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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 2017
MonthDateLocation & Details
April  April 1 Hike: Byron Reece to Blood Mt.  (rescheduled from January) Hike to the highest point on the Georgia Appalachian Trail. From the Byron Reece Trail parking lot to the AT, then south to the top of Blood Mountain and return. About 5 moderately strenuous miles, including over 2 miles of uphill climbing.
For further information, contact hike leader Mike Pilvinsky mikepilvinsky AT
  April 8 GA Work Trip: 
Where: Section 5
When: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Meet: 8:00 at Iron Bridge Cafe and General Store, 8436 Aska Road in Blue Ridge
Plan for the day: WTread repair
What to bring: minimum 2 liters of water, long pants, boots, gloves and snack or lunch for the day.
Contact: Barry Allen at bmtabarry AT or 770-294-7384
Please join the BMTA for the April trip as work is continued on section 5 between Garland Gap and Old Dial Rd. On the last trip, about half of the work around Garland Gap was completed, leaving about 200 yards of trail to repair and re-dig.
Meet for breakfast at 8:00 at the Iron Bridge Café on Aska Road across from the Shallowford Bridge. From there we’ll drive to the Old Dial Road trail access, parking most vehicles, and taking shuttle vehicles to Wilscot Gap and then to the top of Brawley Mountain.
Rather than duplicate the exact route of last month, we’ll hike from the fire tower to Old Dial Road – a bit easier path since we won’t need to walk back up Brawley at the end of the day. As always, a call or note to let me know you are coming is welcome. Hope to see you there!
Please Note: it would be helpful to have at least 3 or 4 drivers who may not be able to work for the day, but could help get volunteers from Old Dial to the top of Brawley -- about a 35 minute shuttle, and a huge help at the end of the day. Just send Barry a note.
  April 13 (Thursday) Hike: Green Mountain Trail.  An easy/leisure hike of about 4 miles, with moderate elevation gain and loss. Should be a nice early spring hike, with good views of Lake Blue Ridge. We will begin at the Deep Gap trailhead on Aska Road, intersect with the Long Branch Connector, and end up at the Shady Falls parking area a couple of hours later. A short shuttle of less than 2 miles.
For further information contact hike leader Hank Baudet 706-946-4318 or Geezer95 AT
  April 17 (Monday) Hike: Go Forth Creek.  Pleasant, leisurely hike after eating all those Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies. Go Forth creek is an easy 3 mile (in and out) hike along the scenic creek, which has an abundance of small waterfalls and pour overs, which provide plenty of photo-ops. We will have a very gentle uphill grade, with several nice spots along the way for breaks or lunch. If anyone is interested, we can also include a nice cool swim in the Blue Hole, a popular swimming spot on the upper Ocoee River, a short drive from where we will leave some of our vehicles.
For further information contact hike leader Hank Baudet 706-946-4318 or Geezer95 AT
  April 23 (Sunday) Hike: Two Trail History Hike - Unicoi Turnpike Trail to Unicoi Gap, then Benton MacKaye Trail to Hwy. 68.  Join amateur history buff and one of the BMTA founders George Owen for a double treat. First, we will walk the history-laden Unicoi Turnpike Trail where in parts the Cherokees walked and were then force-marched to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. Along this 2.5-mile federally-designated National Millennium Trail, you will also visit the site of the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Rolling Stone, a Civil War era grave of a bushwhacked man, and other sites. Then, we intersect the BMT on a low ridge, walk quickly into Unicoi Gap, then turn and trek along a very mild ridge on the BMT and down to TN 68. Total hike distance is 7.4 miles, and overall rating is moderate.
Contact George Owen at gowen2 AT or 706-374-4716 for information.
  April 29 (Saturday) TN Work Trip - Section 12d:  For our April Monthly work trip, we will be working on Section 12d (McFarland Road to Lost Creek Campground). The total distance for this section is 3.9 miles, with 1.3 miles on a gated wildlife road. We will be concentrating on brushing out this section, as we hope to have it logged out prior to the work trip. We will be using sling blades, loppers, and brush cutters.
