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Duluth Massage

Songbird Trail
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 1.7 miles Type of trail: Loop
County: Murray County, GA Our rating: E
Features: swimming, songbirds, picnicking, fishing, family, camping, bathrooms Your rating:
Usage: Light Added on: January 01, 1997
Last hiked: November 04, 2006 Updated on: February 05, 2009
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Murray County, GA

Directions to Songbird Trail

A great family hike, this trail follows the Little Conasauga River in, then meanders through woods and rhododendron on the return trip. The trail markings have been completely upgraded and except for a single turn near the end, the Songbird Trail is well-marked. The trip down follows a river with four beaver dams that create what Georgia settlers called "beaver ruins," ponds with dead or dying trees. Specially constructed docks to permit visitors an up close look at the gentrification process of the lakes formed by the dams.

Looking out over the beavers' lakesFrom the Songbird Trail parking lot cross the dirt road, keeping the primative toilets on your right and walking straight ahead. Just past four wooden posts that serve to keep cars and ATVs from entering you enter the Songbird Management Area. Using a variety of methods, including clear cutting of fields, the Forest Service has come up with a great area for birdwatching or just enjoying the cacophony of sound from a variety of birds.

Initially, the trail follows an old road as it descends to lake level. As you descend a sign shows the Songbird Trail comes off to the left, but we normally continue straight ahead for a number of reasons. Hiking the trail counter-clockwise saves the songbird area for last, after we've completed the beaver dam section of the hike, which keeps hikers in the full sun. Travelling through a normal Georgia mountain forest, watch for short-leaf pine, hickory, tulip poplar and many varieties of oak and hickory.

As the trees open up on the left, the river that once flowed freely has been dammed thanks to the work of the beaver, widening it and making it more stagnant. Trees whose stumps are covered by the pond die, providing homes for both waterfowl and songbirds. Well-placed bird housing can be spotted around the perimeter of the lake and in some of the dead trees. Grasses begin to grow in the bottom, and mud, formerly carried off by the river, thickens. Water also provides a home for insects, on which the songbirds feed.

The trail narrows to a single lane bridge and crosses an unused beaver dam. After crossing turn left and continue as the trail makes an energetic climb to another left turn. Here the trail leaves the Grassy Mountain Tower Trail, which continues straight ahead. As the trail levels and begins to descend, the sound of the birds grows louder,until a nearly continuous din makes it difficult to tell each call. We have seen many species on our walks here, most notably the red-tailed hawk and a couple of spotted owls.

Walking this trail with kids in mid-to-late May should be lots of fun because the rhododendren is in bloom and the bushes cover a significant portion of the trail.

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Songbird Trail
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