January & February Activities

 See  COVID 19 Pandemic Information at End of Events

JANUARY 29, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike

Where: Brushy Creek and Sougahoagdee Falls, Bankhead National Forest

 

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Details: The hike will be 6 miles long and is rated moderate.  We will follow a beautiful trail which runs from the Brushy Creek Bridge along the creek.  We usually observe about nine waterfalls on this route.  We should also see lovely cliffs, hemlock trees, canyons and perhaps some additional waterfalls.  If we have time, we may also visit the nearby natural bridge (not the one at the town of Natural Bridge) in the Natural Bridge Recreation Area of the Bankhead National Forest.

        Carefully-supervised, well-behaved children age 8 and older welcome.  Bring a picnic lunch and water. 

Optional dinner after at a delightful Italian restaurant in Double Springs.

Please meet 8:45 a.m. at the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride.  We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.  Or you may meet the group at 9:20 a.m. at the Mile 300 Rest Area on I-65.

Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net or phone 205/631-4680

 

 FEBRUARY 5, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Waterfowl Viewing Trip

Where: Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge (WNWR), Decatur, AL

 

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Details Experience the thrilling sight of thousands of sandhill cranes, wild geese and ducks plus herons and other birds.  The Refuge has the largest concentration of wintering geese and ducks in the entire state of Alabama!  You don’t need to be a bird watcher to enjoy this outing!  Experienced birders leading the trip will share their knowledge with all.

This 35,000 acre refuge attracts thousands of wintering waterfowl each year.  WNWR is comprised of diverse habitat types including bottomland hardwoods, wetlands, pine uplands, shoreline or riparian woodlands, agricultural fields, and backwater embayments.  These habitats provide excellent feeding, resting, and roosting sites for wintering waterfowl, white pelicans, sandhill cranes and a few whooping cranes as well as nesting sites for migratory songbirds and many species of resident wildlife.

We are highly privileged to have as our guide Dwight Cooley, the retired Refuge Manager.  Dwight will take us on refuge roads behind locked gates as we drive to various bays and sloughs where you can easily see hundreds of ducks and geese in large numbers.  We’ll also see many other types of birds including, hopefully, bald eagles.  We’ll even see a huge flock of sandhill cranes which winter at the refuge each year.  Last winter the Refuge hosted 16,000 sandhill cranes and 15 endangered whooping cranes.  The gated roads are closed to the public but will be open to our group.  

Please bring binoculars, a birding field guide and a spotting telescope with you if you have them.  The leader and Dan Frederick will each bring a spotting scope. 

Please bring a mask with you.  You are required to wear it if you are a passenger in the refuge’s van during the outing.  You may wear it at other times during the day, too, if you wish.

The WNWR has issued a permit to Southeastern Outings to visit the refuge behind locked gates on Saturday, January 23, 2020.  

Special conditions contained in the permit include to follow current CDC and State recommendations - mask, social distance, use hand sanitizer, stay home if you feel sick or have a fever.  Hopefully, the positive cases statewide will be much lower than they are now, but if there is a high number of cases for this area at the time of the scheduled trip, the permit could be rescinded. 

This outing is rated easy, as there is very little walking involved, and we won’t be climbing any hills or walking through thick brush.  Please dress for the weather.  The wind at the refuge can be biting, blowing across open water on cold days. 

Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 10 and over who can remain quiet for extended periods of time (so as to not disturb the birds and bird watchers) are welcome.

Possible optional dinner after the birding trip depending on what time we finish bird watching.

Reservations Required: If you wish to participate in this outing, you are required to call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or email your reservation to seoutings@bellsouth.net by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, 2022.  When you contact Dan, please be sure you leave either your phone number or email address.  If you are bringing guest(s), please be sue to give Dan the first and last names of each of them.  This outing is limited to 5 motor vehicles.  Dwight Cooley, the retired Refuge Manager and our outing leader, has very kindly reserved a 10-person refuge van to be one of those vehicles.  Therefore we are now allowing a total of 29 people in order to comply with Refuge regulations.  We hope the limitation will not prove to be a problem. 

Since the Refuge’s limitation is five vehicles, you must be willing to ride in a full car or vanload of people in order to be eligible to come on this trip.  If you are unwilling to carpool with other people during this outing, please do not register to participate in this event.

People who want to register to participate after the twenty-nine person limit is reached will be placed on a waiting list.

At a later date leader will advise meeting time and place only to those who have signed up for this trip. 