We will be meeting at 8:30 am at the Clemmer Bike Trail Parking Area, the same meeting spot as our March trip. When you turn off US 64 onto Highway 30, this parking area will be the first road on your left after about 0.1 miles. Be sure to bring at least 2 quarts of water, lunch, and wear sturdy boots and long pants. Please let Ken Jones know if you plan to attend so that he can plan the work and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Trip Leader: Ken Jones (w4zug AT or 423-506-8128
  April 29 (Saturday) Blue Ridge Trout Festival & Outdoor Adventures:  Downtown City Park, 10AM - 7PM. Visit the BMTA display tent for information on the Benton MacKaye Trail, trail maintenance and group hikes.
May  May 3 (Wednesday) Hike: Lady Slipper Hike – BMT from Fall Branch Falls to Weaver Creek (sections 6b, 6c, and 6d).  This hike is a moderate to strenuous 6.2 miles. We will pause first at the ever-popular Fall Branch Falls after hiking under half mile. As we approach our lunch stop at the top of Rocky Mountain, we will find loads of Trillium lining the trail. The last section of the hike takes us past several Lady Slipper gardens, some filled with hundreds of the beautiful pink orchid. Wild Azaleas should be in bloom as well.
For more information on this hike, contact hike leader Joy Forehand at jwfbrga AT or call (706) 946-0336.
  May 8-10 (Monday - Wednesday) Canoe/Kayak Trip:  We will camp at designated, back country campsites and explore Lake Calderwood, a remote and undisturbed lake near the TN/NC border just to the west of the famous Route 129, the Dragon of sports car and motorcycle fame. Fishing is permitted with either a Tennessee or North Carolina License. We’ll have a chance to explore the Slickrock Creek Trail, see an old railroad tunnel you can boat through, and relax and enjoy the solitude on the water. Distances are 5-8 miles a day by boat.
For more information, contact trip Leader Dick Evans at 828-479-2503. Reservations are necessary.
  May 18 (Thursday) Hike: BMT Hiwassee River to Lost Creek Campground and Back.  An easy to moderate 5.6 miles—approximately 3 hours on the trail. Many hikers consider this section outstanding as it parallels Big Lost Creek through a deep limestone gorge with cascades and small waterfalls. Consider wearing water shoes as some might want to cross the creek to the campground rather than the road. We'll hike to Lost Creek Campground, eat lunch and then hike back to our cars at the USFS River Access Recreation Area. You'll see the designated "National Scenic River," the Hiwassee, as well as the historic Webb Brothers store in Reliance. The campground has picnic tables and vault toilets.
Contact hike leader Clare Sullivan at clare7982 AT
  May 26 (Friday) Hike: Covered Bridge to Covered Bridge on BMT in Sisson property.  4 miles; easy to moderate (some hills); approximately 2 hours on the trail. Using the BMT and adjacent (mostly) dirt roads, this leisurely hike will link the two covered bridges in the Sisson’s Cherry Log Mountain log cabin community. Besides the bridges, we will enjoy two mountain lakes, five footbridges across cascading streams – and, with luck, a lovely stand of nodding trilliums. It should be sweet. Following the hike we will repair to the Pink Pig for lunch.
For further information, contact hike leaders Tom and Jane Keene at tkbmta AT or 770-548-4935 (text ok).
June  June 3 (Saturday) Hike: Etowah River Trails near Boling Park in Canton – Part 2.  For those who enjoyed the winter hike at Boling Park and for those who have heard what good trails are there, we are going to hike there again. We’ll do 4-7 miles on mostly loops that we did not hike on last time around. Again, convenient to our Atlanta area hikers, and of average to moderate difficulty.
For further information, contact hike leader Howard Baggett at howardeb AT
  June 5 (Monday) Hike: Turtletown Creek Falls.  A moderate 4 mile loop hike to two of the prettiest waterfalls in the area.
For further information, contact hike leader Evelin Yarns at 828-837-7237.
  June 17 (Saturday) Hike: BMT Section 11e to Chestnut to Thunder Rock Express to Rhododendron to the Ocoee Whitewater Center.  This hike will meet at the Ocoee Whitewater Center to watch the arrival of the water-release prior to hiking. The riverbed fills in 5 minutes. Thus the hike will not begin until 10:15am. Lunch will be at the OWC picnic area while watching lots of kayakers and rafters enjoy the Olympic Section of the Ocoee River. Information on the 1996 Olympics and the copper mines will be shared. We will shuttle to the trailhead. The beautiful Visitor’s Center has a gift shop and restrooms. Hike is approximately 3.8 miles and easy (all downhill).
Contact Hike Leader Clare Sullivan at clare7982 AT

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