Frequently Asked Questions
How do I join the Grace Church Hike Group?

Are reservations required to hike?

Is there a deadline to signup for a hike?

Must I be a member of Grace or a friend of a member to be added to the email list?

Can I bring a guest?

What is the age range of your hikers?

Are there any special requirements for youth hikers

I'm a slow hiker and am worried about slowing the group down. Should I go or not?

How do I know if a trip is canceled due to bad weather?

Do you hike in inclement weather?

Can I bring my dog?

How many hikers do you usually have on a hike?

Do you schedule hikes / events that don't require hiking?

I know of a great trail. Who do I tell about it?

Do you have any photo policies regarding members of the group?

How do I put my photos in the Photo Gallery?

I don't see my question here. Who do I ask?

Who is

What Should I Know Prior To Hiking With The Group. Are There Any Guidelines The Group Follows?

Q. How do I join the Grace Church Hike Group?
A. The Grace Church Hike Group is open to all parishioners* and their friends* for the purpose of sharing fellowship while appreciating the beauty of the outdoors and sharing in recreational activities. If you wish to take part, please sign up for our email list. Your information will be reviewed and you will be contacted by Jeremy Landers or Marsha Conner regarding hiking with the group.
*Please see our Participation Guidelines for additional information
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Q. Are Reservations Required to Hike?
A. Yes, you must make a reservation to hike. Reservations should be made with the event planner for each hike or trip. In some cases a minimum and or maximum number of spaces are available due to location, safety or logistic purposes.
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Q. Is There A Deadline to Signup to Hike?
A. Yes, reservation deadlines are required for every hike. The planning of our hikes and events often takes a considerable amount of logistics, research, and some paperwork. Some of this can't be done until we know how many people will attend a hike, how many vehicles will be required to do car drops, etc... In some cases there is a minimum number of people or vehicles required to make a hike work. In this case a hike might get canceled or rescheduled if enough people don't sign up. In fairness to the other hikers and the event planner the deadline allows everyone to make other plans for the weekend. The deadline also allows the event planner enough time to coordinate everything to make a hike successful and to notify those signed up of our final plans! Adding additional hikers after the deadline is not often possible.
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Q. Must I be a member of Grace or a friend of a member to be added to the email list?
A. For safety purposes we only add members of Grace or people with a connection to grace to our email list. Additionally the same rules apply for the secure section of the website. If you are considering Grace for your church please contact Jeremy Landers.
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Q. Can I Bring A Guest?
A. Family member(s) or friend(s) of Grace Episcopal Church members may hike as a guest only and if approved by the event planner beforehand. Guests must be accompanied by the inviting Grace member until they have been on several hikes, at which time they can hike unaccompanied with approval of the event planner. An "In Case Of Emergency" (ICE) Form must be completed for the guest hiker.
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Q. What is the age range of your hikers?
A. We have had hikers in their teens* and those into their 90s. We ask that you keep your abilities in mind when participating in group activities.

*Special Notice Regarding Hikers Under 18 Years of Age!

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Q. Are there any special requirements for youth hikers.
A. Yes, please click here for more information on hikers under 18 years of age!

These policies have been put in place for the safety of the child, guardian, and the group as a whole. In the event something were to happen to the person(s) responsible for the child, the child needs to be of an age and character to understand what is going on, take direction from the group leader or other group members, not placing an unrealistic burdon on other hikers, nor adding to the confusion & stress of a bad situation.

While accidents on the trail are rare they do happen. Many of our hikes take place in remote areas hours from our vehicles or medical care, other group members cannont be responsible for a child who is not of an age to take care of themselves!
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Q. I'm a slow hiker and am worried about slowing the group down. Should I go or not?
A. Yes! We are not racing for the end. Everyone paces themselves at a rate comfortable for themselves. There are several slower hikers that are regulars. Jeremy is also good about staying back with our slower hikers as he photographs along the trial.
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Q. How do I know if a trip is canceled due to bad weather?
A. For hikes on a day of questionable weather check this web site the morning of the hike. At the top of the Main page is a place for Trip Cancellation Notices. In the event of a cancellation there would be a note there canceling the trip and including a link with more information. Notices will be posted approximately 1 hour prior to departure time from Gainesville. An email would also be sent to the email list. If you are uncertain please contact the trip planner directly.
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Q. Do you hike in inclement weather?
A. Yes and No! If the weather looks like light scattered showers or a low possibility of showers we will probably still hike. If the weather is very wet or dangerous then no. Of course in the mountains storms can pop up and surprise you. In this case you may already be on the trail. Don't forget your rain gear if the weather is questionable! It is the policy of the hike group to consider canceling hikes when temperatures will be close to or above 90 degrees.
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Q. Can I bring my dog(s) / pet?
A. We recommend leaving pets at home when participating in group activities!

Day Hikes
Pets are not permitted on group hikes.

