Hike to Soque River headwaters, learn about water quality
A portion of the Appalachian Trail leads to the headwaters of the Soque River.

Spend your Saturday morning enjoying the “amazing views” of the Appalachian Trail as you hike to the Soque River headwaters.

Janet Westervelt, headwaters outreach manager for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, will lead the 4-mile trip up Tray Mountain to the spring that flows into the Soque River.

“Basically, (this hike) is to help people to see that water is life and how critical this resource is and to see where it begins as a little spring.”

The outreach effort also helps hikers become more familiar with the nonprofit organization.

Hike to the Soque River headwaters

When: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 14

Where: Will meet north of Helen to carpool to trailhead

How much: Free; registration is required

“Basically our mission is to advocate and secure the protection and the stewardship of the Chattahoochee River, its lakes, its tributaries and the watershed,” Westervelt said. “We’re trying to restore it and preserve it for all the people and the wildlife that depend on it.”

Westervelt said the hike, which is mostly along a portion of the Appalachian Trail, will be moderately difficult.

“It is a rocky trail. And the last bit of it — if people want to actually see the spring — does (have) some pretty strenuous off trail, steep slope to get down to the spring where it comes out of the mountain side,” she said. “But people don’t have to participate in that.”

Last year, Westervelt led a hike to the headwaters of the Chattahoochee.

“There are three main tributaries that flow into the Chattahoochee,” she said. “That would be the Chattahoochee stem, the Soque, which is where we’re going to hike to this weekend, and then the Chestatee.”

Hikers should bring their own lunch or snack as well as water. The event is free, but registration is required at chattahoochee.org.

“It ought to be a nice hike,” Westervelt said.  

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