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.

2010 Environmental Education Association of Alabama (EEAA) Conference "Soaring to New Heights"
March 4-6, 2010
Lake Guntersville State Park

Registration materials at www.eeaa.us Scholarships available. (And STI-PD hours too!) KEYNOTE: Children's author Brian "Fox" Ellis as John James Audubon

Also workshops, field trips and sessions on:
* Incorporating scientific inquiry and story-telling
* Eagle watching
* Nature journaling, poetry and nonfiction
* Live bats
* The elusive Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
* Flying WILD workshop
Plus, a search for luminescent lichens and much more!

Living Lightly On the Earth 2010 Alabama Sierra Club Retreat

Hosted by Coosa Valley Group
Desoto State Park Nov. 5 – 7
Exciting programs and activities! Some meals will feature local foods.
Retreat registration and lodging will be Separate – watch mail & website Alabamasierraclub.org for form.
Limited Space – make lodging reservations by calling 1-800-568-8840 Double rooms $76/night Chalets and cabins (sleep 4) $128/night Camping also available.

March 2010

Outings and Events

Cahaba Group

2/20. Pinhoti Challenge dayhike.
This month, we’ll be hiking a section of trail located in Section 6 of the Alabama Pinhoti between Adams Gap and the Cheaha trailhead. This section lies entirely within the Cheaha Wilderness and/or Cheaha State Park. This is the 13h hike in our Pinhoti Challenge series, and gains a rating of strenuous due to the elevation changes and rocky terrain. Along the 11 mile trek, we’ll see outstanding scenery, large boulder fields, old airplane wrecks, and some of the greatest long-distance vistas anywhere in the SE United States. Make sure to bring a camera. Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch. There will be an optional dinner afterwards. Call or e-mail for meeting place and time. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net

Sun. 2/21. Red Mountain Park is having their Fall Park Tours each month through April.
RMP Commission will lead groups of hikers through some of the rails-to-trails, jeep roads, and single track that are already in place. These tours offer a great preview opportunity to get a sense of the location and size of the land the park will occupy. Meet at Frankfurt Drive cul-de-sac off of Lakeshore Parkway on the southern side of the park property at 2 PM 02/21/10. There will be 2 route options (one long, one short), and will be highlighting new areas of the park that have never been open to the public! They are in the process of extending new trails over the next two weeks so they don't know the exact length quite yet, but you will be able to choose which route you take upon arrival at the tour site. Both tour options will pass by the Redding Hoist House, which Park Ranger Eric McFerrin "re-discovered" in a patch of thick privet and kudzu a year or so back. bring water and a snack, dress for the weather and wear good sturdy shoes. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes early to fill out a park waiver form and to meet your tour guide. For details - please visit the "Tour Page" on the Red Mountain Website. contact Ken Hyche at 205-540-3930 or kennethhyche@yahoo.com if you need any more info.

2/27. Pinhoti Challenge dayhike make-up.
We’ll be throwing in an extra hike this month since we’re making up the January trip. We’re hiking a section of trail located in Section 13 of the Alabama Pinhoti between Salem Church Road near Piedmont and the Jackson Chapel trailhead in Georgia. This is the 12th hike in our Pinhoti Challenge series, and gains a rating of strenuous due to the elevation changes and rocky terrain. Along the 8 mile trek, we’ll see a large beaver pond and several old iron ore mines, along with outstanding views from Indian Mountain, Flagpole Mountain, the Alabama/Georgia state line, the Alabama Trails Association shelter, and perfectly quiet winter woods. Make sure to bring a camera. Hiking boots a necessity, as well as plenty of water and a picnic lunch. There will be an optional dinner afterwards. Call or e-mail for meeting place and time. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net

Sat. 3/6. Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Hike.
Join us for a day hike on the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail on the shore of Lake Martin. The trails skirt the southeastern shoreline. The trails are routed through varied flora and fauna. we will see long leaf pine, mountain laurel, low and high bush blue berry, redbud, sourwood, dog wood, big leaf magnolia, and large thickets of Catawba Rhododendron to name a few. Deer, turkey and numerous birds, including the bald eagle can be seen on the trail. Eleven miles of trail are open. We will do the 3.6 mile loop Deadening Alpine Trail and one or two of the three to four mile trails also (Depends on time). The Deadening Trail has some steep sections and runs close to the water. Bring sturdy shoes, water, a snack or lunch and dress for the weather. Rated moderate. Meet at the Cracker Barrel highway 280 and I459 at 7:30 am. Optional dinner after the hike. Email kennethhyche@yahoo.com or call at 205-540-3930 with any questions. photos of trail: http://www.cherokeeridgealpinetrail.org/
info on restaurant: http://www.sinclairsrestaurants.com/kowaliga.html

