Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Piney Falls

Our plans to hike Black Mountain Loop had to be cancelled when we arrived at the base of Black Mountain and discovered Owl Roost Road, the only road to the top, was covered in ice and snow which made it too treacherous. We then decided to stop at Piney Falls in Grandview on our way back to Spring City. Turns out this was a more enjoyable hike. Although shorter than Black Mountain Loop, the scenery consisting of two water falls and a beautiful trail connecting the two, more than made up for the lack of distance.

Slide show of Don's photos

At top of Piney Falls

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Bob Is Back

Bob DeHart joined Carol and I for a Christmas Day feast followed by a short hike in the woods behind my house. Looks like we will be gearing up for resumption of our Cumberland Trail measurements with the measuring wheel. Black Mountain, here we come.

Hiking in the snow

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

North Chickamauga

Cumberland Trail Volunteers teamed up with North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy on a maintenance hike into North Chickamauga Creek Gorge. Our goal was to get the trail ready for reconstruction of the ladder system below Boston Branch Overlook. The ladder system was destroyed by a recent forest fire and is scheduled to be rebuilt in January. Numerous downed trees and piles of tangled tree tops, the worst of which is shown below, were obstructing the trail to the work site. We removed all trail obstructions and did some minor trail repair. The trail is now ready for construction traffic.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wheeling Twin Rocks

A trip to North Chickamauga Creek yesterday to measure the Lower Hogskin Loop Trail combined with today's trip to Piney River where we wheeled the Twin Rocks Nature Trail and Flat Rock Loop Trail completes measurements for all portions of open Cumberland Trail from Piney River in Spring City to Tennessee River Gorge in Prentice Cooper. Next on the list, Brady Mountain and Black Mountain near Crossville.

Today's photos

Atop Twin Rocks near Piney River

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Possum Gorge North

In spite of the freezing temperature, 22 hikers turned out for today's hike on the northern end of Cumberland Trail's Possum Gorge. Highlights of the day were a stop at Imodium Falls, lunch at a campsite where we built a fire, and crossing Little Possum Creek. We had anticipated more water in Little Possum Creek and everyone was equipped with plastic bags to use as shoe covers while wading across but with creek flow less than expected, most were able to cross using the rock hopping method. Luck was with us today as we achieved an incident free crossing.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Imodium Falls

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trail Maintenance

Although the weather forecast called for a 50% chance of rain, Caroline Woerner, Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins were not discouraged and followed through with our trail maintenance plans. We spent about 6 hours on the 4.9 mile section of Soddy Gorge Trail between Mowbray Pike and Hotwater Road with chain saw, pruning shears, and a rake. Drainage ditches across trail were cleaned, leaves were raked from rock steps, and numerous trail obstructions were removed, one of which is shown below. We did encounter some light rain during the day but never enough to dampen our enthusiasm.



Lunch along trail

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Soddy Gorge

Gina Wilson, Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Maria Lubkowitz, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins enjoyed ideal weather as we hiked the 4.9 mile section of Soddy Gorge between Mowbray Pike and the Sluder Lane trailhead at Hotwater Road. Looks like this section of trail will be seeing much more use. The recently completed parking lot at Mowbray trailhead has immediately increased its popularity. Upon arrival at the Mowbray trailhead, we encountered an old friend, Bill Goins, preparing a scout troop for a Cumberland Trail hike. After completing our hike, we returned to Mowbray Pike trailhead to retrieve our shuttle vehicle and found the parking lot full of automobiles. Looks like it may be time to start planning a larger parking area.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at overlook near Little Stone Door

Thursday, November 18, 2010

North Chick After Fire

Although North Chickamauga segment of Cumberland Trail is closed beyond Hogskin Loop due to damage suffered in a recent forest fire, Carol and I hiked back to ladder # 1 to obtain pictures of the damaged wooden ladder system that provides access up the bluff to Boston Branch Overlook and the trail beyond. We hadn’t hiked far when the smell of burning coal began to foul the air. At about the 1.2 mile mark we discovered the source of the smell. On slopes below the trail just past the old open mine, coal was still smoldering after 3 to 4 weeks and producing a substantial amount of smoke, even after the heavy rains two days ago.

Continuing down the trail we began to encounter numerous fallen trees on the trail, some a result of fire and others apparently from high winds. A maintenance hike with chain saw will be required to get this trail in shape, especially if materials to repair the ladder system are carried in on this trail.

