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Benton MacKaye
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BMTA Activities Calendar

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Listed below are the scheduled activities of the BMTA for 2017.  Work trips will be held on the second Saturday of the month in Georgia and on the fourth Saturday in Tennessee/North Carolina.  Recreational outings (Fun Hikes) are planned on other weekends to avoid scheduling conflicts with work trips and are set up as hike leaders become available.  Videos of previous hikes can be found on YouTube at

All Are Welcome

The BMTA welcomes all who would like to participate in any scheduled activity.  Members and non-members alike are encouraged to join in; no experience is necessary.


US Forest Service Alerts and Notices

Recurring Monthly Events

  • 2nd Saturday - Georgia Work Trips - coordinated by Barry Allen
  • 4th Saturday - Tennessee/North Carolina Work Trips - coordinated by Ken Jones
  • At least two "Fun Hikes" each month - coordinated by Ken Cissna

Note: Some of these activities are considerable driving distances. Please contribute gas money to your driver when you carpool. Thank You!

Planned Activities for 2018
MonthDateLocation & Details
April  April 7 (Saturday) Hike: BMT Section 4a from Skeenah Gap to Payne Gap, and back.  4.4 miles, moderate. An opportunity to hike with the section’s trail maintainer and amateur geologist (trail name “Rockman”) as you identify trees, flowers, birds, and rocks.
Contact Gilbert Treadwell at gilcraft AT or 404-660-4551
  April 14 (Saturday) GA Work Trip: 
Where: Big Stamp Gap, sections 1a and 1b
When: Saturday, April 14, 2018
Meet: 8:00 at Hardee’s in East Ellijay (1208 Industrial Blvd, East Ellijay) or 9:00 at Big Stamp Gap (about one mile past parking for Springer Mtn) on Forest Service 42.
Plan for the day: Water diversion work, tree removal, and Spring Fun Grill.
What to bring: Minimum 2 liters of water, long pants, boots, gloves and snack.
Contact: Barry Allen at bmtabarry AT or 770-294-7384
Please join us on Saturday, April 14 as we work to clean and improve 50 to 60 water diversions on Section 1; we’ll also send out a saw team to remove one large blowdown from the trail about one mile south of Big Stamp Gap.
The plan for the day is to split the group into teams as we work diversions in both directions from Big Stamp Gap. This section of trail was once part of the Appalachian Trail, but after AT re-routes from years’ past, has become a focal point of our trail. The wear and tear from the Appalachian Trail years has largely healed, leaving a scenic and lovely walk to Springer Mountain.
At 12:30, we will wrap up the day’s work and hike back to Big Stamp Gap where the BMTA will have an appreciation Spring cook-out for our volunteers. Don’t worry about bringing anything other than yourself. We’ll provide the lunch for the day!
We need great turnout to finish the diversion work by lunch, so come and join us for the day. Please call or e-mail Barry so he can plan for the right number of tools and hard hats. And for the right amount of food…………And we would love to have a few folks come just to help with cooking and serving lunch. So if your sacroiliac ain’t what it used to be, then come join us any way!
  April 16 (Monday) Hike: Goforth Creek Trail.  3 miles, easy. In and out. Leisurely hike along a scenic creek.
Contact Hike Leader Hank Baudet at geezer95 AT or 706-946-4318
  April 25 (Wednesday) Hike: Hike: Lady Slipper Hike: BMT from Fall Branch Falls to Weaver Creek .  6.2 miles, moderate to strenuous. Starting on the “new” trail to Fall Branch Falls and a quick pause at the ever-popular Falls, we will find loads of Trillium lining the trail as we approach our lunch stop at the top of Rocky Mountain. The next section takes us past several Lady Slipper gardens, some filled with hundreds of the beautiful pink orchid. Wild Azaleas should be in bloom as well.
Contact hike leader Ken Cissna at kcissna AT or 706-636-1741.
  April 26 (Thursday) Hike: BMT (sections 12-13) from Reliance to Lost Creek and back.  8 miles, easy. Creek crossing plus see Hiwassee River.
Contact Hike Leader Clare Sullivan at clare7982 AT
May  May 1 (Tuesday) Hike: In the Cohuttas, starting at Dally Gap and joining the BMT at Spanish Oaks, pass Penitentiary trail intersection to Hemp Top at the remains of the old fire tower  for a break before we return to Dally Gap. About 8 miles, moderate hiking uphill first half and downhill second. About 1000’ elevation change each way.
Contact Hike Leaders Tom Sewell at SewellTom AT or text to (706)669-6406 or Tim Holby 828-361-4205.
  May 2 (Wednesday) Hike: More Lady Slippers! Mulky Gap.  3.5 miles, easy to moderate. Before embarking on the hike, hikers will go across the road to see a huge garden of thousands of Pink Lady Slippers. The hike itself begins on an old logging road. Trillium, Wild Geranium, Wild Iris and Dutchman’s Pipe are just a few of the spring beauties to be seen. For the return, we’ll switch to the Duncan Ridge Trail along which are Flame Azaleas as well as some super big Pink Lady Slippers.
Contact hike leader Joy Forehand at jwfbrga AT or 706-946-0336.
  May 14 (Monday) Hike: New trails – Talking Rock Nature Preserve.  Two loops, 2.8 and 1.4 miles, both easy. Option for lunch at Biguns BBQ (five minutes away) afterwards.
Contact hike leader Ken Cissna at kcissna AT or 706-636-1741.
  May 23 (Wednesday) Hike: Big Frog Mt. via Big Frog Mt. Trail and BMT and return.  11-12 miles total. Moderate to strenuous difficulty uphill first half and downhill last half. Hiking time about 7 hours. Elevation change is 1300’ feet (each way), starting at 2900’ climbing to 4220’ at the top. Beautiful views along the ridge lines.
Contact Hike Leader Tom Sewell at SewellTom AT or text to (706)669-6406.
June  June 5 (Tuesday) Hike: BMT Dry Gap to Thunder Rock Campground on the Kimsey “Highway”.  5.7 miles; moderate. Starts with an uphill ¾ mile 500 feet elevation then downhill all the way to the Ocoee River.
This is a spectacular hike mostly along a ridge. 15 mile shuttle. Kimsey “Highway” is a historic Indian Trail. Views at the top of the Hiwassee River Watershed are breath taking. Given the lengthy shuttle, we may do this as a “key exchange” if enough sign up for this event. The two hike leaders are willing to do the harder/uphill portion of the hike.
Contact Hike Leader Tom Sewell at SewellTom AT or text to (706)669-6406.
  June 15 (Friday) Hike: Lake Russell Trail.  5 mile loop, easy. Optional additional 2.7 mile loop to Nancy Town Falls (also easy)
Around beautiful Lake Russell in the 17,300 acre Lake Russell WMA near Cornelia, GA. Great scenery and abundant wildlife. We will start at Nancy Town Lake, circle Lake Russell, cross the dam, and walk through a nice campground, picnic area, and swimming beach.
Contact hike leader Clayton Webster at webs4740 AT or at 404-633-8955.

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