Leatherwood Creek - Roman's Den, near Toccoa, GA

December 26, 2006

This week, we hiked on the Leatherwood Creek Trail west of Toccoa, Georgia in the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area. We mainly explored historical sights in the area. We visited the Roman's Den which is a cave originally consisting of three rooms. The cave was the hideout for Samuel Romans and William Smith who hid there to avoid fighting in the Civil War. It was reported that they were part Indian and therefore could not vote. They felt that if they could not vote they should not have to fight. We were able to go into the front room and used our flashlight and camera flash to see the features in the cave. We also were in the presence of some bats hanging from the ceiling. The back two rooms of the cave are full of mud and water and are not accessible. We also visited several historic homesites and cemeteries. We were fortunate to have Howard Farmer along for the hike today to share his knowledge of this historically rich area.

HIKERS - Howard Farmer, Bruce O'Connor, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, and Bob Thompson.

TRAIL INFO. - The Leatherwood Creek Trail is part of the Frady Branch Trail System located off of Highway 184. The Frady Branch multi-use trail system provides 14.5 miles of trails designed for horses, mountain bikes and hikers.

Directions: From Highway 123 west of Toccoa, turn onto Highway 184 toward Homer (near the Georgia State Patrol building) drive 2-3 miles and look for the Frady Branch Trail signs on the right.

Another great day for a hike - Partly cloudy, breezy, and cool. Temperatures around 40 degrees F.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Chickadee, Pine Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, and Turkey Vulture.

scroll down for photos.......



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The trail intersections are very well marked.
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Each historical site is marked with an information sign.
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We approach the opening of Roman's Den.
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As we enter the cave, we are glad that we brought a flashlight!
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From inside, we see a second opening to a back room on the left (filled with mud and water).
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On the right side of the room we see an entrance to the other back room which is totally filled in.
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Bats hanging from the ceiling!.
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Just above the Den, there are some rock ledges that Roman and Smith
used sit on and keep watch and occasionally entertain friends.
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One of the other nearby sites is the Brown Baby Cemetery.
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The marker for the Brown Baby who died during a snow-ice storm in November of 1893.
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We also walked up Farmer Mountain to the Farmer-Simmons Cemetery.
Here, Howard Farmer points out some features of interest.
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We look over some of the old grave markers in the cemetery.
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The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r) Tony Presley, Donna Presley, Bob Thompson, Bruce O'Connor, Howard Farmer, and "Jet" the trail dog.


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