Upon arriving at ladder # 1, we found the first flight of stairs and the first single plank bridge untouched by fire. However the top step of the stair is broken and the entire stair is showing its age as is the single plank bridge. The second flight of stairs was completely consumed by fire and a large portion of the second bridge was burned. Repairs will absolutely be required before foot traffic can resume use of this trail.

Slide show of Don's photos

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Symposium Hike

With the 20th American Trails National Symposium being held in Chattanooga this year, Andy Wright, Carol Deakins, Don Deakins and Judy Varner along with her grandson, Josh, had the pleasure of leading a hike for symposium participants on the Cumberland Trail, one of many events sponsored by American Trails. Symposium organizers requested a hike between 4 to 6 miles that contained a couple of recently constructed bridges. Therefore a section of Possum Gorge Trail between Heiss Mountain Road Trailhead and the Little Possum Creek Bridge construction entrance was selected which resulted in a 4.2 mile hike with two creek crossing on relatively new bridges.

Although nine symposium participants had signed up for this hike, a light rain discouraged four of them. Hikers that were not discouraged are:
  • Maureen DeCindis - Transportation Planner plus Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Gerry Bowen – Natural Resources Planner for Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Michael Tully – Director of Operations and Public Safety for Lake County Forest Preserves in Lindenhurst, Illinois
  • Vince Urbanski – Chief of Park Planning in Concord, Ohio
  • Steven Studenmund – Strategic Planning and Land Acquisition Manager in Westerville, Ohio
Fortunately for those that braved the weather, precipitation subsided a short distance down the trail and had completely stopped by the time we crossed Big Possum Creek. We completed the remainder of the hike without needing rain gear.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Heiss Mtn Rd Trailhead

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Possum Gorge with CHC

Jan Agee, Keith Weller, Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined Chattanooga Hiking Club for a hike in Possum Gorge which began at Heiss Mountain Road Trailhead and ended at the construction entrance for Little Possum Creek Bridge. It was a short 4.2 miles but there wasn't much level ground so our legs, hearts, and lungs got plenty of exercise. Today's hike included only the southern segment of Possum Gorge Trail. The northern segment, which includes Imodium Falls, will hopefully be scheduled after winter rains begin which will ensure good flow over the falls.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Heiss Mtn Trailhead

Monday, November 8, 2010

Trail Maintenance

Keith Weller, Jan Agee, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined Brandy Selman and Ronald Skiles of the state trail maintenance crew for a few hours of trail maintenance in Soddy Gorge along Hotwater Road. We carried rakes, brooms, and a chain saw. Rakes and brooms were used to remove leaves from rock steps and bridges while the chain saw was used to remove three trees down across the trail. Ideal weather and a fun group made this work seem like play.

We stopped by the Mowbray Pike trailhead on the way home and found it complete and ready to be used.

Group photo at Sluder Lane trailhead
Mowbray Pike trailhead parking lot is complete and ready for use

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Trail of Tires

Katy Walker, Caroline Woerner, Brandy Selman, Jan Agee, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins did an inspection of the segment of Cumberland Trail that parallels Hotwater Road, locally known as the "Trail of Tires" due to all the debris that litters the area. We found two trees across the trail that need to be removed and collected trash which we carried out. A return trip with chain saw is scheduled for tomorrow to remove trees across the trail after which this section of trail can be classified as being in excellent condition.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo along "Trail of Tires"

Friday, October 29, 2010

More Trail Work

Earl Helmer, Tony Hook, and Don Deakins spent the day in Soddy Gorge between Highway 111 and Deep Creek removing trail obstructions in preparation for the upcoming Upchuck trail race. We cut out 8 large trees, numerous smaller ones, and countless vines, briers, and overhanging limbs. This segment of trail is now in good shape for the trail running event.

Tony Hook cutting tree across trail in Soddy Gorge

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Trail Maintenance

Carol Deakins and Don Deakins hiked 1.7 miles into Soddy Gorge from Highway 111 to remove a tree that required hikers to leave the trail in order to circumvent the obstruction. Both ends of Soddy Gorge segment between Hotwater Road and Highway 111 are now in good shape for the upcoming Upchuck trail race. The middle segment has numerous trees across the trail that will be removed Friday, October 29.

Tree laying on trail

Trail after tree removal

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soddy Gorge

Jane Ellett, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined a crowd of Chattanooga Hiking Club members for a 9 mile hike on Cumberland Trail in Soddy Gorge between Hotwater Road and Highway 111. Although Deep Creek and Big Soddy Creek were almost dry, the rock climbing and boulder hopping required to cross the creeks added a little spice to the hike for most and a challenge for others.

An outstanding group of hikers and optimum weather made for a great day on the trail. After a day of rest, I'll be ready to do it again.

