I love spontaneous happenings! Bummed about missing a Trail Dames trip to South Georgia, luck would have it that our friends, David T and Marlene invited us for a visit to a cabin on the Toccoa River. Beautiful spot, beautiful weather…. The boys wet a hook and caught a hornyhead, we grilled bubba burgers and roasted marshmallows the size of my HEAD and made smores under a crystal clear starry night. After a big breakfast, we headed down 60 to part of section 2 of the Benton MacKay trail. A nice walk to a magnificent suspension bridge over the Toccoa River. There were dozens of huge trees that had been up-rooted during the storms the week before. I was glad not to have been sleeping in a tent at that time! We continued across the bridge. The entire trail was UP after that and we all huffed and puffed to its peak! After tromping back down and following along the river for a bit we headed back across the swinging bridge and had a little snack before heading to our next destination.
Dockery Lake trail is located past Woody Gap on hwy 60 down a dirt road. There is a great campground with 11 sites along a lake stocked with trout and brim and the biggest tadpoles I have ever seen! We hiked around the lake and came to the trail. This trail is 3.7 miles in length and goes to Miller Gap on the Appalachian Trail. (From here you can go left to Blood Mt and right to Woody Gap.) Immediately we found ourselves beside a beautiful waterfall which I believe is Pigeon Roost Falls, that will soon be hidden when all the leaves are on the trees, walk along the ridge with views of Buck Knob, Pigeon Roost, and Columbia Ridge and cross over a little creek which probable will be a trickle in mid-summer. We passed two backpackers on their way out, a dad and his 6 year old daughter! She was precious, had her backpack and hiking poles. They told us about a couple of great camping spots and went on their way. (I know that is one great dad and she is going to have wonderful memories of those times!)
We continued along the water down into a forest filled with red maple, eastern hemlock, eastern white pine and Fraser magnolia. Wildflowers were popping up along the way combined with moss covered rocks and logs.Lunch was spread over some big boulders on the Pigeon Roost creek and my Boy Scout husband was poking around on the other side and interrupted a big black snake’s nap! After that excitement, we all looked a little more closely crossing logs and rocks!
Alongside the creek were some great spots for a future backpacking trip which we plan on returning for. This was a great day hike. We all agreed this would be a great backpacking journey with lots of room to explore by day on the AT. All in all it was a great weekend with good friends and lots of laughs!
Directions to Dockery Creek:
From Dahlonega, GA take GA Highway 60 north approximately 13 miles to Forest Service Road 654 on the right. Turn right, go 1.0 mile to campground.
From Blairsville, GA take U.S. 19/129 south for 10.0 miles, turn right on GA Highway 180. Go approximately 11.0 miles. Turn left on GA Highway 60, go 4.0 miles to Forest Service Road 654 on the left. Turn left, go 1.0 mile to campground.