Sunday, June 17, 2018

Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge

If you want to see lots of deer, Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge is the place to go but you have to get there early. Bob DeHart and I stepped off the observation platform about 6:45 AM and jumped a bunch of deer grazing just west of the platform. Everywhere we walked, deer were grazing in the fields but they were too alert to allow an approach so we didn't get any pictures except for the one below.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Board Camp Creek

At TC Varner's suggestion, we hiked the Board Camp Creek section of Soddy Gorge which stretches between highway 111 and Soddy Gulf. After meeting at Soddy Gulf entrance, we shuttled up to the unofficial trail access point on 111 where the 6 mile hike back to Soddy Gulf began. We discovered the bridge sometimes known as Boy Scout Bridge located at N35 20.047 W85 12.076 is rapidly deteriorating.

Group photo near Boy Scout Bridge

Boy Scout Bridge falling apart

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Below Bluff Trail

For years I have noticed a trail that turns south at the spring house off Black Mountain Loop Trail but didn't think it was an official trail. I recently noticed it on a trail map created by the state which is available here and decided my map needs an update. Carol and I hiked it today to measure trail length and obtain a GPS track log. Its length is 2375 feet as measured from trailhead kiosk to where it intersects the main trail about 2/10 mile above campsite. It is not getting much use. On our return, we followed two foot paths that intersect the trail. One just looped back to the Below Bluff Trail and the other ended at Southern Overlook. Leaving the overlook on the spur back to Black Mountain Loop Trail, we encountered a Timber Rattlesnake laying across the trail. Before I could get my camera out of my pack, it had started to make his escape but I did get one picture of it leaving the trail and another as it hid under a log.

Timber rattlesnake leaving the trail
Timber rattlesnake hiding under log

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Sluder Lane Bridge

The Sluder Lane Bridge at Little Soddy Trailhead parking area is complete. Looks like there may be room for six or seven parked cars if they are closely spaced.

Bridge photos

Sluder Lane Bridge

Monday, April 30, 2018

Ride Jeep Trails

Carol and I made a trip to Prentice Cooper on the day after turkey season closed and had jeep trails to ourselves. We rode 22.9 miles and stopped for lunch along Mullens Creek as shown below.

Our lunch break parking area along Mullens Creek

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Little Possum North Camp

A Murfreesboro hiking group plans to backpack thru Possum Gorge and Rock Creek segments of Cumberland Trail this weekend and needed to know if Little Possum North Campsite could accommodate 7 tents. Although we have visited this camp numerous times, we seldom look at the two overflow sites farther back in the woods so we hiked in to evaluate. We decided there is sufficient room for 7 tents and possibly more if backpackers are not real particular about the spot where they set up their tent.

Group photo at Little Possum North Campsite

Crossing Little Possum Creek

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Laurel Creek Bridge

I've had a couple of people ask me about the status of Laurel Creek Bridge and didn't know for sure what to tell them. I knew the old damaged bridge had been removed but didn't know if any prep work had been done for construction of the new bridge. Carol and I decided to go check. We found no evidence of any preparation for construction and it looks as though there was never a bridge across the creek. Fortunately we hadn't planned to go farther than the bridge site as it would have been difficult to find a place to cross without getting wet.

North end of bridge site

South end of bridge site