Hike Ratings

General Note: Saturday outings may take all day and last into early evening. The Sierra Club encourages carpooling to save fuel, but please be prepared to drive your own car on club outings.
Easy-Less than 5 miles, no serious elevation changes, no trail obstacles.
Moderate-5 to 10 miles, some elevation changes or rough trail (rock hopping), or trail obstacles such as creek crossings.
Strenuous- Over 10 miles, substantial elevation change (1000 ft or more), trail may be rocky, obstructed or nonexistent.
Exploratory - any event where the leader has not experienced the event, may fit any class above.

Erosion Control Workshop

Major changes are coming soon to erosion and sediment control at construction projects and how they affect stormwater management. The construction community already is facing long overdue improvements in enforcement by state agencies and EPA is revisiting and will put out a new effluent limit in the future. Better use of available technologies and better management will be needed to meet construction general permit requirements. Monitoring will be, if not required, a necessity to reduce liability.

Improved ADEM enforcement including the use of cease orders has been underway for some time now and this improved enforcement is likely to increase. Suits by environmental advocacy groups and by downstream property owners are increasing and more often than ever leading to significant settlements. The risks of not paying adequate attention to full and effective compliance with construction stormwater permits make it critical for everyone to strive for compliance.

The intent of this workshop is to provide both a refresher on both erosion and sediment control and stormwater management, provide an update on anticipated changes and share ideas to help address the coming changes more effectively and efficiently

Presenters for this workshop are Mr. Michael Mullen, Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper, and Mr. Ken Creel, Regional Extension Agent for Home Grounds, Gardens, and Pest Management.

The workshop will be held Thursday, December 2 from 1:00-5:00pm at the Public Services Building, 320 Fountain Circle, (downtown Huntsville, parking garage back of building). A $15 fee per person will be charged and refreshments will be served.

You may register by email and pay at the class, or you may send a $15 check to:
FRCA, POB 275, Brownsboro, AL. 35741. Please register by November 29.

Please RSVP if you are coming to: Soos Weber
weber-caudill@att.net or call for information 256-509-1219.


December 2010

Outings and Events

Cahaba Group

Sat. 12/11. Pinhoti Challenge dayhike. This is the 19th hike in our Pinhoti Challenge series. 5.5 miles. Strenuous. Meet at 7 a.m. in Birmingham at the Cracker Barrel at the intersection of I-459 and U.S. 280, or at 8:30 a.m. in Oxford at the Target just off I-20 east at exit 188. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.

Tues. 12/14. Holiday Party. 6:30 P.M. Bring a potluck and join us as we celebrate the reorganization of the Cahaba Group. Enjoy being with friends around a crackling fire! Home of Dick Echols, 4032 Montevallo Road, Birmingham AL 35213.

12/18. Pinhoti Challenge bike ride. The only way to end the year, we'll be BIKING a section of roadwalk located near what will become Sections 1 and 2 of the Alabama Pinhoti between Flagg Mountain and FS 603A near Sylacauga. This is the 20th and final trek in our Pinhoti Challenge series. 23 miles. Strenuous. Meet at 7 a.m. in Birmingham at the Cracker Barrel at the intersection of I-459 and U.S. 280, or at 8:00 a.m. in Sylacauga at the The Home Depot just off U.S. 280 east (across from Wal-Mart). Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.

1/1. Little River Canyon dayhike. The hardest hike in the state of Alabama – only for the hard-core! 3 miles one-way down Bear Creek canyon, a side-creek of Little River. Contact Jay Hudson for meeting details, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.

1/8. Quillan Creek, Sipsey Wilderness. All off-trail, and not for the faint of heart. 8.5 miles. The wildest heart of the Wilderness, complete with Pennsylvanian Era fossils. Contact Jay Hudson for meeting details, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.

1/15. Pinhoti Challenge dayhike. This month, we'll enjoy the section of trail up and over Oakey Mountain, Alabama's 3rd highest point. 8.2 miles. Strenuous. Meet at 7 a.m. in Birmingham at the Cracker Barrel at the intersection of I-459 and U.S. 280, or at 8:30 a.m. in Oxford at the Target just off I-20 east at exit 188. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net.


