Now, I have Wessy with me on short hikes, the way I travel has changed. More water goes with me and a collapsible dog bowl. My single walking stick converts into a monopod for the camera. Plus, I have dog treats with me and not just Kind Bars for myself. Suddenly, I’m looking on line for “smell proof” bags because of the possibility of black bears on the trails.
I keep going back up to the Raven Cliffs Wilderness and the Appalachian Trail (AT). These are pretty easy hikes that Wessy can do without a problem. She’s almost 6-months old and easily goes up small rock scrambles.
The hike departs Tesnatee Gap (view maps and driving directions) at a large parking area. You want to follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail westbound. Immediately, the trail begins to go up steadily gaining elevation under a canopy of young hardwood trees.
This time of the year, the landscape is dotted with small native-to-Georgia wild flowers. The Appalachian Trail reaches a small peak at .25 miles. I stopped for a moment to give Wessy water and enjoy the view. Then the climb paused for a short stretch as the trail rolls downward (photo below). The trail swings south at .35 miles, resuming the climb and entering a series of tight, loose, rock switchbacks.
This day we hiked to the top of Cowrock Mountain in honor of Chipley, who loved cows! Of course, there are no cows this high up and I have no idea how the mountain got its name. It was just a nice path especially at this point.
The forest becomes increasingly rocky as the climb continues. I’m always distracted by the vibrant greens of spring and the sight of new ferns along the trail.
One reviewer said it was a difficult hike and another said moderate. You have to decide for yourself. I say moderate, if not easy. The only reason I would give it a moderate rating is because of the loose slate rockâ€”there was plenty of that and you can’t move as fast though Wessy had no problem.
The view at the top is really nice and offers a great place to sit in the sun and enjoy the view. By summer, you won’t be able to be out on these rocks. They will be way too hot! The AT travels right over this rocky outcropping. We could easily look across to Wildcat Mountain, which we hiked two times recently. Each time, I was working on “growing up Wessy.”
This is a hiker’s dreamâ€”water and snacks on top of a mountain with a little brown dog beside you. I have no idea why we take photos of our hiking shoes! Everyone does it so I guess it is a “view” thing.
Wessy and me. She’s getting too big to hold and to think there was a time when I would carry her part of the way up a trail though that never worked for long. Lots of hikers out again on this day. Of course, she wanted to speak to everyone but we practiced sitting, watching, and waiting. Patience.
Spring flowers are out now and I’ve seen some really special onesâ€”not like the wild flowers on the balds in North Carolina but certainty very sweet.
Wessy is becoming a better trail companion with each hike.
Yellow Trillium. I haven’t seen a lot of these and I had to stop Wessy from biting these. I think they could be special!
Finally, the very top of the mountain. People say this stretch of the AT is some of the prettiest trail in Georgia. I sort of believe it.
One more yellow . . . I don’t know the name! And thenâ€”Good bye!