Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rock Creek Off Trail

Don Deakins, Carol Deakins, Mark Jordan, Teresa Jordan, Bob DeHart, Bob McGavock, Nance Jo Ogozalek, George Bonneau, Earl Helmer, Jane Ellett, and Matt Stullich repeated a recent off trail hike at Rock Creek where we walked along the base of a bluff line which allowed us to pass under Flat Branch and Rocky Branch Falls. Although round trip is only about 3 miles, it covers some very rugged terrain and could not be rated as an easy hike. It is also best suited for winter because much of the route passes through snake paradise. Since this hike provides so much enjoyment, we will probably do it again before spring.

Don's YouTube video

Group photo at Rock Creek Trailhead by Teresa Jordan

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Prentice Cooper

Sixteen hikers turned out for today’s hike at Prentice Cooper State Forest. Soddy Daisy TTA members Joanne Denise, Maria Lubkowitz, Don Deakins, Carol Deakins, Bob DeHart, Caroline Woerner, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Bob McGavock, and Lora Smith were joined by Laura Barber of Columbia-Franklin TTA, Steve Watson of Upper Cumberland TTA, Gary Kimbrell of Upper Cumberland TTA, Bruce Harvey of Murfreesboro TTA, Kelly Wilbur of Murfreesboro TTA, Sherry Wilbur of Murfreesboro TTA, and Gavin Wilbur of Murfreesboro TTA.

This hike, advertised as six miles, was probably closer to seven and many participants felt they had walked farther than six miles. The trail was sometimes difficult to follow and at one point we lost it altogether. We wandered a few hundred feet off course before our faithful Garmin GPS got us back on track but we didn’t get back to the trail before talk began of a nomination for the Golden Squirrel award.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo along Haley Road

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Raccoon Mountain

George Bonneau, today’s hike leader, led Sarah Bonneau, Don Deakins, Carol Deakins, Bob DeHart, Earl Helmer, and Nance Jo Ogozalek on a 4+ mile hike of one of many bicycle trails on Raccoon Mountain. George sets a fast pace so we got a good workout on this mid-week event.

Group photo at overlook over TN River Gorge

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Piney River

Heidi Wilhelmsen and Sarah Hurt joined Soddy Daisy TTA members Earl Helmer, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins for an 8 mile Piney River hike near Spring City. The weather, although questionable, held out through the day. There was potential for rain but we encountered no precipitation. Mid thirties temperature was excellent for hiking but a little chilly when pausing for a break.

Yesterday’s heavy rains had creeks running full and fast, full and fast enough for kayakers which we encountered as we hiked along Piney River. Full creeks were cause for concern as we wondered if crossing McDonald Branch would present a problem. Although we could not cross where trail intersects McDonald Branch, we did find a spot about 100 feet upstream that allowed crossing without casualties but did add sufficient excitement to make this a memorable event.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo along Piney River

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rainbow Lake

Caroline Woerner led Earl Helmer, Adair Darland, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Jane Ellett, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins on an approximate 3 mile hike around Rainbow Lake on Signal Mountain. Hike began at trail head near golf course on Ohio Avenue, skirted golf course for short distance, and then headed down to Rainbow Lake where we stopped for a few photos. After leaving Rainbow Lake, we walked downstream a short distance to Middle Creek Bridge which is a suspension bridge on Cumberland Trail, crossed the bridge and headed back upstream along Middle Creek to another suspension bridge. After crossing the second bridge, we began our ascent back toward the golf course and trail head with a stop along the way at remnants of an old Girl Scout cabin. A short bull session at the trail head ended this ideal mid week outing.

Group photo along Rainbow Lake Trail

Bob on dam at Rainbow Lake

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Prentice Cooper Off Trail

Jerry McClanahan and Paula Guffey joined Soddy Daisy TTA members Jane Ellett, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins for a 5+ mile off trail hike at Prentice Cooper State Forest. Hike began at Davis Pond where we made a bee line through woods to Natural Bridge using GPS as guidance. Upon reaching Natural Bridge we took a snack break and explored the area under the natural rock formation. Next destination was a foot bridge down Cumberland Trail where we again left the trail and used GPS to find our way back to Davis Pond over some rugged terrain. At Davis Pond we loaded our vehicles and drove to the intersection of Pot Point Road and Tower Road where we parked and headed out through the woods to Ransom Hollow Overlook using GPS to lead us along the most direct route. At Ransom Hollow Overlook we again paused for a short break. We then hiked a short distance down Cumberland Trail and again left the trail for the final leg of our adventure.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Ransom Hollow Overlook

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rock Creek Off Trail

After heavy rains last night, today was perfect for our off trail hike at Rock Creek. Rock Creek was roaring with heavy flow as well as all feeder branches including Flat Branch and Rocky Branch which ensured good flow over Flat Branch Falls and Rocky Branch Falls, our destinations. Today’s route was shorter and much easier than the route we tried on our first visit to the base of these falls. We left the trail near Boiling Spring Bridge and followed the creek down to base of bluff. It was then a simple matter of following bluff line to falls. Terrain along bluff line is rugged but enjoyable and is a great change of pace from the constructed trails we usually follow. I’m thinking we need more off trail events.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Rocky Branch Falls