Slide show of Don's photos

24 hikers ready to go

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Black Mountain

Earl Helmer, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins made a long drive for a short hike, the 2 mile Black Mountain Loop atop Black Mountain near Crossville. Although we spent more time on the road than the trail, perfect hiking weather made it all worth while.

Group photo atop Black Mountain

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trail Repair

Carol Deakins and Don Deakins hiked into Rock Creek with chain saw, rakes, and pruning shears to repair trail damage which resulted from a dozer building firebreaks during last week's fire. The dozer had crossed the main trail in four different places, one of which is shown below, leaving behind downed trees and other debris on the trail. The spur trail to Leggett Point Overlook also required attention as the dozer had skirted along the spur in numerous places, knocking trees and brush onto the trail. All damaged sections of trail have been repaired and cleaned.

1 of 4 spots where dozer crossed trail
Same spot after clean-up

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rock Creek Fire

A campfire at Leggett Point Overlook last Saturday resulted in a forest fire that damaged a large section of Cumberland Trail property in the Rock Creek segment. It took park rangers and forestry personnel a few days to contain the fire. A bulldozer used to build firebreaks did much damage to the hardwood forest and some minor damage to the Cumberland Trail. We will schedule a work session within the next week or two and return the trail to its original condition.

Slide show of Don's photos

Smoldering remnants still producing smoke

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wheeling Soddy Gorge

Today's hike began with Ronald Skiles hauling Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins to an unofficial entry point for the Board Camp Creek section of Soddy Gorge. Our goal was to measure this last segment of Soddy Gorge with a measuring wheel, clean the trail by removing trail obstructions, inspect the trail, and photograph the "Back Country Bridge" which is in a degraded state. Although this hike measured only 6.6 miles, the climb out of Big Soddy Gorge followed by a second climb out of Deep Creek Gorge had us feeling like we had walked 10 miles. We were traveling north to south but I believe hiking from south to north might be the easiest direction to hike this trail.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo in Big Soddy Creek


National Public Lands Day Event Report
Filed by Tony Hook

On September 24-25, eight volunteers met with Tony Hook of the CTC and repaired a bridge in the Tennessee River Gorge segment of the Cumberland Trail.  The volunteer work was performed in celebration of National Public Lands Day.  This bridge is located on Signal Mountain in the Middle Creek Gorge on public land managed as part of the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail and owned by the city of Signal Mountain, TN.  Because this section of trail is located near Chattanooga, it receives a lot of visitor use.  Volunteers graciously donated 72 hours and completed the much-needed repair.

Before work began

Before work began

During bridge repair

After repairs

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rocky Branch

Upon arrival at Upper Leggett Road Trailhead, Carol and I found the parking area filled with fire equipment trucks and forestry trucks carrying bulldozers. Someone left a campfire burning at Leggett Point Overlook on Saturday. Park Rangers and Forestry Division personnel had been fighting the fire since then. The ranger we spoke with said about 80 acres had burned. Fortunately for Carol and I, the fire was below Leggett Point Overlook and back toward Lower Leggett Road Trailhead so we were able to follow through with our plans and hike out to Rocky Branch where we removed a large tree across the trail.

Before removal

After removal

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rock Creek Gorge

Mother Nature provided ideal weather for this second day of RiverRocks Festival and 23 hikers took advantage of the excellent conditions by hiking 5.4 miles through Rock Creek Gorge from Retro Hughes Trailhead to Upper Leggett Road Trailhead. Many participants had additional activities scheduled for the evening and our casual pace was not sufficient to get them back to civilization in time. Therefore after lunch we split into two groups, one of which raced ahead while the second group continued on at our casual pace. If all RiverRocks Festival activities are as successful as this hike, RiverRocks Festival will be a big success and will surely become an annual event.

Slide show of Don's photos

Rock Creek Gorge Hikers

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Flipper Bend

Joanne Denise, Jeff Guenther, Earl Helmer, Jane Ellett, Katy Walker, Boodie Fox, Jan Agee, Brandy Selman, Rich Raulston, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined Larry Cook and Erin Ouzts of North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy for a maintenance hike at Flipper Bend. Hike began under a light rain but rain stopped before we walked 1/4 mile and, except for a couple of almost undetectable sprinkles, the remainder of the hike was precipitation free. With exception of the short Clear Creek Loop, we completed painting trail markers on the entire 10 miles of the main Flipper Bend Trail, picked up garbage, and removed numerous trail obstructions. Today's work should make it much easier for hikers to find their way around the entire Flipper Bend Loop without getting sidetracked on one of the numerous ATV trails that lace the area.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Flipper Bend trail head

