Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rock Creek

Today’s hikers, Harry Tirey, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Greg Jordan, Manni Jordan, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins did not let the threat of rain change plans for this approximate 7 mile walk at Rock Creek. We met at Leggett Road Lower Trailhead, parked two vehicles there, and shuttled over to Retro Hughes Trailhead where the hike began. About 1.5 miles down the trail we encountered a member of Chattanooga Hiking Club, Boodie Fox, and his friend, Leslie Eubank. After a short discussion and group photo, we proceeded on toward the new Rock Creek Bridge. Upon reaching the bridge, we paused for lunch and a group photo on the bridge to document our first crossing. Our next stop, just a short distance down the trail, was Rock Creek Campsite where we visited the adjacent deep pool. Rock Creek Overlook, two miles further down the trail, was the next point of interest where we stopped to enjoy the view and take a few photos. From there we made a bee line to the lower trailhead with one final stop along Rock Creek at what appears to be a popular swimming hole during the warmer months.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo with Boodie Fox and Leslie Eubank

Our first time crossing the new Rock Creek Bridge

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blue Blazes

A last minute call from Caroline Woerner suggesting we inspect Blue Blazes Trail at Moccasin Bend in preparation for her weekend Chattanooga Hiking Club maintenance event resulted in recruitment of Harry Tirey, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins as her assistants. We carried 3 pruning shears and 1 bow saw, and therefore, the inspection quickly turned into a maintenance event. Although we removed many trail obstructions, plenty remain to keep Chattanooga Hiking Club busy for an entire day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Signal Point to 27

Bill and Deborah Taber of Nashville TTA, Don Taylor of Nashville TTA, Levonn Hubbard of Plateau TTA, Jim McCullough of Plateau TTA, Judy Varner, George Bonneau, Lora Smith, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Wesley Jordan, Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins were not discouraged by sub-freezing temperatures. After staging a few vehicles on Suck Creek Road, we shuttled up to Signal Point where we enjoyed the view from the overlook and then found our way over to the trailhead. Just a short distance down the trail was our first stop, Julia Falls Overlook, where we took a short break to take in the view. About 1 mile further down the trail was Middle Creek Suspension Bridge where we slowed down for a few photos and then proceeded on toward Edwards Point. At Edwards Point, almost 3 miles into the hike, we stopped for lunch, enjoyed the spectacular view, and took a few photos. The next 4 miles, a relatively easy walk, snaked along the canyon rim until arriving at Mushroom Rock where we stopped for another break and put the digital cameras to work. The final 1.5 miles consisted of a long steep descent to North Suck Creek, crossing a 150 foot suspension bridge over the creek, a long steep ascent out of the gorge, and another steep descent to Suck Creek Road where our vehicles were waiting.

Slide show of Don's photos

Our first stop, Julia Falls Overlook

Our last stop, Mushroom Rock

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Harry Tirey, Sharon Tirey, Judy Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins visited the Greenway in Hixson for the second time this month. Today’s walk began at parking area on Hamill Road, proceeded to the presently closed parking area near Chickamauga Dam with a photo op stop in the quarry, and then retraced our steps back to Hamill Road. We ended this event with a stop at Arby’s to replenish any calories we may have burned off.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Imodium Falls

Judy Varner, TC Varner, their granddaughter Emily Duncan, Mark Jordan, Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins got together on very short notice for this Sunday trip to Little Possum Creek Falls. The weather was just a little cool but everyone agreed it was almost perfect for hiking. As usual, TC carried his trusty ax so we were able to remove numerous fallen trees from the trail as we made our way from Retro Hughes trailhead to our destination a short distance past Little Possum Creek Falls. An extended break at the falls followed by a short walk to our previously staged vehicles ended a perfect day on the Cumberland Trail.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Little Possum Creek Falls (Imodium Falls)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Stinging Fork Maintenance

Three members of the Soddy Daisy TTA spent Saturday morning volunteering on the Stinging Fork Section of the Cumberland Trail. Lora Smith, Jan Agee, and Brandy Selman braved the cooler temps and intermittent rain showers to help repair this often overlooked section of trail. Due to the inclement weather, only 7 dedicated people showed up for duty today so the plan of restoring the stairs did not come to fruition. We did, however, manage to remove a large section of overgrown briars and numerous fallen trees from the upper section as well as construct a portion of a rock staircase about halfway down the winding trail. Two other volunteers, Sandy and Paige Eslinger were able to rake all of the leaves off the entire trail. Shortly after lunch the weather took a change for the worse and coordinator Alex Schafer made the call to end the day early, and left us with a friendly reminder that this project will be continued at a later date. We assured him that the Soddy Daisy chapter would be there to lend a helping hand.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Signal Point to 27 Inspection