We look forward to seeing many of you on January 23.

Info: Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or seoutings@bellsouth.net

 

FEBRUARY 12, SATURDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Dayhike along the Locust Fork River from Swann Covered Bridge to Powell Falls

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Details: A moderate 3-mile dayhike and picnic along the lovely Locust Fork River in Blount County near Cleveland, Alabama.  We’ll view and drive through the genuine and newly-restored wooden covered bridge.  Then we’ll hike along the river from the bridge and have lunch right beside Powell Falls.  This waterfall drops about eight feet and carries a substantial amount of water. We’ll also view sheer cliffs rising over 60 feet right above the water.  See a rushing river, covered bridge, high rock bluffs and a large waterfall—all along a one and a half mile stretch of river. 

        Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and older welcome. 

Bring a friend or several if you wish.  Please meet 9:45 a.m. at the Cleveland Chevron.  We plan to depart from there at 10:00 a.m.

Info: Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680

 

FEBRUARY 13, SUNDAY, Meet 1:15 p.m.

Southeastern Outings Second Sunday Dayhike in Oak Mountain State Park

Please Note: We have changed the meeting time and start time for our second Sunday dayhikes in Oak Mountain State Park during the Central Standard Time months.

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Details: Enjoy a moderate 4-mile walk in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Sunday afternoon.  This is an excellent outing for introducing your friends to Southeastern Outings and for making new friends who enjoy the outdoors.  Parts of this hike may be off the color-coded trails.  There will be some ups and downs.  

Well-behaved, properly supervised children age eight and up able to walk the distance of about 4 miles without complaining and complete the hike are welcome. 

Share an adventure!  Bring a friend.

Please meet at 1:15 p.m. in the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot.  We plan to depart from there at 1:30 p.m.

Please bring $5/person ($2.00 seniors) park admission fee plus your drink.

Info. and Trip Leader: Randall Adkins, 205/317-6969

 

FEBRUARY 19, SATURDAY, Meet 8:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings dayhike to view multiple waterfalls in the Bankhead National Forest

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Details: This hike offers one of the best kept secrets of the Bankhead National Forest, its magnificent waterfalls. 

This is a trip you won’t want to miss!  The waterfalls of the Bankhead National Forest never disappoint.  See several spectacular waterfalls during the high water season in Alabama.  We will do three short hikes off trail and deep in the forest to gorgeous waterfalls with turquoise water that only a few people ever have the opportunity to see.  High falls, cascading falls, split falls, and views of more than one waterfall at a time.  The first falls will be Holmes Chapel Falls, second will be Coal Mine Falls, and thirdly we will be walking down to and along Key Mill Branch where the falls have no formal names. 

You are encouraged to participate in the Southeastern Outings’ group hike in this National Forest.   Come with us for a guided tour to get a feel for the beauty of these waterfalls.

Please note that there are over 100 waterfalls in the Bankhead National Forest.  Southeastern Outings has visited the waterfalls we’ll see on February 6 only one time previously                                                                                This hike is for experienced hikers (off trail means thru the woods stepping over deadfall and climbing up and down and crossing creeks etc.).  Our hike leader has extensive experience hiking in the National Forest and has picked these fairly accessible waterfalls as some of the prettiest.  Excellent photo opportunities.  Please bring your camera if you wish.  Also, please wear hiking boots.  Bring a hiking stick, lunch, and water.

Optional dinner after the hike.  

Please meet 8:45 a.m. at the Hayden/Corner Park and Ride.  We plan to depart from there at 9:00 a.m.  Or you may meet the group at 9:45 a.m. at the Jack’s on U.S. Highway 278 in Addison, Alabama.

Info. and Trip Leader: Doris Hatch, 205/901-8367

 

FEBRUARY 22, TUESDAY, Meet 9:45 a.m.

Southeastern Outings Moderate Weekday Hike

Where: Pinhoti Trail from Bulls Gap to White Gap near Sylacauga

Please Note-All participants on this hike shall have made a good faith attempt to be vaccinated against the Covid 19 virus provided that the vaccine is available to them.

 

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Details: We'll proceed about an hour’s drive from out meeting place in Shelby County to the Bull's Gap trailhead at the southern part of Section 4 on the Pinhoti Trail where the trail crosses AL Highway 148.  A great view at the trailhead portends other scenic wonders to follow.

