Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lookout Mountain

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hike report submitted by Caroline Woerner

Only 2 hikers chose this November 28 Lookout Mountain hike option but there were no regrets. Caroline Woerner of Soddy Daisy TTA and Laura Barber of Columbia Franklin TTA started their hike at Ochs Gateway, took the spur down to Bluff Trail, and followed the contour of Lookout Mountain for approximately 3.5 miles. Visibility was better than usual but the view was less than stellar due to industry on the valley floor below. We paused a couple of times to watch some rock climbers making their way up the steep rock face that gives Bluff Trail its name. After admiring the view of Tennessee River and a lunch break atop Sunset Rock, we made our way back down to Bluff Trail, descended Gum Springs Trail to its junction with Upper Truck Trail, followed Upper Truck Trail to junction with John Smartt Trail, and climbed back up the mountain to the junction with Ochs Gateway Spur and our waiting vehicle.

Several trail runners were also taking advantage of this mild late fall day by jogging the trails but this duo decided their speed was best left for the younger set. We're comfortable with our own pace!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Buzzard Point

Soddy Daisy TTA members Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Earl Helmer, Jane Ellett, Judy Varner, and Don Deakins were joined by Cathleen Close of Highland Rim TTA, Steve Watson of Upper Cumberland TTA, Gary Kimbrell of Upper Cumberland TTA, Boodie Fox of Chattanooga Hiking Club, and Leslie Eubank for a 10 mile hike to Snow Falls and Buzzard Point at Laurel-Snow in Dayton. Our first stop was Dunn Overlook where we paused briefly to enjoy the view. Then on to Snow Falls which required fording Morgan Creek. At Snow Falls we took an extended break for lunch and tried to obtain a quality photograph of the falls but harsh sunlight made conditions less than optimum. After leaving Snow Falls, we again had to ford Morgan Creek on our hike to Buzzard Point but the view from Buzzard Point made the entire day’s effort worthwhile. The day ended with a long walk back to the parking area.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on trail to Snow Falls

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


John Dever, Earl Helmer, George Bonneau, Sarah Bonneau, and Don Deakins were apparently among the few not cooking for turkey day. We met at the Greenway on Hamill Road, hiked down through the rock quarry, then on to the loop trail in Big Ridge Small Wild Area, back through the rock quarry, and ended the 5 mile walk with a trail segment that encircles the Native Vegetation Restoration Project. Although it is late November, weather was not typical for this time of year as today’s spring like conditions brought out ticks and butterflies.

Group photo in rock quarry

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bryan Overlook

Soddy Daisy TTA members Anna Dennett, Maria Lubkowitz, George Bonneau, Earl Helmer, Bob DeHart, Jane Ellett, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, and Don Deakins were joined by Sarah Hurt, Carolyn Reeves of East Tennessee TTA, Carolyn Perry of Chattanooga Hiking Club and Faye Nunez of Chattanooga Hiking Club for a Laurel-Snow hike in Dayton. This approximate 7.5 mile round trip to Bryan Overlook included a stop at Laurel Falls, a climb to top of falls, and a creek crossing where some participants used garbage bags over boots to keep dry. Mother Nature was cooperative and provided this fun group of hikers with perfect weather.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Laurel Falls

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Possum Gorge

Caroline Woerner, George Bonneau, Earl Helmer, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins met at Heiss Mountain trail head and hiked a short distance beyond Big Possum Creek Bridge where we left the trail and followed an old railroad grade to the site of an old railroad bridge. Once there we took an extended break to enjoy the tranquility of this backwoods paradise and perfect hiking weather provided by Mother Nature. This 3 mile round trip was completed upon our return to Heiss Mountain Road.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at old railroad bridge site

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stinging Fork

Soddy Daisy TTA members Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Anna Dennett, Joanne Denise, Maria Lubkowitz, Earl Helmer, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins were joined by Sarah Hurt, Sue LaGraff, Jane Seale, and Katherine Jolly for two short hikes near Spring City. Our first hike, which encompassed only a 1 mile section of Piney River Trail, began at Newby Branch trail head and ended at Duskin Creek where we turned around and retraced our steps back to the starting point for a total of about 2 miles. We then drove to Stinging Fork where we hiked out to Indian Head Point Overlook followed by a climb down to Stinging Fork Falls. At the falls we paused for lunch and a group photo before making the steep ascend out of the gorge. Stinging Fork round trip was approximately 3 miles which made the day’s total distance about 5 miles.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Stinging Fork Falls

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Signal Point to 27

Joanne Denise, Maria Lubkowitz, Anna Dennett, Sarah Hurt, Earl Helmer, Jane Ellett, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins took advantage of today’s ideal weather and hiked 8.5 miles from Signal Point to Suck Creek Road with stops at Julia Falls Overlook, Edwards Point, Mushroom Rock, and North Suck Creek. This is a long hike with rough terrain and at least one long strenuous climb but scenery along the way makes it all worthwhile. We did encounter one sad situation today when we arrived at Mushroom Rock and discovered that vandals have defaced the rock formation by spray painting graffiti from top to bottom.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at North Suck Creek

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Posey Point

Bob DeHart, Earl Helmer, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Dennis Higgins, Bob McGavock, Jane Ellett, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins stayed close to home today and hiked the segment of Cumberland Trail that parallels Hotwater Road. We met at Sluder Lane trail head, hiked down through the Little Soddy Historic Mining Area, crossed Hotwater Road, and continued on to Posey Point where we took a lengthy snack break before retracing our steps back to Sluder Lane. Mother Nature was cooperative and provided perfect weather for this 4.5 mile round trip.

After the hike, Bob DeHart and I drove to Bakewell where we laid out a course for our next GPS navigation exercise. This event will be scheduled as part of next Wednesday’s hike.

Group photo along trail to Posey Point