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hiwassee Island

Earl Helmer and Don Deakins combined hiking and river exploration on a boat trip to Hiwassee Island and the Blythe Ferry Goose Management Area of Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge, stopping along the way to visit Bob DeHart who lives on the Tennessee River. After leaving Bob’s place, we continued up the Tennessee River to the Hiwassee River, then went about 1.5 miles up the Hiwassee where we went ashore for lunch at a makeshift boat ramp on the Blythe Ferry Goose Management Area. After lunch we hiked from the boat ramp up a gravel road, having no idea where it would take us. After walking about ¾ of a mile, we discovered we were on the Sandhill crane side of the Hiwassee Refuge Sandhill crane viewing platform which is very popular with birdwatchers in winter months while Sandhill cranes are present. An alternate route back to the boat resulted in an approximate 2 mile hike. We ended the day with a boat ride into the internals of Hiwassee Island which is not only surrounded by water but also laced with waterways.

Hiking in Blythe Ferry Goose Management Area

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rock Creek Loop

Michele Walker, Ed Swanner, Earl Helmer, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked Rock Creek Loop with a side trip to Leggett Point Overlook. As we made the climb out of Rock Creek Gorge on our way to Leggett Point spur trail, Ed pointed out a shortcut to the overlook. Ed then led us down the shortcut which proved to be a much easier hike than the established trail provides. It would be nice if this shortcut was incorporated into the Rock Creek segment of Cumberland Trail.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pot Point Road

Anna Dennett, Maria Lubkowitz, Judy Varner, TC Varner, Earl Helmer, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins were joined by a few hikers from Chattanooga Hiking Meetup for an excellent day on the trail at Prentice Cooper State Forest. We couldn't have ask for better weather than what Mother Nature served up for our 4 mile hike out Pot Point Road but hot weather is not over so don't store the extra water bottles yet.

Group photo at Davis Pond

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dry Branch

With temperature approaching a comfortable level, Don Deakins and Carol Deakins walked a 3.8 mile loop in Prentice Cooper State Forest beginning at the intersection of Tower Drive and Dry Branch Road, down Dry Branch Road to its intersection with Minchner Point Road, then Minchner Point Road back to Tower Drive, and finally a one half mile walk on Tower Drive back to Dry Branch Road. The hike was followed by a jeep ride around the same loop and then lunch on Bluff View Road overlooking the Tennessee River where many boaters were enjoying the last few days of summer.

Hiking along Dry Branch Road

Driving down Minchner Point Road

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mowbray Pike Trailhead

Work has finally begun on Mowbray Pike Trailhead, presently the southern most point of the Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail. Tree removal shown in photo was done a few weeks ago but nothing has been done since. Let's hope work continues.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jeep Trails

An exploratory trip to Prentice Cooper in search of ATV trails or jeep trails suitable for hiking revealed many new options, however the trails explored today are rugged and include extremely steep segments. It is also a long drive out Tower Road to access these trails but the benefit of avoiding ticks and chiggers is hard to ignore. I will definitely add these to the “To-Do” list.

View from Bluff View Road, a jeep trail that skirts precipice

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Night Hike

An exceptional group of hikers consisting of Amy Boortz, Ann Huckaba, Bill Kinnaman, Carol Deakins, Caroline Woerner, Che Carico, Debbie Lambert, Don Deakins, Earl Helmer, Ed Ellett, Ed Swanner, Gwen Brimer, Jeff Guenther, Jane Ellett, Joanne Denise, Karen Ramsey, Keith Weller, Maria Lubkowitz, Reggie Jay, Richard Park, Sara Pollard, Sunny Hart, Tony Hook, and Vicki McCoy turned out for an evening cookout and night hike at Prentice Cooper State Forest. The evening got off to an exciting start as we encountered a Timber Rattlesnake in the road as we approached our destination. After taking a few photos, we persuaded the snake to move to a safer location away from the road and then proceeded on to Davis Pond.

At Davis Pond we fired up the grills, cooked, ate, and then prepared for the night hike out Pot Point Road. Although it was late in the evening, conditions were still warm and humid but it seems everyone had a great time and many suggestions were made for another night hike, including hiking under a full moon and hiking at night in cold weather. I think we can expect another night hike on the schedule in the not too distant future.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Davis Pond

Friday, July 9, 2010

Road Hike

Jane Ellett, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins explored another backwoods jeep trail at Prentice Cooper and found a good 3.6 mile loop that begins and ends at the main trail head parking area. About .75 mile of this walk is on Tower Road, the main road through Prentice Cooper. This loop provides an easily accessible route for hikers looking for a short, easy walk through the woods without having to worry about ticks and chiggers.

