The large granite outcropping in Columbia County known as Heggie's Rock will be on display Saturday as The Nature Conservancy leads a public tour of the site in Appling.
Tour guides will point out the "rare plants and animals that occur on the rock, the importance of Georgia's granite outcrops, the ecology of the rocks, the harsh environment and the uniqueness of these areas," said Malcolm Hodges, a tour guide with The Nature Conservancy.
The free two-hour tour will begin at 10 a.m. The outcrop of coarse-grained granite towers nearly 70 feet above the surrounding area and is an example of granite flatrock in Georgia. Stone Mountain is another example of these Piedmont outcrops.
"Heggie's Rock is a great place to take people. It is the richest, most pristine granite outcrop that has been protected," Hodges said.
Without soil, plant life on Heggie's Rock has adapted to the rock's cycles of downpours and searing heat. The rock has a variety of natural habitats ranging from dry rock faces to wet seepage areas, according to The Nature Conservancy's official Web site.
The rock is home to many unique plants and animals including some that are endangered or threatened. Hodges said some of the fall wildflowers will still be blooming for the tour and the rock's lichens are on display all year.
"Always the lichens, year around, they are gorgeous out there," Hodges said.
Tour participants should wear comfortable walking shoes as they must walk about 10 minutes from the parking area to Heggie's Rock.
Tour groups are limited to about 25 people and registration is required. To register or get directions, contact Preeya Philipp at (404) 253-7216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hodges said tours are scheduled as needed and The Nature Conservancy keeps a waiting list for future tours.
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