Saturday, October 27, 2018

Berry College

Goodness, what a month. Me and Billy went for a pretty good hike about a month ago, but I haven't had time to even think about it, much less write.

I only vaguely remember the hike. I remember having a good time, but I'm going to have to let the photos jog my memory...

We parked in some odd place and took a nondescript firebreak up the mountain. There was a multi-way intersection at the road, and we explored the various ways that you could go. One just led to a little knob. One was another firebreak, leading up to a powerline cut, and ultimately to the House O' Dreams at the top of the mountain.

From there we bumped along the little singletrack along the ridge for a while, before hanging an abrupt left, off trail...

Off Trail on Lavender Mountain Billy get back down to the road.

The road:

Mountain Goat

That road is called Mounatin Goat, and we somehow got from there down to a road at the bottom of the mountain. I don't remember exactly how. I'm sure it involved exploring some other trail though.

Along that road, we passed the American Chestnut Restoration Project that they're doing up there.

Chestnut Restoration Project Sign

There were like 3 or 4 chestnut trees behind the fence, and they were the largest I'd ever seen.

Gigantic American Chestnut

It was stunning to see them. They didn't even look real. The ones I've seen in the NF are almost unanimously under 10 feet tall, with trunks less than an inch in diameter. Saplings. I saw one, once, on the Arkaqua that was maybe 15 feet tall, and I was amazed to see it. I'd never seen the actual fruit growing on one, ever, and I'd never seen one growing out in the open enough for its leaves to get very dark.

It was like I was seeing a different tree, but really, I was just seeing what they're supposed to look like.


We took some other set of trails, or maybe we just stayed on the road. I don't remember now. But, we ended up at the reservoir.

Berry College Reservoir

It was a little low that day. There wasn't any water flowing into the overflow.

From there, we took the stairs down the front of the dam...

Berry College Dam Stairs

So weird. Stairs.

There was a cute little tree frog hanging out about halfway down.

Tree Frog

So, we said hi to him.

At the bottom, there was barely a trickle coming out of the tunnel. We joked that we could probably walk all the way up it and climb up through the overflow. With my luck though, if I tried that, there would be a sudden storm while we were in there and we'd get washed out.

The trail at the bottom led back to the road, which led past the mill...

Billy at the Mill

...and back to the car.

Somewhere in there we passed a group of students who were clearly headed to the lake for a swim, and clearly ignoring the various signs that forbid such activity. The last time we were up there we some some kids swimming too. I guess people just do that. Signs or no signs.

I don't remember much else. We presumably ate somewhere, but I don't remember where.

On paper it doesn't sound like such a great time, but it was. I guess that's how it goes when it takes so long to get around to writing.


  1. David, Thanks for always sharing your adventures. I have enjoyed reading your posts over the years.

    I remember seeing a chestnut tree for the first time near the apartment I lived in off North Hall in Dahlonega. You can actually see the trees with fruit still on them using Google's street view, if you use this address (50 N Hall Road Dahloenga, GA 30533). Like you mentioned above, those chestnut trees on that road are not that tall compared to images on Google.

    It's cool to see they are trying to restore them.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh, wow! Even that one is big compared to anything in the NF. Nice. I love how it's just randomly there, decorating the road. No special protection or anything.