Mistletoe State Park will hold a big weekend for adventure seekers.
A Rock Dam Backpacking trip Saturday will present an opportunity for people of all experience levels to hike an 8-mile round trip of Rock Dam Trail.
"(Rock Dam is) just a beautiful spot on the park property where a stream becomes a little waterfall," said Marilyn Grau, a volunteer event coordinator. "On the trail, you'll find granite outcroppings that are a part of the Stone Mountain system, according to what I've been told."
Jerry Smith, a former Scoutmaster of a Wilderness Scout troop, will be leading the trip. Smith, who is an experienced backpacker and emergency first responder, teaches a number of workshops at Mistletoe on wilderness survival and is one of the original leaders.
Grau said a core group of regulars who are familiar with the trail have made the trip every spring and fall.
"The group often ranges in age from 6- or 8-year-olds with parents to folks in their 60s, and we all have a great time together," Grau said.
Participants should bring their own camping gear, a jacket, water and snacks for the trail, food for breakfast, and something to throw into the pot for a group supper of chili or stew.
"Folks who plan to come should contact me about that (what to bring for the chili or stew); last time, I brought frozen ground beef, someone brought onions, someone brought tomatoes, someone brought chili beans, etc.," Grau said.
Anyone interested in the hike should meet at the Nature Center at 1 p.m. Registration is required for anyone staying overnight on the trail.
A Wild Gourmet Club meeting will be held Sunday for those interested in scavenging through the park in hopes of assembling enough food for a feast of appetizers, soup, salad, entree, dessert, and beverage.
Grau said she hopes to find and cook cattails, acorns, dandelion blossoms, wild onion soup, kudzu, berries, wild grapes and elderberries, prickly per cactus, pine and sassafras.
"Problem is, they're not all ready at the same time of year, so we'll have to figure out how to preserve what we gather until we have enough to make a whole dinner," she said.
All interested in participating should meet at the Nature Center at 2 p.m. Both of the weekend events are free of charge except for the $3 park pass.
For more information, contact Grau at MGrau@SeniorCitizensCouncil.org or Mistletoe State Park at (706) 541-0321.
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