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Panther Creek with Buzz Williams

May 22 @ 10:00 am - 3:30 pm

Buzz Williams, Chattooga Conservancy Founder and Director Emeritus, leads our north Georgia hike in the Panther Creek natural area. From whitewater river guide to US Forest Service ranger to Chattooga Conservancy and Land Trust founder, Buzz holds a lifetime of knowledge about the history and ecology of the Chattooga River Watershed, where Georgia’s northeastern corner meets North and South Carolina, as well as our Southern Appalachian Mountains in general. There are so many stories – it’s a privilege to walk in the forest with Buzz!

The trail passes under Highway 441 and heads east along Panther Creek. The forest is second growth white pine and mixed Appalachian hardwoods. The sound of  the highway is soon replaced by the songs of waterfalls and shoals in the creek below. Native wildflowers carpet trail sides with patches of Indian Cucumber and an occasional Trillium or clump of Wild Ginger.  The mid-story is lush with Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel and Azaleas. The trail is rocky with well-worn root steps traveling up and over side ridges. At one point the trail passes directly beneath a rock cliff, then descends to the washed-out bridge across Panther Creek where the stream-side is thick with Dog Hobble and Switch Cane. Moist rock outcrops under shady bottomland hardwoods along the creek are home to native lungless salamanders and we’ll listen for birdsongs of neotropical migrants just reaching their nesting sites in North Georgia.

We’ll stop and have lunch at about 2 miles in, and from there we’ll have the option for a creek crossing and a longer hike to the falls (about 6.6 miles roundtrip) or head back along the creek for a total walk of about 4-5 miles.

Note: There is a user fee of  $4 at the trailhead at Panther Creek Recreation Area.

To register (RSVP) click HERE

Limit 15, details and directions sent to registered participants.

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


Photo: Buzz Williams (right) talks with Yomi Sonubi on an Eco-A hike in 2021)


May 22
10:00 am - 3:30 pm