Before leaving the park office, I had received a detailed trail map for the extended area. Returning from Falls Bottom on the one mile Trahlyta trail loopback, I had recalled the other options in the area. What I had noticed that the Appalachian Trail being under 10 miles away. This had been one of the goals for my Labor Day weekend. Walking past the on premises cabins, another sign had pointed up toward Bear Hair Gap Trail. This 4 mile plus trail had seemed like a great place to start toward that journey. The varied physical features of the woods had been quite remarkable. The tree covered mountain side had its share of surprises. Park services had made a posting for no hang-gliding. After recent outing in Groveland, Florida, the trees, even without leaves, had been too dense to make flight of five feet. Across the ascent, we had crossed over creeks, streams and huge boulders. Florida had sand, Georgia boulders! Now on the trail, the terrain had composed of rocks and roots requiring attention care in passing over. The steep inclines up the mountain side had been challenging for my friend and me; however after about 2 hours we had arrived at Vogel Overlook. This view had peered down on Trahlyta Lake and most of Vogel State Park. At the summit, there had been a campsite of sorts with a log in the middle. With foliage still hearty, it had obstructed part of the sight. I had only imagined the grand scope of this view in fall or winter time. Then again the average temperature around those times had averaged around 30 F.
After coming down from Vogel Overlook, we had moved further up Blood Mountain toward the A.T. Though, the weather had started to change to thunder and an overcast sky with a potential of a downpour. We had been unprepared for this weather or an overnight trek. After some disappointment, we had decided to make the right choice, the smart choice and turn back. That choice had left open another chapter for an adventure solely pursuing the beginnings of the Appalachian Trail. During 2013, Vogel State Park and all its various options had provided one of the memorable interactions with nature. As managed lands, it had provided first hand testimony to natural beauty and majesty right around the corner in the southern United States.
Vogel Trail Map (gastateparks.org)
Vogel State Park Hiking Trail (gastateparks.org)
Blood Mountain (Wikipedia)
Vogel State Park – Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites (gastateparks.org)
Vogel State Park (Wikipedia)