In preparation for the November 22 hike, Mark Jordan, Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins performed an inspection and minor maintenance on the Signal Point to Highway 27 segment of Cumberland Trail. Using Caroline's bow saw and brute force we were able to remove numerous obstructions from the 8.4 mile section. After leaving Edwards Point we discovered that we should have brought pruning shears. There are many overhanging briars that need to be removed so anyone who plans to participate in the November 22 event should bring their shears.

Enjoying view from overlook near Edwards Point

Taking break at Mushroom Rock

Monday, November 10, 2008

Heiss Rd to Big Possum Creek

Judy Varner, Lisa Davis, Jane Young, George Bonneau, Mark Jordan, Brandy Selman, Harry Tirey, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins took advantage of perfect hiking weather and made the approximate 3 mile round trip from Heiss Mountain Road trailhead to Big Possum Creek and back. Upon arrival at the creek we took an extended break while a few hikers explored the surrounding area and others had lunch. After the break we posed for a group photo and then began the uphill walk back to our awaiting vehicles.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Perkins Point

Today’s 5.5 mile trek from Heiss Mountain Road to Perkins Point and back was arranged on short notice and resulted in only 4 participants from Soddy Daisy TTA but there were many other hikers and trail runners on this section of trail. At the end of this 4.5 hour outing we headed over to the Little Soddy Historic Mining Area on Hotwater Road for some fossil hunting. We didn’t find any Tyrannosaurus rex bones but ended the day with a pocket full of plant fossils.

View from Perkins Point with hikers in foreground

View from Perkins Point without hikers in foreground

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fall Creek Falls

George Bonneau, Sarah Bonneau, Tommy Caraway, Judy Varner, Harry Tirey, Sharon Tirey, Carla Hilling, Patricia Hilling, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins made a trip to Fall Creek Falls State Park on a day when the park was crowded with people viewing fall colors. After a hike out to Fall Creek Falls Overlook with numerous stops at scenic overlooks along the way, we took a late lunch break and decided it was time to head home.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chickamauga Quarry

Harry Tirey, Sharon Tirey, George Bonneau, Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins made an unscheduled visit to Chickamauga Quarry at the Greenway in Hixson. The quarry, excavated by Tennessee Valley Authority in 1936 and 1937, served as a source of limestone for the construction of Chickamauga Dam located about 1 mile away.

This 3 mile hike included a trip around the quarry, a visit to the bottom of the quarry, and a walk along Chickamauga Creek as we made our way back to the parking area.

At water's edge in Chickamauga Quarry

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Skyuka Spring

Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins began today's hike on the Kiddie Trail near the Nature Center entrance. We followed that trail until it intersected with Skyuka Trail and then proceeded along the Skyuka Trail until our arrival at Skyuka Spring where we stopped for lunch and a group photo. After the break we began our return hike on the Lower Truck Trail which took us back to a Reflection Riding gravel road. We followed that road back to Nature Center entrance which concluded the 8.5 mile trip.

On a log over Skyuka Spring

Hiking Lower Truck Trail

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Rock Creek

Mike White, Lora Smith, George Bonneau, Sandy Eslinger, Paige Eslinger, Caroline Woerner, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Harry Tirey, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins met at Leggett Road Upper Trailhead, parked a few vehicles, and then shuttled over to Retro Hughes Trailhead where the 5+ mile hike and trail maintenance event began. Upon reaching Rock Creek, we took an extended break, had lunch, posed for a group photo, and admired the Rock Creek footbridge in final stage of construction. At break’s end we proceeded approximately 1000 feet further down the trail to Rock Creek campsite which is adjacent to a deep pool and can best be described as a backpacker’s paradise. We explored the area, took photos, and then resumed our walk toward Leggett Road. Our final stop along the way was Rock Creek Overlook which provides an excellent view of the gorge below however, our stay was short due to a swarm of ladybugs with a few yellow jackets mixed in. The hike concluded with a long steep climb to our awaiting vehicles.

Taking break at Rock Creek Bridge construction site