An Excellent Adventure LbNA # 13049 (ARCHIVED)
|Placed Date||Jan 10 2005|
|Location||Tate City, GA|
An Excellent Adventure
Coleman River Scenic Area
Placed by – Judith & Sparky
Placement date – 1/10/05
State - Georgia
Nearest City – Hiawassee
Number of boxes - Two
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail conditions – This is one of the most beautiful trails that I have been on. It follows a very noisy, full mountain stream that has lots of small waterfalls and pools. The hillside is covered with rhododendron and the air is fresh and cool. The trail surface is about the same as most of the Appalachian trail but Hurricane Ivan left some trees down. This is not a good trail for strollers and small children. The trail is about 1 mile one way.
Directions – This trail is fairly easy to find. Take Hwy 76 out of Hiawassee for about 20 miles. The Appalachian Trail, Dick’s Gap, will cross Hwy 76 and there are some scenic viewpoints. Cross the Tallulah River and look for Persimmon Rd. on the left. Turn left on Persimmon Rd. and keep going for several more miles. Turn left onto Tallulah Rd., which is also Forest Service Rd. 70. Go to the end of the pavement to the gravel road and very shortly you will see the trail head on the right.
Alternate directions – If you have an adventurous spirit and a four wheel or all wheel drive vehicle you could take the “short cut” to FS Road 70. Before the Tallulah River on the right is Upper Hightower Rd. Take a deep breath and turn on this road. At first it will be very civilized, a good paved road and then a fairly good gravel road. Then it gets a little rougher, a lot rougher and then YEHAW, you’re sliding down a 45 degree slope with a 30 degree cant towards the river in deep mud! Can’t steer, can’t stop, can’t look! At the bottom, keep going, you can’t turn back now because you would never make it back up the mountain! You will cross some little rivulets, ford at least two good size streams and bump over many rocks. And then you get to the Tallulah River. At this point the river is 50 – 60 feet wide and about knee deep with a good stone bed. Ford the river, up the bank and there you are at FS 70. Turn right, go a few miles and the trail head will be on the left.
Two warnings – Don’t try this in the spring, early summer or after a few days of rain. The road will be impassable, the streams will be high and the Tallulah River will be deep, fast and rough. Also, don’t try this “road” in a small car, say like a Honda Civic. You WILL get to a point where you literally can’t go back and forward isn’t a good possibility either. Someone WILL be wading (in January!) in the creeks and the river to make sure that they aren’t too deep and that the bottom is good. You WILL lose car parts and will end up on FS 70 with a flappy sound in the rear wheel and squeaking in the steering. You WILL spend the next day at the repair shop getting the mud washed out of places that mud isn’t supposed to be in. But, man what a ride! An excellent adventure on a beautiful day.
Clues – Walk up the trail about a mile to where a large rock is across the trail. (You can go past the rock a little ways and then the trail seems to end in a grove of rhododendron bushes.) With your back to the rock, facing the way you came, look to your right at about 1 o’clock. On the side of the trail is a tree with a very long dead log at its base. Look under the log, under a tan rock for Butterfly Box #1.
On your way back down the trail, stop and look at the tree with the small steam going under it. Isn’t that neat that a tree can live and thrive with a creek going though its roots? Look up the hillside to a large boulder. On top of the boulder is a large downed tree stump. You can’t see the tree stump from the trail. Look around the stump to the right and spot the small group of growing branches. Kneel or lie down and reach under these branches for Butterfly Box #2. Be careful going back down the hillside to the trail.
All normal disclaimers apply. BE CAREFUL! Take out what you take in. Be respectful of the area and don’t damage anything. Have a good time!