|Trail Length: 0.3 miles||Type of trail: Loop|
|County: Lumpkin County, GA||Our rating: E|
|Features: stream, special, scenic, family||Your rating:|
|Usage: Light||Added on: January 01, 1997|
|Last hiked: May 16, 2009||Updated on: December 01, 2010|
|About these ratings|
Hiking trails in Lumpkin County, GA
Sosebee Cove is one of the rare places where the cultural and natural history of the North Georgia mountains merge together in a story of triumph over tragedy, and of the success of Georgia Forest Ranger, Arthur Woody, to whom the trail is dedicated. Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest the 175-acre Sosebee Cove Scenic Area holds century-old trees, abundant wildflowers and the easiest boulderfield to get to in the state of Georgia.
North facing coves, like Sosebee Cove are a unique ecosystem. In the shadow of Blood Mountain, Sosebee Cove begins above the nondescript, easy-to-miss pull-off below and north of Wolfpen Gap on Georgia 180. A boulderfield, typical of north-facing coves, lays in Wolf Creek above the road. Here, during an earlier ice age, water repeatedly froze and melted in the cracks of the mountain rock. When the rock broke off the edges were rounded by water. These are very slippery and caution should be taken, but are an excellent for photography, especially in late winter and early spring. Just below the boulderfield yellowwoods intermingle with poplar.
The footpath itself descends into the cove and is a double loop. Wooden steps lead down to a path that crisscrosses Wolf Creek three times, once on a bridge, and twice rock-hopping across. We normally hike the path in a figure-eight, so that we use the middle crossing twice. At the top, begin hiking to the left, almost immediately coming to the first crossing of Wolf Creek. As the trail curves around to the right a massive, moss-covered tulip poplar on the right provides a canopy for a wide area. The moist ground is covered with shade-tolerant wildflowers. The poplars are representative of the cultural history of the area. This second-growth forest, which has taken on an old-growth look, came into being because a mature forest was clearcut in 1900. The trees that today inhabit the area will eventually give way to a wider mix of hardwoods as the cove matures.
Arthur Woody negotiated the sale of the cove to the federal government and personally enjoyed the area. The unique ecosystem begins below the ground, in the natural moisture of north-facing coves. South coves tend to be dryer, hence less growth, because of sunlight. Sosebee has more natural growth, and decaying material adds to the ability of the ground to hold moisture. The moisture promotes plant life, which creates more humus, and a cycle begins. The result is a stunning array of wildflowers. Almost all wildflowers native to the state can be found in this sensitive system. Trillium and orchids are among the most frequent plants, but you might want to take a book along for those "I know this one, but can't recall the name" moments. From early April, when bloodroot and aster peek through, to September when wildflowers paint the cove a multitude of colors, the trip to Sosebee Cove is well worthwhile.
A number of excellent hikes are nearby. Duncan Ridge Trail and Coosa Backcountry Trail pass below and west of the cove, and Vogel State Park is nearby.