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Upcoming events (3)
Sprewell Bluff Hiking trails. This was previously a State Park but is now designated as a County park. There are 8.2 miles of trails at this park. Plan on this hike being 6-8 miles. Park Info: Undammed for nearly two hundred miles until Lake Blackshear near Cordele, the Flint River is one of central and south Georgia's most beautiful large rivers, flowing through several swamps from its headwaters in metro Atlanta. One of the highlights of the river is Sprewell Bluff, a 150-foot bluff towering above the Flint near Thomaston. Other hills and bluffs form a surprisingly narrow and deep gorge on the Flint River in the next few miles upstream.
Piedmont NWR was established in 1939 as a "combination wildlife and game-management demonstration area" to demonstrate that wildlife could be restored on worn out, eroded lands. The vast forest which reigned supreme for eons had been cleared by European settlers in the early 1800's. Cotton became king and farming robbed the soil of its natural fertility. The loss of forest, with its soil stabilizing root system, led to massive erosion problems. The Civil War, the boll weevil and the Great Depression combined to cause large scale abandonment during the Dust Bowl Era. Few wildlife species and sparce timber remained in the early 1900's. Today, through the efforts of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the 35,000 acre wildlife refuge is once again a forest. It hosts loblolly pines on the ridges with hardwoods found along creek bottoms an in scattered upland coves. Clear streams and beaver ponds provide ideal wetlands for migrating waterfowl. Wildlife populations have been restored, many in greater numbers than when settlers first arrived. Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge now serves as a model forest ecosystem management for wildlife. There are many reminders of the homes and settlers that once were scattered throughout the area on the Refuge. So let's go check it out! Dogs are allowed if they're on a leash.
Jo has offered to take our group on a behind the scenes tour of Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary in Locust Grove. Jo will be taking us on the "Walk on the Wildside" Tour. (Video link below) We will be collecting a cash donation of $10 to support the Sanctuary. More details to follow. https://youtu.be/StHYb33eMm8 We will do about 1/2 hour from 9:30am - 10am monitoring the bluebird trail. Learn about these amazing birds, the wonderful things they do for our environment and how we can support their population growth. We'll then reverse tracks and travel through the habitat between the fences to get an up close look and learn about the exotic, domestic and livestock animals that call Noah's Ark their forever home. From about 10am - 11:30am. Some walking through tall grass, some paved trail. Please arrive 15 minutes early and check in at the Welcome Center where you will need to sign a release form. You may make your donation then directly to Noah's Ark (cash, check, credit) or wait until the end of the tour. If you do not wish to participate in the Bluebird trail, please check in at the welcome center at 9:45am and meet us at the gazebo at the habitat entrance at 10am.