Sun. 3/7. Moss Rock Preserve.
A perfect balance of nature and community, Moss Rock Preserve is a beautiful 250 acre nature preserve abundant with trees and plants, rock outcroppings, streams, waterfalls, wildlife and other unique natural features. Currently Moss Rock Preserve is home to four rare species of plants and a rare variant of Little River Canyon Sandstone Glade - one of only 35 occurrences known around the world! This will be a leisurely 3 hour afternoon hike. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water. MEETING TIME/PLACE upper parking lot at the preserve at 1 p.m. Contact: Lois lois.gail@gmail.com 637-3384 or 873-4075. DIRECTIONS: from I-459 via Hwy 150: Take exit #10 (Hwy 150). From Hwy 150 Turn left at Stadium Trace Pkwy. Go straight for approximately 2 miles. This will take you through 2 traffic lights. Parking lot near the turnabout. RATING: easy. For more info about the preserve go to http://www.hooveral.org/Default.asp?ID=485

3/20 & 3/21. Pinhoti Challenge overnighter.
This month, we’re combining our normal 3rd Saturday hike with a make-up hike from December to make our first weekend trip! Both hikes were on the same section, so it works out nicely to combine them into a combo. And what a good one it has the potential to be! We’ll be covering a total of 18 miles in Section 4 across the spine of Horn Mountain, camping approximately halfway at the Horn Mountain fire tower. We’ll start Day 1 at Bull Gap, passing the spectacular views from Bull Gap Cliffs, Heath Cliffs, and Sherman Cliffs before arriving at our campsite at mile 10. Day 2 will carry us the final 8 miles past Sunset Rock and down the 18 switchbacks (yes, 18!) to the serene waters of Scott Lake. We’ll have one fording of a somewhat tedious creek just below the Scott Lake dam before the final 3.5 mile woods walk leads us to Porter’s Gap (AL Hwy 77). Mid-March timing should present us with some early spring wildflowers! Since this is a “challenge” series of hikes, backpacks are encouraged. However, for those wishing to not carry a backpack, supplies can be ferried to the fire tower via Jay’s new 4 wheel drive. Make sure to bring a camera. Hiking boots are a necessity, as well as plenty of water and camping supplies. Call or e-mail for meeting places, times, and logistics. Jay Hudson, 205-907-6879, jay_hudson@bellsouth.net

Coosa Valley Group

Sat. 2/20. Pallisaides Park Atop Ebell Mountain.
Join us at 9:00 am as we revisit a very popular hiking site for the Coosa Valley group.  We will stroll through almost two miles of trails at Pallisaides Park atop Ebell Mountain. This wide trail covered in a canopy of tree tops is a nice and easy "walk through the park". There are huge flat rocks on the trail bed and a walking stick would be recommended if they are damp. Call Helena for more info and meeting times at 256-538-9860 ext. 156. Tenative lunch afterwards.  If possible we will tour some of the buildings there on site.  They include the pioneer cabins, schoolhouse and smokehouse at the top of the mountain..  For more information Call Helena Uber-Wamble at 256-538-9860 ext. 156 to register and for more details on where to meet and car pool. 

Thurs. 3/11. Movie: Food, Inc. This month, we will be showing an excellent movie about our food system, Food, Inc. This movie came out in the late fall of 09, but most Alabama theatres chose not to show it. Food, Inc. lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing how our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers, and our own environment. You will see surprising truths about what we eat, how it’s produced, and who we have become as a nation. Snacks and drinks will be provided at the showing of the movie, but bring your own cup/mug! We’ll see you at 6:30 pm at the Joe M. Ford Center, Room 210 – 405 Corner Street in Gadsden. For info: David Fincher, 256-538-9444.

Sun. 3/21. Hidden Treasure --- High Falls Park in Dekalb County is a gem!
8:00 am. Meet to car pool. Join us for a 2 1/2 mile hike over a walking bridge that spans the gorge overlooking beautiful Town Creek. The creek starts from a spring in Ider on the northeast end of Dekalb County and flows down Sand Mountain before if spills into Guntersville Lake. Bald Eagles are sometimes seen flying in the area and songbirds are plenty. Migratory waterfowl will sometimes stop over here. This beautiful place is near Geraldine, Alabama. Call Helena at 205-353-5972, to sign up for outing or for more information. Don't forget to being a camera, the falls may be raging, and if not, the rock formations are awesome. A hiking stick would be recommended for some areas.
Bring plenty of water, dress for the weather and bring a lunch to eat after a good hike. Hope to see you there!