1/22. Explore the Sipsey. Head to an unannounced area of the Sipsey. Moderate. Meet at the Hayden Corner Park and Ride at 8:30 am. Optional dinner afterward. Contact Vicky Wilson at vickywilson58@hotmail.com

Coosa Valley Group

Thursday, 12/9 - Holiday Party. 6:30 pm. Celebrate the season with friends! Bring a potluck dish to share. And for a gift swap, each person bring a recycled or handmade item. This is a fun event - don't miss it! Joe M. Ford Center, 205 Korner St ., Gadsden. For info call Peggie at 256-538-9444.

Friday, 1/14 - January Meeting, 6:30 pm. Gus Heard-Hughes, AL Sustainable Agriculture Network board member, former Southeastern Field Coordinator for Heifer International - Sustainable Farming Here to Stay in Alabama. Joe M. Ford Center., 205 Korner St., Gadsden.

Mobile Group

Tuesday, December 7. General Meeting
Please join us at 5 Rivers Delta Center on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. (The General Public is invited, No Admission) Location address: 5 Rivers, Alabama’s Delta Resource Center, 30945 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, AL 36527 (entrance is across from Meaher State Park on the Mobile Bay Causeway). Call or email to confirm. For more information, please contact 702-496-5050 or email: mcadamsdavis@earthlink.net

Montgomery Group

Thursday, 12/16. Sierra Club Montgomery Group meeting, 6:30 PM. Hastings Residence, 141 N. Northington Street, Prattville, AL. Our December Group Meeting will be our annual Christmas potluck dinner at the Hastings’ home in Prattville. Turkey and beverages will be provided, so bring your favorite dish and a hearty appetite and plan to have a good time. Also bring a small gift for “dirty Santa” exchange.

Call 334-491-0780 if you need directions or additional information.

Don’t miss our Monthly Meetings! The second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM at the
Aldersgate United Methodist Church (room 25)
6610 Vaughn Road
Montgomery, AL 36116
(334) 272-6152

North Alabama Group

Monday, Nov 22 – Holiday Lights and Dog Walk. Easy.
Meet Debra Wonder at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens for the Galaxy of Lights Dog Walk. Meet in the parking lot at 5:45pm. If joining the optional dinner afterwards, bring a blanket or car crate and water for "Fido". Bring the appropriate walking supplies and leash for your pet. Fee required. Contact Debra Wonder at debrawonder@aim.com .

Tuesday, Nov 23 - Tuesday Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6pm from Land Trust parking lot at 907 Franklin Street. All dogs must be on a leash. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions contact Michael Stewart at 256-656-5836.

Saturday, Nov 27 – Monte Sano History Hike. Moderate.
We will tour the historic sites of Monte Sano and learn about the O'Shaughnessy home site, Lily Pond, Chalybeate Springs, the CCC camp, the tavern, Hotel Monte Sano, Cold Spring, the Tollgate Road, the Monte Sano Railroad and end at Three Caves for a quick tour. Bring lunch and water, a flashlight and be prepared for a 9-mile moderate trip. Meet at the hikers parking lot in Monte Sano State Park at 8:00am. Bruce Martin 256-361-3460.

Tuesday, Nov 30 - Tuesday Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6pm from Land Trust parking lot at 907 Franklin Street. All dogs must be on a leash. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions please contact Judy Burley at 256-883-4267.

Saturday, Dec 4 – Fiery Gizzard Day Hike. Strenuous.
Perhaps one of the most diverse and beautiful trails in Tennessee the terrain is steep and extremely rocky. We will follow the Fiery Gizzard passing the 500-year-old hemlock, Blue Hole Falls, Sycamore Falls, and the Fruit Bowl rock formation before beginning our arduous climb to Raven Point a spectacular overlook and return via the Doghole Trail. The hike is about ten miles and definitely strenuous. Bring lunch and water and we will dine afterwards at a local restaurant. Meet at 8:00am at the Publix on Winchester Road. Contact Tom Burley at 883-4267 or tdburleyhiker@bellsouth.net

Sunday, Dec 5 – Fagan Spring Hike. Moderate.
Meet at the Cleermont trail head at 1pm. Be sure to bring your camera, day hiking gear, and sturdy shoes. Please contact Doug Horacek at 256-772-6788 for more information.

Tuesday, Dec 7 - Tuesday Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6pm from Land Trust parking lot located at 907 Franklin Street. All dogs must be on a leash. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions contact Steve Jackson at 256-337-9702.

