Johns Mountain WMA & Keown Falls Loop
Saturday March 21, 2015
Dana Koogler solo
Hike Distance 2.5 miles approx.
Photos are here:
Keown Falls Loop
Keown Falls Loop
The second day of my visit to Georgia I decided to hike Johns Mountain WMA and see Keown Falls.
I had read that in a short hike I could see two falls and a nice overlook. I hoped that wildflowers would
be blooming there. I knew from reading and checking out photos that if you don't visit Keown Falls in Winter or Spring it is apt to be a poorly flowing waterfall. It is not as impressive as some even when it is flowing very well. I chose to check it out to say I'd done this and because it was closer to the camper.
I hiked it clockwise and that turned out to be a wise choice. Both sides of the loop hike are
uphill on the way in, but I found that going clockwise I got the worst part of the climb over with quickly while I was fresh. The switchbacks help and once you get to falls #1 you have it licked. No more uphill from there except for a few steps up to the overlook. I approached the first falls and found it a modest
attraction. I also saw a toad just waking up from his nap in the dirt over the long Winter.
Mr. Toad waking up
First waterfall I arrived at on Keown Falls loop trail.
I continued only a short distance further and arrived at Keown Falls #2 waterfall which is slightly more impressive and larger. You can walk behind it which is always rather fun.
Behind the second waterfall.
Keown Falls loop hike and Johns mountain is nice. It is an easy hike. The picnic area and facilities are attractive. The fields around the picnic tables were strewn thickly with hepatica blooms and toothwort. I saw about a dozen people on the trails today. It is a pretty popular place. I would visit here again, but I don't think it will ever be a favorite.
I headed back toward Calhoun. I stopped on the way by another part of the Johns Mountain WMA.
Pinkest toothwort I ever saw growing along Blue Spring Branch.
I strolled along the banks of this pretty stream for a bit. I saw a few wildflowers, but not many different kinds.
I ended my day back in the camper. I rested up. Cooked dinner. Took a shower.
I was glad to spend some time with Kenny.
I am not crazy about North Georgia as I thought I would be. I think it is a combination of
grief, poor sleep, and the chaos of life lately. The campground I had picked out is not good,but
there is none other in the vicinity that is open this time of year. I want to come back to North Georgia when it is not related to Kenny's work. I thought this would be more fun than it is.