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Rabun Bald Hike

June 13 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm


This event is full – now taking waitlist

Join us for a special hike to the top of Georgia’s second highest — and much less visited — mountain top, Rabun Bald. You can’t drive to the top of Rabun Bald, you have to get there the old-fashioned way, on foot.

Buzz Williams, Chattooga Conservancy’s Founder and Director Emeritas, co-leads our walk and will show us a few special features off the main trail.

The trail we’ll take is a rewarding walk up through at least two eco-zones.  As we hike up, we’ll begin to see plants and trees that only grow at higher elevations such as Striped Maple and Yellow Mandarin. The top of Rabun Bald is about six weeks later in the season than the Georgia Piedmont, equivalent to a latitude of perhaps Pennsylvania or New York.  We’ll hear the calls of nesting song birds we seldom hear at lower elevations, such as the striking Black-throated green and Black-throated Blue and Juncos’ distinctive bell-ringing call. If we’re lucky we might hear the otherworldly, harmonic call of the Veery. In a few places we’ll go through “tunnels” of Mountain Laurel and Rhododendron.

Our walk will be approximately 3.4 miles up and back, it is a moderate hike uphill with a few steep spots and of course all downhill on the return. The trail has a fair amount of rocks and roots but is well maintained. We’ll stop for lunch in a convenient spot or perhaps at the top, where there is an observation deck with an impressive stone foundation.

It’s about 2.5 hours drive to our meeting location, which is between Clayton, GA and Highlands, NC.  We’re close to the  longest days of the year, so you’ll have plenty of time to drive back in daylight for a day trip, or you might want to use this as an opportunity for an overnight get-away. There are lot of great places to stay nearby, we can help you with suggestions if you are interested. 

To register (RSVP) click HERE  – Details and directions sent to registered participants (limit 12)

A donation of $20 or more helps sustain our programs.

More about Buzz Williams and the Chattooga Conservancy

Buzz Williams grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. He was head Whitewater River Guide for Nantahala Outdoor Center, holds a B.S. in Forest Management from Clemson University, was River Ranger for the US Forest Service, and founded and is Executive Director Emeritus of Chattooga Conservancy. Among many successful projects, Buzz helped Chattooga River become nationally recognized and designated as a “Wild and Scenic River.” Today Buzz is semi-retired and continues to help educate about the fascinating cultural and natural history of this dynamic part of the Blue Ridge, and to protect and restore the integrity of its natural systems and biodiversity.

Chattooga Conservancy’s mission is:  

“To protect, promote and restore the natural ecological integrity of the Chattooga River watershed ecosystems; to ensure the viability of native species in harmony with the need for a healthy human environment; and, to educate and empower communities to practice good stewardship on public and private lands.” 



June 13
10:00 am - 4:00 pm