Appalachian Trail - Tray Mountain from Andrews Cove, GA

May 16, 2006

This week's hike was on the Appalachian Trail from Andrews Cove Campground to the summit of Tray Mountain. This is a very nice hike to the second highest point on the Georgia Portion of the Appalachian Trail (4,430 ft). This hike from Andrews Cove involves an elevation gain of 2300 ft. The hike today was very nice and cool and we were able to identify 40 species of wildflowers blooming along the trail.

HIKERS - Katie Brownrigg, Phil Brownrigg, Ray Cowan, Jack Jacobi, Bryan Lambert, Dick Metzgar, Leigh Ann Miller, Bruce O'Connor, Bob Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Doug Russell, Bob Thompson, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker.

TRAIL INFO. - First, we hiked the two mile connector trail from Andrews Cove to Indian Grave Gap and the Appalachian Trail. The trail is considered moderately difficult due to a very large elevation change.

Total hiking distance today, 9.6 miles.

Directions: Take GA 75 north from Helen, GA for 5 miles. Turn right into the Andrews Cove Recreation Area. Bear to the right and drive to the upper camping area parking lot.

Another great day for a hike! Mostly to partly cloudy with cool temperatures ranging from the upper 40's to the upper 50's F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Yellow Ladyslipper, Vasey'sTrillium, Catesby's Trillium, Toadshade Trillium, Galax, Purple Violet, Sweet White Violet, Star Chickweed, Pussytoes, Fire Cherry, Maple-leafed Viburnum, Alternate-leafed Dogwood, Green Striped Maple,Solomon's Seal, False Solomon's Seal, Twisted Stalk, Wood Vetch, Deerberry, Dewberry, Highbush Blueberry, Robin's Plaintain, Squawroot, Yellow Stargrass, Rattlesnake Weed, Sweet Shrub, Heart's-a-Burstin, Hooked Buttercup, Buttercup, Bluet, Tall Bluet, Flame Azealea, Dwarf Iris, Sheep's Sorrel, Foamflower, Wild Strawberry, Golden Alexander, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Mountai Laurel, Frasier's Magnolia and Lyre-leafed Sage.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Crow, Oven Bird, Blue Jay, Titmouse, Red Eyed Vireo, Wood Thrush, Pileated Woodpecker, Black Throated Blue Warbler, Yellow Vireo, Hooded Warbler, White Breasted Nuthatch, Summer Tananger, Carolina Wren, Scarlet Tananger, Towhee, Junco, Raven & Chipping Sparrow.


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Getting ready at Andrews Cove.
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The trail is well-maintained.
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The trail sign at the junction with the Appalachian Trail.
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Here, we can see Tray Mountain -- our lunchtime destination!
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Taking a water break.
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We pass the Tray Mountain Wilderness sign.
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Lunchtime on top of Tray Mountain!
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View 1 from a cloudy Tray Mountain.
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View 2 from Tray.
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Typical rock ledge of biotite gneiss on Tray Mountain.
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For the second week in a row, we find a Yellow Lady's Slipper!
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The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r kneeling) Bruce O'Connor, Tony Presley and Leigh Ann Miller. (back l-r) David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, Doug Russell, Jack Jacobi, Bob Thompson, Ray Cowan, Bryan Lambert, Dick Metzgar, Phil Brownrigg, Katie Brownrigg, Bob Presley and Dan Ross.


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