Overnight Backpacking Trips
Pets are not permitted on group hikes.

Camping Trips
While we recommend leaving pets at home we also understand this is not always possible. If this is the case then your dog(s) / pet is welcome under the following guidelines.

1. Your pet is kept in your own campsite or cabin, etc. Please do not assume it's fine to bring your pet into someone else's campsite in the group. Always ask first!

2. Pets are not permitted on the organized group hikes / activities.

3. Your pet is kept on a leash at all times.

4. Your pet must be friendly to strangers.

5. Your pet must not be one that likes to jump / crawl on or snap at other people.

6. You burry or carry out your pets waste just as you would your own.

7. You do not bring your pet into areas where pets are not allowed.

8. You plan to drive your own vehicle when going on a trip with your dog.

9. Dogs which bark a lot are not allowed.

10. If your pet becomes a problem to others in the group you will remove your pet from the group.

Under the above guidelines we will allow pets on a pet by pet basis for camping trips. If your pet becomes an issue we may ask you not to bring it back.

Please Note: From time to time we do camp in areas where pets are not allowed. It is your responsibility to verify whether pets are allowed in the park, campground, forest area, etc...

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Q. How many hikers do you usually have on a hike?
A. We usually have about 5-9 hikers but have had as many as 14.
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Q. Do you schedule hikes / events that don't require hiking?
A. Yes! The January "Soft Hike" is generally based out of a campsite somewhere and hiking is optional. The Outdoor Adventure Trips are often designed to accommodate non hikers. They are usually based out of a campground where there is tent & RV camping as well as cabins or have other lodgings near by. There is usually lots to do in the area whether it be hiking, driving, or just reading a book in front of your campfire or fireplace. The Annual Hike Group Picnic at Vogel State Park is also another great event for non hikers.
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Q. I know of a great trail we should hike at some point. Who do I tell about it?
A. Submit a suggested hike to Jeremy or Marsha. It will be added to the list of trails we choose from when selecting trails.
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Q. Do you have any photo policies regarding members of the group?
A. Making and sharing pictures from our hiking trips has been a part of the GEC Hike Group's activities from the beginning. Many of our hikers enjoy photography as a part of the event, regardless of their ability level.
It is possible though that some hikers may not desire to have their photo made, nor shared, either for publicity/sharing or as a record of the event.
In no way would the co-chairs want anyone to be uncomfortable attending a hiking event as a result of possibly having their picture made and used for publicity and/or distributed to fellow hikers by E-mail.
If you wish to not have your photograph made by anyone on a GEC Hiking Event, please let Jeremy and Marsha know of your desires. You can help those who carry cameras to not take your picture by just politely "waving them aside" should they start to include you in a picture at any time. It is possible they may not know of your desires. For group photos, you only need to step aside to not be included.

If you are asked not to photograph someone please respect their wishes by not photographing them!
We want any photos (of other hikers) made by hiking participants to be for positive, memorable reasons and for personal collections unless permission is granted for the picture of a hiker to be used commercially. Using pictures within the parish (including the hike group website) or the diocese for publicity purposes is not considered to be a commercial purpose.
If you have any questions or concerns about photography as a part of the hiking experience and/or having your picture made while hiking with GEC Hike Group, please contact Jeremy and/or Marsha and share your thoughts.

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Q. How do I put my photos in the Photo Gallery?
A. Click Here For Instructions!

Q. I don't see my question here, who do I ask?
A. Contact Jeremy Landers or Marsha Conner. See the contact page for more information.
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Q. Who is
A. is the domain name for Landers Photographic Arts & Jeremy R. Landers. Jeremy is a co chair and a founding member of the hike group, he owns , hosts, and maintains this website for the hike group. Please direct any questions, comments, or concerns regarding the website to Jeremy.
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Q. What Should I Know Prior To Hiking With The Group. Are There Any Guidelines The Group Follows?
A. Yes, The following information is provided as a guideline to anyone hiking with the group. This information is posted on every trip page.

*Special Notice Regarding Hikers Under 18 Years of Age!

Please take a moment to read the Participation Guidlines prior to hiking with the Grace Church Hike Group.

Additional Info For All Hikes
Information provided by Marsha Conner

(In Case Of Emergency)

We are now carrying ICE forms with us for safety. The hike planner will
be responsible for being sure these cards are on the trail.  A form in a
sealed yellow envelope with critical contact and medical data on each
hiker will be available in case of emergencies.  You are required to fill
out the emergency contact information however the medical information
is optional, should an emergency arise, this data would go with you for
medical treatment and provide contact information for your relatives
and medical information at the ER that should be known.  Many of us have
ICE phone numbers in our cell phones, but our cell phones may not work
in some wilderness areas.

