. Our favorite trail is from the cabin to Mt. Oglethorpe. Interesting fact and something we did not know when we purchased in Big Canoe, but Mt Oglethorpe was once the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trial. Actually, it was the Southern Terminus from 1937 to 1958. The Southern Terminus was relocated 13 miles to Springer Mountain in 1958. When Grandma Gatewood and Earl Shaffer hiked the AT they started at Mt Oglethorpe. Makes me chuckle thinking about this area in 1958 and someone decided it was overdeveloped and moved the Southern Terminus. It really was great foresight, since it will eventually be very developed and Amicalola Falls State Park (The Approach Trail to Springer Mountain begins in the park) is a protected area, so hopefully it will always remain as it is today.
Enough of that, lets HIKE!
It had rained recently and so the water flow was very good, trees were green and the plants were lush! It was a little hot, but we were so glad to put one foot in front of the other!
We hit Disahroon Creek crossed the bridge and was on our way.
This trail features two waterfalls the Lower Falls and the Upper Falls. Previously, we have seen the water pouring over these falls and then also a trickle, however today it was a steady flow.
Upper Falls and…of course, Chris has to take the hard way.
After the Upper Falls the trail meanders through a rock field, we cross over the creek again and make our way to Nancy Falls.
From here we start to get into some elevation change!
We cross the road and hit the trail head to Ponder Point. This is where the trail gets steep. I remember after I broke my leg, this was a dreaded challenge, but fortunately that’s a distant memory!
This is where the switchbacks kick in and it’s a steady climb to the top, with a few breather breaks.
The vistas are amazing in the fall and winter, but the greenery still is lovely and we did get a surprise near the top.
From here you hike (really out of the Big Canoe) to a short road that leads to the southern most end of the Appalachain Mtn chain which sits 3288 ft. Mt Oglethorpe and at the top Eagle’s Rest Park. From its vantage points, visitors can see the Piedmont plateau, Lake Lanier, Stone Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain and Atlanta and from the north deck North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Alabama.
The 107-acre park is on property purchased by Ken and Billie Ann Rice of Big Canoe 20 years ago. Who with other individuals, foundations, clubs and outdoor lovers created and maintain this park.
Now you don’t have to take the long way (over 7 miles of hiking and 2000 ft elevation change) to get here. You can actually drive up to the park from Jasper, GA, and then hike some of the trails at the top. Hiking is just one foot in front of the other, your way, your pace!
Now back to the “what’s on her feet”? When we were hiking in Bryce National Park http://mtnsarecalling.com/2017/05/29/bryce-canyon-national-park-sunrise-point/ my boots were full of sand. No literally, I poured a cup of sand out of my boots! And trust me it was not very comfortable getting all that sand in your shoes. Even if I am not hiking in sand, I am always getting small stick, leaves and pebbles in my boots. I noticed when we were on the AT http://mtnsarecalling.com/2017/04/29/smoky-mountains-national-park-applachain-trail-charlies-bunion/ several months back all the thru-hikers were wearing the coolest thing over the tops of the trial runners. So to the internet I go to see what I could find. Hence, the Dirty Girl Gaiters (this is not an paid post) and I love them. Check out their website https://dirtygirlgaiters.com/
Excuse the dirt on my legs it was a long hike!
We hike back the way we came and down is a little harder than up for me, but a least the trails were not covered with leaves or acorns which can be a slippery slope!
As always Chris has to climb the hill out, I take the easier route!
Final Stats and Elevation Map!
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