Hike a 1-mile loop on the easy Non-Game Wildlife Trail in Rabun County, Georgia, to see wildlife openings and food plots, interpretive signs, streams, and good views.
By Tim Homan
Although this trail is located on national forest land, it was constructed and is maintained primarily by state DNR employees. Questions about the trail should be addressed to Moccasin Creek State Park.
This trail is aptly named. Along its short, easy loop, you will pass by a bat box, a wood duck box, bluebird boxes and several wildlife openings with food plots. The money to construct this trail came from Georgia’s nongame wildlife fund-a state tax check-off program designed to benefit nongame species. This trail is easy and educational, an introductory walk especially suited for young children who want to observe wild animals and birds and learn about their habitats.
The trail, now much improved over its original route, follows the first of the many directional arrows that lead walkers beside Moccasin Creek in a counterclockwise direction. American holly is abundant in the understory of the streamside forest. Interpretive signs, wildlife openings, old field succession, a small pond, and an eastern hemlock and eastern white pine grove follow in quick order. At 0.4 mile, just before the loop crosses a road, there is a large patch of running ground pine to the right.
Throughout: A variety of bird boxes and forest clearings for wildlife.
To reach Moccasin Creek State Park from Clayton, travel west on US 76 to the intersection with GA 197. Turn left (south) on GA 197 and travel 3.5 miles to the park entrance.
From the Clarkesville junction of Historic 441-GA 197, travel 21.0 miles on GA 197 North to the park entrance. The corralled trailhead parking area for the Non-Game Wildlife Trail is located on the west side (left if you are heading north) of GA 197 directly across the highway from the entrance of Moccasin Creek State Park. The Non-Game Wildlife Trail begins at the parking area.
This hiking guide to the Non-Game Wildlife Trail is adapted from The Hiking Trails of North Georgia by Tim Homan and is published in cooperation with the publisher Peachtree Publishers. With his meticulous attention to detail and accuracy, Homan has long been recognized as the authority on North Georgia hiking trail by serious hikers. His other books include Hiking Trails of Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock and Citico Creek Wilderness, Hiking the Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness and others. For a complete inventory of his books see his Amazon Author Page.
For an inventory of Peachtree Publishers books including its Nature books for children, go to the Peachtree Publishers website.