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About Mountain High Hikers

Mission:  The mission of the Mountain High Hikers is to promote and facilitate hiking activities in the Southern Appalachian area and encourage involvement in the maintenance of trails and conservation of forest environments.

Origination:  Mountain High Hikers originated from a course entitled “Hiking in the Blue Ridge” at the Institute for Continuing Learning, at Young Harris College in the winter of 1993. 28 folks attended the course, and that small group expanded throughout the years to over 185 members. Most members live in Towns, Union, and Fannin counties in Georgia, and Clay and Cherokee counties in North Carolina. Most are full time residents, but some only come up for a few weeks a year.

Hiking:   Mountain High Hikers sponsors several hikes every week to accommodate a variance in hiking skills. Prospective members and guests are invited to hike with us. Guidelines allow for 3 guest hikes before joining. Prospective members should attend a short hike first to determine which hiking level will work best. For further information, please review the Hiking Guidelines and Hike Calendar on this website.

Maintenance: Club members are very active in trail maintenance. Each month work trips are scheduled in both NC and GA. The club has been instrumental in the reopening of Chunky Gal Trail, open and blazing a new trail to Boteler Peak, and is working presently to get the entire Fires Creek trail system reopened. The club also maintains all of the trails leading to Brasstown Bald, Helton Creek Falls, High Shoals Falls, Cooper’s Creek Trails, and the Miller Trek at Brasstown Resort.

Special Events:  The club has quarterly combined business meetings and potluck dinners. Specialty events are also periodically planned. We are one of the largest hiking clubs attending Wilderness Wildlife Week in the Great Smoky Mountains each January, usually with over 40 members in attendance. The club has also organized hiking trips to Virginia, Mt. Mitchell, Yosemite, and the Swiss Alps.

In Summary:   Come play, hike, and trail maintain with us!

Hike Safely
You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared:

1. With knowledge and gear. Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather, and your equipment before you start.

2. To leave your plans. Tell someone the trails you are hiking, the gear you are taking, when you will return, and your emergency plans.

3. To stay together. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.

4. To turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.

5. For emergencies, even if you are headed out for just an hour. An injury, severe weather, or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.

6. To share the hiker code with others.

Hike Safely: It’s Your Responsibility.
The Hiker Responsibility Code was developed and is endorsed by the White Mountain National Forest and New Hampshire Fish and Game.


2013 Board (Officers & Committee Chairs)
President Michael O'Brien
Vice President Tom Shope
Secretary  BJ Foster
Treasurer Doug Yarns
Hike Planner Dave Werkheiser
Social  Candy Retter
Membership Frank Maloney
Publicity Pam Sullivan
Webmaster Richard Sullivan
Trail Maintenance Clyde Burnsworth
Conservation Judie Kean
Past Pres. Greg Lane


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National Trails Day

  June 6th

Where: Vogel State Park, Pavilion #2

When: June 6, 2015

Join in the fun at Vogel State Park for the annual celebration of National Trails Day!  Activities will include trail work in Georgia’s favorite state park and on USFS land nearby, family friendly hikes, an invasive plant eradication project, a covered dish luncheon, and a brief program.  Members of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club (GATC), the Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA), Mountain High Hikers (MHH), and Georgia Forest Watch (GFW) will join forces to host this event.  National Trails Day was started in 1993 by the National Hiking Society as an annual event to emphasize the importance of the National Trails System and to encourage trail use, stewardship, and outdoor recreation. 


Schedule of Events


·         9:00 – 12:00                Trail work on the Bear Hair Trail

                                       Co-Leaders: Lawson Herron and Marion McLean – GATC

·         9:00 – 12:00                Invasive Plant Eradication

o         Leader: Laura Northrup – GATC

·         9:00 – 12:00                Family Friendly Hikes (open to the public)

o        Co-Leaders: Darcy Douglas and Ken Cissna – BMTA

·         12:00 – 1:30                Covered Dish Luncheon with program during lunch

o         Co-Leaders: Nancy Lovingood and Kathy Chastain – GATC, Candy Retter - MHH


Luncheon Program:

Welcoming Remarks (brief)

Welcome to Vogel:  Cliff Tippens – Vogel State Park Manager

USFS: Andy Baker, District Ranger, BRRD

GATC: Beth Rothermel, President

BMTA: Bob Ruby, President

MHH: Michael O’Brien, President

SEFTC: Darcy Douglas, President



Presentation – Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS)

Charlie Smillie – SAWS Field Supervisor

·         1:30 – 3:00                   Club-specific meetings as needed

o        GATC Prospective Member Orientation

·         1:30 – until                  Enjoy the lake, go fishing, go hiking, visit with hiking pals!


Please come prepared for your activity of choice:  work gloves, sturdy shoes of boots, water, snack, etc.; plan ahead to keep hot food hot or cold food cold for safety prior to the meal; and bring a folding chair or two as seating may be limited during the luncheon.


MHH Spring Picnic

June 29,  2015

Covered Dish Picnic / Business Meeting at Meeks Park Pavilion #1.    
Bring a covered dish for 8. Come at 10:30am for the hike or 12 noon for Lunch
For info call : Candy Retter 706-835-1344  or  




Rob and Kirsten Davis Grovetown, GA.
Joni Lee Suches, GA.
Ellen Hughes: Blairsville
Diane McCarter: Atlanta
Ken Cissna: Ellijay
Ken Newman: Brunswick
Gary and Susan Eggers: Hiawassee
Dee and Larry Catallo: Coral Springs, FL
Tom and Carolyn Sewell: Ellijay
John and Laurie Lander: New Smyrna Beach, FL
Mike Banick: Atlanta
Lois Phillips: Atlanta



See Hike Planners page for Hike Leader Checklist,

Waiver & Release Form, and Personal First Aid Kit suggestions.



Please shred or completely destroy old membership lists.



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