A beautiful Bald Eagle has often been seen in the Hiawassee area. Keep your eyes open around Lake Chatuge, and maybe you’ll see him, too! About Bald Eagles • Bald eagles reach full maturity in four to five years. • The female bald eagle is 35 to 37 inches, slightly larger than the male. • Wingspan ranges from 6 to 7 1/2 feet! • Bald eagles can fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet. During level flight, they can achieve speeds of about 30 to 35 mph. • Several eagles soaring in a thermal together is described as a kettle of eagles. • Bald eagles weigh from ten to fourteen pounds. • Bald eagles have 7,000 feathers. • Wild bald eagles may live as long as thirty years. • The bald eagle is a strong swimmer, but if the water is very cold, it may be overcome by hypothermia. • Hunting area varies from 1,700 to 10,000 acres. • All eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight. • Once paired, bald eagles remain together until one dies. • Bald eagles lay from one to three eggs. • The 35 days of incubation duties are shared by both male and female. • Nesting cycle - about 20 weeks • Today, there are an estimated 9,789 breeding pairs of bald eagles. • Eagles molt in patches, taking almost half a year to replace feathers, starting with the head and working downward. • The bald eagle became the National emblem in 1782 when the great seal of the United States was adopted. • Causes of death - Gun shot wounds, electrocution, poisoning, collisions with vehicles, and starvation. June 28, 2007 - The Department of Interior took the American bald eagle off the endangered species list.
Amicalola Falls The highest waterfall in Georgia, falling 729 feet in seven cascades. At the base of the falls, there is a parking area, a reflection pool, and 3/10-mile paved trail leading to an observation deck at the top of the falls. Directions: from Dahlonega, Amicalola State Park’s entrance is on GA Highway 52, east of Ellijay or west of Dahlonega. Anna Ruby Falls Curtis Creek falls 153 feet and York Creek drops 50 feet down the slopes of Tray Mountain in twin waterfalls. The very steep 4/10 mile Anna Ruby Falls Trail is paved and has benches along the trail for sitting or resting while enjoying the beauty of the area. Directions: from Helen, take GA 75 North one mile. Right on GA 356 for 1.5 miles, left on the entrance road to the falls. DeSoto Falls Three falls along a 3 mile section of the DeSoto Falls Trail are maintained for the Hiker’s viewing convenience, and are designated as the lower (cascading 20 feet), the middle (falls about 80 feet) and the upper (about 200 feet) DeSoto Falls. Directions: From Dahlonega travel north on US 19 for 13.5 miles to Turners Corner. At this intersection, turn left and proceed on US 129 for 4.2 miles. Shortly after the Walasi-yi Center is a left turn for the park. Becky Branch Falls The 20 foot Becky Branch Falls is easily observed from a wooden bridge which crosses the stream. Becky Branch Falls is accessed via the Bartram Trail. Directions: From Clayton, Georgia go east on Warwoman Road (County Rd. 5) for just less than 3 mile to Poll Creek Road. Park on left side of road by a small branch. Follow the trail on the right side of the branch for about 200 yards to a bridge at the base of the falls. Minnehaha Falls Reported to be one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the region, Minnehaha Falls is 100 feet high. Directions: Travel along 441 toward Clayton Georgia, after crossing the Tallulah Falls Bridge travel 1.7 miles and turn left onto Old Hwy 441. Continue along Old 441 for 2.5 miles to Lake Rabun Road. Turn left onto Lake Rabun Road and travel 5 miles to the Rabun Beach Campground. From the Area 2 campground entrance travel west on Lake Rabun Road for 1.6 miles to Low Gap Road. Turn left onto Low Gap Road and travel 0.2 miles to Bear Gap Road. Turn left onto Bear Gap Road and continue for 1.6 miles to Minnehaha Trail. Raven Cliff Falls The first fall drops 60 feet, then rushes through a split in the face of a solid rock outcropping and drops 20 feet into a deep pool, and then falls another 20 feet to Dodd Creek. 3 other waterfalls can be found on Dodd Creek. Directions: from Helen, take GA 75 north for 1.5 miles. Turn left onto GA 356(75 Alternate) and travel 2.3 miles to the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway. Turn right and travel 2.8 [...]
Warwoman Dell was named to honor a Cherokee Warwoman. Some believe it could have been named for Nancy Hart, the Revolutionary War era woman who may have fought at the Battle of Kettle Creek with her husband and sons. Most likely, though, it was named to honor Nancy Ward, a highly-respected “beloved woman” of the Cherokee Nation who frequented the dell and advised the Cherokee tribal council on war and peace. She was very powerful in the Cherokee clan rule, for she was the last Warwoman in the East. When the Cherokee chiefs voted to go to war, it could only happen if the Warwoman approved. The 66 steps lead to the abandoned Blue Ridge Railroad. Two moderately easy, family-friendly trails lead through this beautiful pocket of wilderness showcasing tall trees, dense vegetation, mosses, wildflowers, and three waterfalls. The hike visits the popular Becky Branch Falls, historic areas of Warwoman Dell and several smaller waterfalls on a 1.4 mile loop. While it’s not a long hike, it’s an exceptionally beautiful one. This is a fairly moderate, short trail, with parking and a roadside picnic spot. Directions: Traveling north US Hwy 441 in downtown Clayton, one block after US 76 comes in from the left, go east on Warwoman Dell Road for 2.8 miles. When the road makes a sharp curve to the left, watch for Warwoman Dell Recreation Area entrance on the right. Follow the gravel road to the first parking lot.