Saturday, Dec 11 – Cold Weather Paddler's Outing. Strenuous.
Join experienced paddling guide Debra Wonder on a trip down the Elk River. Cold weather clothing and gear is mandatory. Location and plans may change due to flow rate or weather. Contact Debra Wonder for exact details at debrawonder@aim.com

Tuesday, Dec 14 - Tuesday Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6pm from Land Trust parking lot located at 907 Franklin Street. All dogs must be on a leash. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions contact Ken Shrider at 256-772-9442.

Thursday, Dec. 16. Holiday Gathering
The North Alabama Sierra Club will be hosting a Holiday Gathering at the Huntsville Main Library auditorium Thursday, December 16, from 6:30 until 8:00pm.
Please bring your favorite dish to share – desserts of course but some vegetable dishes are always needed as well. Turkey, ham, drinks, plates, etc. will be provided.
 For the Annual Photo Contest this year, the categories are:
- Hooves, paws or feathers
- Creepy crawlers or flutterers
- People caught outdoors
- Worthy of the Sierra Club magazine cover

You may enter three photos from 2010 for the contest. Prizes will be awarded for each category. Start looking through your pictures now! Charlotte Buening will be organizing the event this year. Please give her a call at 256-772-7348 if you want to help with the dinner or if you have any questions.
 We hope to see everyone there!

Friday, Dec 17 – Walking Tour of Old Decatur Christmas Lights. Easy.
Meet at 5pm at Captain D's in Madison on Hwy 20, or 5:30pm at the Decatur Public Library. Dinner at a trendy Decatur restaurant afterwards. Please call so I can make reservations at the restaurant. Sam Denham 539-1033(h), 961-0436(w).

Saturday, Dec 18 - Sewanee Day Hike. Strenuous.
This 13 mile hike includes the northwest and southwest sections of the 21 mile Perimeter Trail which follows the perimeter of the Sewanee domain. The perimeter trail features beautiful overlooks and interesting geological formations. The southwest section features Elliot, Otey, Polk, and Armfield Bluff. The northwest section features Rutledge, Cherry, and Dotson points plus the forestry cabin. This is one of two hikes to complete the entire perimeter trail. Bring lunch and plenty of water. Optional dinner afterwards. Meet at the Publix on Winchester Road at 8:30am. Contact Tom Burley at 883-4267 or tdburleyhiker@bellsouth.net

Sunday, Dec 19 – Hurricane Creek Bike Trip. Moderate.
Meet at the Madison County Lake parking lot at 12:00 noon. Ride a 17-mile tour of the valley floor, stopping for coffee and hot chocolate at Brenda Cumming's house, and then back to the lake. After the tour a campfire will be provided along with hot dogs, chili, and marshmallows at Joette Carter's home just down the road from the park. Dress for the weather, bring a chair to sit around the fire and be sure you have a helmet. Please contact Bruce Martin at 256-361-3460 for more information.

Tuesday, Dec 21 - Tuesday Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6pm from Land Trust parking lot located at 907 Franklin Street. All dogs must be on a leash. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions contact Alan Greene at 256-534-7849.

Tuesday, Dec 28 - Tuesday Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6pm from Land Trust parking lot located at 907 Franklin Street. All dogs must be on a leash. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions contact Carolyn Brooks at 256-852-0973.

Check the North Alabama Group's website for the most up-to-date outings information!

West Alabama Group

Thur. 12/9. 6:30-8:30pm. The West Alabama Group will hold its Christmas potluck dinner at the home of Sharon and Jim McLean. For more information call (205) 758-9765.

Sat. 12/11. 8:00am. Ruffner Mountain Hike. Join us at Ruffner Nature Center on the east side of Birmingham. The center has expanded the park to more than 1,000 acres, making it one of the largest metropolitan area parks in the country. We will get to enjoy views of downtown Birmingham along with the remnants of the steel industry on the mountain. The recovering forests are quite mature and include some surviving American Chestnut trees. The hike is easy to moderate and about 2-3 miles. Meet at Books-a-Million parking lot. Optional lunch at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Irondale. For additional info call Dexter Duren at (205)393-0927.

Check us out on the web:
Visit our website for up-to-date info.: alabama.sierraclub.org/west-al.html.