You should be self-sufficient on the trail. Do not plan to borrow items you
do not have from people hiking with you. They may not have what you need
or they may need it for themselves. Carefully look over the trail description and
map before going, ask questions, and make sure that you are physically able to
handle the terrain, the temperatures, the possible wetness, and the other
interesting things that might happen to us while on the trail! As always we
set our hiking pace to accomadate everyone. So don't think you'll be too slow.
Jeremy & Marsha are always willing to help you to be trail ready.

1.  Daypack
2.  Water/Fluid Supplies
3.  Food/Snack Supplies
4.  Cash and Photo ID (ID should be on your person at all times)
5.  Other Outdoor Supplies
6. 4 AA Batteries to use in our walkie talkies.

1.  Packs:
a.  Plan and pack for medical emergencies including
     blisters, bug bites, allergies, cuts, etc.
b.  At least one snake bite kit (Sawyer style) should be
     with the group (sold in most sporting goods depts).
c.  Weather change needs such as poncho, emergency
     blanket, cap, gloves, wind jacket, etc.
d.  Cell phone (in case it might work) and other
     items important to you for personal safety or comfort

2.  Water/Fluid Supplies
a.  Plan on carrying a cooler in your vehicle with ice to keep
food and fluids cold throughout the trip
b.  Carry enough fluid with you for the designated trail hike
c.  Do  Not  Drink  Water  From  Streams - most mountain
    water is no longer safe to drink as they may contain
    protozoan imps and make you very sick

3.  Food/Snack Supplies
a.  Short hikes may only require a light snack
     on the trail (1-2 miles) - plan accordingly
b.  Longer hikes usually require a moderate
     snack on the trail (3-4 miles) - plan accordingly
c.  Remember that your appetite is enhanced by
    being outdoors and doing physical activity

4.  Cash and ID
a.  Carry bills in different increments especially "ones"
     for park entrance fees and incidentals - each
     person is responsible for their own fees and should
     share any group cost for parking and fuel
b. The cost of fule is to be shared between driver and
c.  For your safety, have your ID with you on the trail at
all times.
d.  Do not leave valuables in your parked car which you
    cannot afford to have stolen!

5.  Other Outdoor Supplies
a.  Camera, Flash Card(s) or film
b.  Binoculars
c.  Sun hat
d.  Knife and compass
e.  Extra socks if prone to blisters
f.  Bug spray
g.  Sting relief especially if you are
     allergic to insect stings
h.  Hiking pole or sticks
i.   Sweat towel and/or bandana
j. Large Pepper Spray (for animal attacks and personal protection)

6. Hunting Season
Remember your Blaze Orange During Hunting Seasons.


1.  Critical - Shower and check your body - CAREFULLY -
     for ticks (if a tick has attached itself to your skin, do
     not crush its body while removing it, but lift it away
     from your skin and pull out by the legs - treat the area
     properly and watch for any redness - if redness appears
     seek medical attention promptly)

2.  Clean and treat any wounded areas of your body -
     use ice for first 24-48 hours on joint/muscle injuries
     and heat as swelling subsides

3.  Consider keeping a log of your hiking experiences and
     write your story in a journal while memories are fresh

4.  Develop pictures and share copies with your hikers


1.  Leave pets at home if hiking with a group. More Info

2.  Keep groups on the trail to no more than 4-6 together

3.  Walk single file in the middle of the trail

4.  Step to the side of the trail as you go downhill
     to allow hikers going uphill to have the right of way

5.  Do not wade with your boots on unless necessary
     Wet socks and shoes can create immediate blisters

6.  Swift water can cause you to lose your footing in
     6-12 inches of water so do not be fooled that you
     can wade without danger across a stream

7.  Snakebites are a critical concern to hikers
     THINK before putting your hands and feet anywhere
     that might be a place of hiding for a snake:
     a.  Step on the top of logs - not over them
     b.  Use your hiking pole to check on the backside
          of logs and rocks before sitting down
     c.  Stay on the trail where visibility is better

8.  Read the many different theories on protection
     from bears and other wildlife - bears are most
     aggressive when protecting their cubs and stay
     near water and food sources frequently - bears
     do not "growl" but will make a "grunting" noise
     to let you know they see you when you may not
     see them - stop, back away slowly, and move
     back down the trail without hesitation - do not
     mistake a "grunting" noise for random woods noise
     on a trail as it may only be made one time to give
     you one chance to back away. Carry a large pepper spray.

9.  Let members of your hiking group know your intentions
    in case you decide to return to the parking lot or leave
     for the day. 

10. Remember that the GEC Open Hike each month will
     have a mixed skill level and cooperation as a team is needed.
     The monthly planner has volunteered to set up the hike
      and there may be slight differences with each hike.
      There is room for both the scenic hiker and the extreme
      hiker with good communication and proper planning.

More information on Hiker Safety can be found at the following websites.
Georgia State Park Safe Hiking Tips

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Last Modified: Saturday, February 15, 2014