Friday, September 27, 2013

Hiking Bear Hair Gap Trail


Blairsville, Georgia (high 76, low 52)

It started out cloudy yesterday, but soon the blue skies returned.  We were looking for a hike nearby, so we chose to go back to Vogel State Park, which is just a couple miles from us. There is no end to places to hike around here, but some require a further drive than others.

We had already hiked the lake and waterfront trail the last time and decided to check out another one of their trails. They have a nice trail system and you can connect with the Appalachian Trail from there as well.

We decided to  hike Bear Hair Gap Trail.  The description of the others said the minimum width of the trail could be 6 inches in some spots.  Since Al is allergic to poison ivy, he prefer wider trails.

Vogel is a very pretty park and the leaves are starting to show signs of fall color.  It should be gorgeous in a few weeks.


I can never pass up a photograph of a blue spruce.   We sure never saw any of these in Florida.



Does anyone have any idea what this tree is called?

The little pods were covered in a very prickly coating and the nut inside looked like a very big acorn.


As usual, when hiking in this area, we followed a mountain stream for part of the trail and there were a few small waterfalls.


I really like hiking in Georgia, because the trails are usually very well marked, and this one was no exception.  Nice green blazes on the trees, and signs where needed.



Since, I am never sure how well a trail is marked, I always try to remember to start my phone app called  My tracks.   It will tell you how far hiked, the elevation change, your speed and most importantly, it shows you a map of your tracks.  It can be very helpful should you get lost.  It always seems to work, despite how deep in the woods you are, and it’s free.

There were some huge boulders along the trail, which is pretty typical of this area, but these were especially large, don’t you think?



There were some smaller ones too.


We were in a heavily wooded forest so there was plenty of moss covered rocks, which I thought were pretty.



I thought this next picture shows how well nature adapts.

Where there’s a will, there is a way!


We walked quite a while, but our hunger pains were calling, so we turned around.  We decided to take a different route back, and ended up walking through the campground.  It was mostly empty, so we got a chance to see some of the campsites.

Site 21 was a particularly nice site, don’t you think?   Flat, level and long.

site 21 at vogel. level, flat and large.  


We stopped by Home Depot on the way home.  These maple trees have been turning red for the past month, and are getting prettier every day.

colorful trees at Home Depot

I don’t know what kind of maples these are, but the ones we have on our lot aren’t changing colors at all yet.

After I got home, I made us a some enchiladas for lunch.  They were not as good as those at the Mexican restaurant.  I guess I need more practice.  I use the vegan version of ground beef and I defy anyone to tell the difference between it and hamburger.

We puttered around the rest of the day at home.  Al is making some bear cut-outs to hang on the side of the cabin.  I trimmed the neighbors Bradford pear tree, and did some laundry.  I sure am getting spoiled having access to a full size washer and dryer.

The people we’re buying the new lot from have arrived, so today we’ll get a contract signed and then take it to our real estate attorney so that they can get the closing scheduled.  They have two lots here in the park and are keeping the one with the 5th wheel on it.

My plans for today are to hang out at home, do some chores, and sit out on the deck and read.  Al is going to play poker with the rest of the geezers.  :)    The ladies also play cards, but I can’t see sitting inside playing cards on such a beautiful day, so I’m staying home.


  1. I am beginning to wonder if you really exist and it's really Al writing the blog. He manages to have his picture out there, but never one of Karen. What gives?

    1. I'm the photographer and I hold the camera. Al is the model and it's his job to stand where I tell him. :)

      I'll have to try and get a picture or two of the both of us. Actually, I've tried a few times recently, but never could find the right thing to set the camera on for a timer shot.

  2. Lovely photos of your walk.

    I just love the changing of the trees. I really miss being in Ohio during the autumn. It is so beautiful there.

  3. Howdy Karen & Al,

    Yes, Karen really does exist, Clark.. My computer just lights up when I open their blog !!! She's so small it has to be BIG Al, so there'll be someone show up in the pic...
    Bear Hair Trail, huh? Y'all are WALKING NOT 'CARTING' you know, Karen.. Those woods look WIDE-OPEN,enuff
    for Al not to get P.I., on him... Of course it does grow close to the ground too, also...
    Hope y'all have a HAPPY DAY and All doesn't get P.I.....

  4. I love Blue Spruce trees tooooooo! John said that tree with the pods is likely a Chinese Chestnut tree. Love the tip about the My Tracks App....I am fixin to get that right quick!!!!

  5. love that photo of the tree growing over the rock and need to check out that app.

  6. Great photos and description of your hike. It'll be nice to see the trees begin to change color soon. Nothing happening with the ones around here yet.

  7. Does Al know you called him a Geezer? :cO

    You're in a great place for the fall colors. You'll certainly enjoy them. :c)

    1. Yes Paul, he knows. I call him that all the time. :)

  8. Blood Mountain is a beast to hike. The last time we were there I left that one to Mike and Stephen (our son). It is so pretty in that area! You have me yearning to return to the mountains! Love Vogel and we are thinking about heading that way in a week or so. :-) Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. There are so many lovely places to hike in GA. We're staying at J Strom in October, we'll have to find some of the nice trails!

  10. I think that may be an American Chestnut. Google it and see if the images match. There is quite a history surrounding these trees in Georgia. Very interesting.

  11. Looks like a really lovely hike. I just love waterfalls on hikes. If that is an American Chestnut, I'd really like to know since they were all wiped out all along the Blue Ridge in the early 20th Century. We had some on the farm and they would try and try to grow back from the roots but the chestnut blight would get them every time. There is a lot of research going on about it but I hadn't thought there were any that size and fruiting any more.


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