Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge State Park

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bear Hair Gap Trail – Vogel State Park in Blairsville, Georgia

 

Blairsville, Georgia  (high 85, low 64)

Along with much of the rest of the country, we have had a bit of a heat wave.  We got some heavy rain last night with 1.5 inches falling.  Unfortunately, is didn’t bring a cold front with it.

The other day, we went to the Mountain Crossings outfitter which is in an old Civilian Conservation Corps building that was completed in 1937, which was the same year the Appalachian Trail was completed.  The AT actually passed right through a part of the building.

They serve some 2000 hikers each year on their journey to Maine. Anything you need for hiking can be found there, and it’s a fun place to visit.

My old Merrell hiking shoes had been hurting my toes when going downhill. My toes were  jamming into the front of the shoe.   I decided to go to Mountain Crossings where they had people that could help me get some properly fitting shoes.  They have an incline board so that you can simulate walking both up and down the mountain.  It’s a great way to make sure your feet aren't going to slide down and jam your toes into the front of the shoes.

My old shoes were an 8, which is 1 size larger than I normally wear, but they were still too short.  I wanted to make sure the new ones fit properly.

I tried on a few Merrell shoes and then the salesman brought me a Keen waterproof shoe.  It was so comfortable, and much more than the Merrells. I went back and forth between 8.5 and 9’s.  I have never worn anything that large, and they actually looked huge on my feet.   He said I would be better erring on the larger size than the smaller size, so I ended up with a size 9!

We also ended up buying some nice Merino Wool socks, and they really are nice.  I guess we’ll have to get another pair or two.

 

So, armed with new shoes and socks, the next morning, we decided to head over to nearby Vogel State Park, and hike the Bear Hair Gap Trail.

The Coosa Backcountry trail is 12 miles.  There are no shortages of hiking trails around here.

Bear Hair Gap Trail at Vogel State Park, Georgia

None of the trails around here are flat.

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It’s listed as either a 3 mile or a 3.6 mile trail.  We figured out the actual trail is 3 miles, but there is a .6 mile connector that leads you to one of two trails, and that’s after you walk another half mile or so to the start of the trails.

We heard there is bear activity in the park with 2 mothers.  One with 2 cubs and one with three.

This was all we saw of any bear activity.

bear?

Most all the trails around here have streams and waterfalls.  Some more spectacular than others.

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There are plenty of rocks.  Little ones.

Bear Hair Gap Trail at Vogel State Park, Georgia

Big ones

Bear Hair Gap Trail at Vogel State Park, Georgia

This is a photo from a hike there last fall.

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Rocks with trees growing on top of them.

tree growing on top of large rock

Pretty rocks.

Bear Hair Gap Trail at Vogel State Park, Georgia, interesting rock

shiny rocks

Bear Hair Gap Trail at Vogel State Park, Georgia

This was the bridge where Nancy and Bill found the Buckeye tree.

They were nice enough to bring us a few, but our goal was to find a few on our own.  They are said to be lucky if you carry one in your pocket. 

Bear Hair Gap Trail at Vogel State Park, Blairsville, GA

Success….or was it luck, since Al had one in his pocket?

Buckeye

Buckeye

 

It was a nice hike, and we will go back when the leaves start to turn.  It isn’t a difficult hike, but like all hikes here in the mountains, there are no shortages of inclines!

 

p.s.  My new Keen hiking shoes were very comfy, with no toes jamming into the front of the shoe.