Woody Gap to Ramrock Mountain
So I've decided recently, Saturday night's all right for hiking (catchy, eh?). The past 2 weeks I've gone hiking on Saturday night and I don't know why I didn't start this sooner. Of course, I hike a lot of Saturdays but usually I make myself get up really early and try to do it during the day. I'm usually rushing around trying to get a hike in before going to some other event or obligation. After the success of our hike at the Indian Seats for sunset, I decided to go another Saturday night hike. This past weekend, I went to Woody Gap and hiked south to Ramrock Mountain. I will admit, I took a nap Saturday afternoon and didn't have as much time as I would have liked, so I chose a place relatively close to my house. As much as I wanted to hike at sunset again, I didn't feel brave enough to do that by myself, so I also wanted a hike that was on the shorter side. James was still in nap mode and didn't want to go with me this time.
It's about 3 miles total out and back from Woody Gap to Ramrock. It's also a very leisurely, easy stretch of the Appalachian Trail, so it's perfect for a relaxing evening hike. It's a pretty level and smooth trail, with no sharp inclines aside from the approach to Ramrock Mountain. Don't let the picture from my GPS tracker fool you. It was not measuring properly for some recently and bumped the elevation gain way up. This stretch of trail curves along the side of a mountain, so there are lots of rock formations both above and below the trail. Be sure to look around and don't miss anything. I tend to get focused on the trail in front of me, but there is lots to see on the sides of this trail.
The summit of Ramrock is smaller and flatter than Preacher's Rock to the north, so it's a nice place to sit and relax without feeling like you're going to slide down the face of it. It's also more shaded directly on the summit, but still has a great view. It was extremely hazy and cloudy when I was there, but I could still see some mountains off in the distance. I was the only person there, so I took my time relaxing and enjoying the mountain before heading back. I was hoping to see some wildlife since it was getting into the dusk hours, but I only saw a bird bathing in a small spring on the side of the mountain (adorable, nonetheless).
As a bonus, I stopped at the nearby Chestatee Overlook along Highway 60 and also took some picture there. The view was more clear in that direction. There were still a lot of clouds, but they made some cool formations and were just starting to settle on the mountain tops when I arrived. The foliage framing the view was so green and lush, it was hard not to just sit there and admire it all evening. I planned to watch the sun set somewhere in Dahlonega but couldn't really find the right spot, so I continued driving home. As fate would have it, by the time I go to Dawsonville, the sun was setting perfectly over the outlet mall so I stopped in the parking lot to watch it. And as a double bonus, James had vegan sushi waiting for me when I got home. So yeah, pretty great Saturday night! Hiking+sunset+sushi= heaven