Montgomery Group

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

North Alabama Group

Sat. 2/ 20. Keith Trail Hike. Moderate.
Stone Cuts, Logan Point Super Cuts, and the Sinks trail twice. Meet at 10:00am at the Hikers parking lot across from the Rangers Station at Monte Sano State Park. Bring snack, water, sturdy hiking boots, and come for a day of fun and adventure. This will help get you in shape for longer walks. Will last 3/4 of a day. Call Doug Horacek at 772-6788 for more information.

Tues. 2/23. Downtown Evening Hike. 6:00pm - Easy.
Meet in Land Trust parking lot at 907 Franklin St. Alan Greene, 534-7849

Sat. 2/27. Pigeon Mountain Hike. Strenuous.
Pigeon Mountain is a spur off the east side of Lookout Mountain and is part of the Cumberland Plateau. We will hike the Pocket Trail which includes a picturesque waterfall, wildflowers, and a wide range of geological formations. Bring lunch and water. The hike is 8 miles and rated strenuous due to the 1200 ft elevation gain. We will eat at a local restaurant on the way back. Meet at the Publix in Hampton Cove at 8:15am. For more information contact Tom Burley at 883-4267 or tdburley@bellsouth.net

Tues. 3/2. Downtown Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6:00pm from the Land Trust Office parking lot at 907 Franklin Street. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions please contact Judy Burley, 883-4267.

Sat. 3/6 - Sewanee 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 Bluffs. 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. For more information contact Tom Burley at 883-4267 or tdburleyhiker@bellsouth.net

Tues. 3/9. Downtown Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6:00pm from the Land Trust Office parking lot at 907 Franklin Street. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions please contact Michael Stewart at 256-656-5836 or athikerstew@yahoo.com.

Sat. 3/13. The Trout Lily and the Diversity of Flora of the Wildflower Trail along Fagan Spring.
Moderate. Slightly difficult with one significant elevation change and a multitude of wildflowers. Bring sturdy hiking boots and plenty of water for a half day hike, about 3-4 hours. Meet at the Cleermont trailhead 9:00am. Call Doug Horacek for more information at 772-6788.

Tues. 3/16. Monte Sano Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6pm from the Monte Sano State Park Hiker’s Parking Lot. There is a small fee to enter the park. All dogs must be on a leash in the park. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions please contact Michael Stewart at 256-656-5836 or athikerstew@yahoo.com.

Sat. 3/20. Sewanee Hike. Strenuous.
This approximately 11 mile hike is the east section of the 21 mile Perimeter Trail which follows the perimeter of the Sewanee Domain. The Perimeter Trail features beautiful overlooks and interesting geological formations. This section features Morgan’s Steep, the Memorial Cross, and Shakerag Hollow. This hike completes the entire Perimeter Trail. Bring lunch and plenty of water. Optional dinner afterwards. Meet at the Publix on Winchester Road at 8:30am. For more information contact Tom Burley at 883-4267 or tdburleyhiker@bellsouth.net

Tues. 3/23. Monte Sano Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6:00pm from the Monte Sano State Park Hiker’s Parking Lot. There is a small fee to enter the park. All dogs must be on a leash in the park. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions please contact Ken Shrider, 772-9442.

Tues. 3/30. Monte Sano Evening Hike. Easy.
Depart at 6pm from the Monte Sano State Park Hiker’s Parking Lot. There is a small fee to enter the park. All dogs must be on a leash in the park. Although not strenuous, all hikes may be vigorous. For directions or questions please contact Alan Greene, 534-7849.

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

West Alabama Group

Thur. 3/25. 7:00pm. Monthly meeting. “What National Park Is This? Part 2” Ned Uehling, West Alabama Sierra Club, Capstone Village, Card Room, 601 5th Ave E, Tuscaloosa. Note that due to Spring Break we are meeting on the fourth rather than our usual third Thursday of the month.

Sat. 3/27. 9:30 am. Richard and Nancy Cobb’s Native Garden. Come and enjoy the blooms of a native plant collection right here in Tuscaloosa. The Cobbs have invited us to their piece of Tuscaloosa on which they have crafted a native garden. Meet at Food World Five Points, 4440 University Blvd. E. Park on the Hwy 216 side. Bring water and picnic lunch if desired. For more info call Dexter Duren at 205-393-0927.