We'll be starting our hike at the same point where we started our weekday hike on October 22, 2021, but then in order to see new territory we’ll hike in the opposite direction on the Pinhoti Trail.  The hike would be two miles each way up and over the High Point Rock Overlook which is a bunch of rocks with a nice view to the west. 

Then we’ll hike down to White Gap heading south and west on Section Three of the Pinhoti Trail.  The total hike is along the ridge top with nice views the entire way.  Estimated total hike distance is four miles.  Hike rated moderate.

Optional dinner after the hike is concluded.

Please meet 9:45 a.m. at the Publix Super Market in Lee Branch.  We plan to depart from there at 10:00 a.m.  We should arrive at the trailhead about 11:15 a.m.  Lunch will about 1:00 p.m. at the High Point Rock Overlook.  We’ll then hike further on to White Gap and then at about 2:00 p.m. we’ll begin our hike back to the start point at Bulls Gap.  Those hikers not staying for dinner can expect to arrive back at the Publix at Lee Branch about 5:00 p.m.

Reservations Required:  Please email Francis Rushton, 843-441-3368 if you plan to attend.

Information and Trip Leader: Francis E. Rushton, Telephones 843-441-3368 Cell, 205-290-5557 Home

 

FEBRUARY 26, SATURDAY

Southeastern Outings Dayhike, Sipsey Wilderness, Bankhead National Forest

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Details: Moderately strenuous 4-mile hike in a highly scenic location, Upper Quillan Creek Forest Area.  Most of the hike is off trail, there are lots of ups and downs, and several rock-hopping crossings are required across small creeks.   

We’ll walk along two creeks and on an old road.  At a beautiful waterfall we’ll visit the site of an old mill.  On this hike we’ll see several small waterfalls on side creeks and tributaries to Quillan Creek.  We will visit at least three very pretty waterfalls on Quillan Creek itself along the way.  We expect to see a minimum of a total of twelve lovely waterfalls on this trip.

Please bring picnic lunch and water for the day.  We expect to finish about 4:00 p.m.  Optional dinner after.  Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 9 and over able to walk 4 miles off trail without complaining welcome.

Reservations Required: If you wish to participate in this outing, you are required to call Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680 or email your reservation to seoutings@bellsouth.net by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 24, 2022.  When you contact Dan, please be sure you leave either your phone number or email address.  This outing is limited to 20 people, and we will break up into two separate groups of up to ten people each with its own separate leader in order to comply with U.S. Forest Service regulations.  We hope the limitation will not prove to be a problem. 

If you make a reservation with Dan to come on this trip and then for any reason decide later to not come on this outing, please telephone Dan, 205/631-4680 right away.  If we have 20 people signed up on the day of the hike and, for example, we have two people on the waiting list and then two people who signed up don’t show up for the hike, those two no-show people have in effect deprived the two on the waiting list from participating.  Please don’t be a no-show.  If you aren’t coming after making a reservation, please notify Dan.

At a later date leader will advise meeting time and place only to those who have signed up for this trip. 

Information and Trip Leader: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net, or 205/631-4680

                 Revised Southeastern Outings Covid 19 Pandemic Information

Most of you are already familiar with the stay-at-home
orders issued by the Governor of Alabama.

 The Governor stated, “A person may leave his or her place of residence to participate in outdoor activity so long as the person maintains a consistent six-foot distance from other persons.

 Notice of Southeastern Outings Precautionary Measures Concerning Covid 19 Virus

 Southeastern Outings assures all our outings participants that we strongly desire to protect your health during this critical time.  You may make your own decisions about what to do to protect yourselves, but the following measures are what we strongly suggest.  We recommend taking the following measures.

 We ask our participants to maintain a reasonable social distance, usually 6 or more feet, between yourself and other people.  We recognize that this may not always be possible, but we encourage you to keep some distance from others as much as possible.

 We will have outing announcements, but we ask you to try insofar as possible to maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and others while the announcements are given.  Dan will try to project his voice effectively in such instances, and please, please do not converse with others while announcements are being made.

 Optional potluck dinner parties will be cancelled until further notice.

 In any case, of course, if you have flu-like symptoms (fever, aches or pains in the joints and respiratory system problems) please stay at home and do not come on outings with us!  This is just common sense. 

 We want to point out that walking in the woods outdoors where there are not many other people present is considerably safer at this time than being in crowds of people or in heavily populated public places.  Participating in our events will give you opportunities to be in the outdoors, get some beneficial exercise, and do something you enjoy with other people while still allowing you to  easily and conveniently maintain safe social distancing.