Backwoods jeep trail

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Pot Point Road

Today’s moderate temperature and low humidity provided excellent conditions for Jan Agee, Earl Helmer, George Bonneau, Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins to hike Pot Point Road at Prentice Cooper State Forest. Pot Point Road is a dirt road that runs from Tower Road to Davis Pond and continues on to a dead end at Pot Point. A second dirt road intersects Pot Point Road near Pot Point and provides an alternate route back to Davis Pond. We began and ended our hike at Davis Pond which resulted in a 4 mile round trip on terrain that could be rated easy. This was such an enjoyable hike that we discussed doing it again at night.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Davis Pond

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Soddy Gorge Maintenance

Jane Ellett, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins braved the heat and humidity today for a maintenance hike on the Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail between Sluder Lane and the Hotwater Road crossing. Our goal was to trim back weeds, remove overhanging foliage, and pick up trash. We carried loppers, pruners, a rake, garbage bags, and a weed eater. Although the trail was in better shape than anticipated, it was in excellent condition at the end of our work session.

Hot and humid conditions were replaced by a thunderstorm on our hike back to Sluder Lane. We were soaked by the time we reached our vehicles, however, with the exception of one lightning strike that was a little too close for comfort, the soaking rain provided by the storm was extremely refreshing after working in the heat.

Today's small group at Sluder Lane

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

North Chickamauga Creek

Today’s North Chickamauga Creek hike began with Andy Wright, Terri Ballinger, and TC Varner hauling Brandy Selman, Jane Ellett, Larry Cook, Ed Swanner, Ronald Skiles, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins to what is presently and temporarily the end-of-trail above Cooper Creek where our maintenance hike back to North Chick trailhead would begin. Andy, Terri, and TC left to do other work while we began our hike down to Cooper Creek under overcast skies and in relatively comfortable conditions with our goal being to measure the length of trail back to trailhead, remove debris from trail, and paint trail markers on trees along the trail. It wasn’t long before the sun came out, humidity climbed to some unbearable percentage, and temperature was far above the comfort range. These conditions combined with rugged terrain made this 4.9 mile hike feel more like a 12 mile hike but I bet everyone will be ready to do it again after they recover from today.

Group photo near end of Cooper Creek Trail

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Measuring Spur Trails

Carol Deakins and Don Deakins made one last Tennessee River Gorge trail measuring trip to obtain the length of 3 spur trails that were not measured while collecting data on the main trail. Although the Raccoon Mountain Overlook spur trail and the Popular Springs Campsite spur trail are miles away from trail heads which would have made it impossible to hike to both in one day, we were able to combine GPS track logs and satellite views in Google maps to locate jeep trails in Prentice Cooper State Forest that were in close proximity to the spur trails we wanted to measure. Therefore we were able to drive to within very short distance of the spurs and turn a two day job into a 4 hour job.

Lunch at Raccoon Mtn Overlook

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mapping Soddy Gorge North

Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins mapped and measured the northern most section of Soddy Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail including the trail that parallels highway 111 and the road walk portion from Jones Gap exit ramp down to Heiss Mountain trail head. This would not have been possible without the help of TC Varner who hauled us down about 3.7 miles of logging road and dropped us off at a unofficial access point on the trail. The southern most section between Hotwater Road and Mowbray Pike was completed weeks ago and now only the middle section, which also happens to be the longest section, remains.

Group photo where trail intersects highway 111

Saturday, June 5, 2010

National Trails Day

Hike report filed by Brandy Selman
Soddy-Daisy TTA members teamed up with the Cumberland Trail Conference to host an event for American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® at the southern trailhead of the Possum Creek trail. Bob Richards, Greenways and Trails Program Coordinator, started things off by reading Governor Bredesen's Proclamation that June 5, 2010 is Tennessee Trails Day in conjunction with National Trails Day®. There were 37 participants, 10 of them opting to hike the entire 9.5 miles of this trail with Tony Hook, CTC general manager, leading the way. This group was shuttled to the northern end of the trail and hiked back to Heiss Mtn. Rd. The rest of us spent an enjoyable day hiking to Big Possum Creek bridge, playing in the creek, and grilling out at the trailhead. For the kids, we had patches, a scavenger hunt, tattoos, and the NTD coloring contest. As a reward for their effort, the participants of the long hike were given NTD t-shirts and had hot dogs, burgers, and all the trimmings awaiting their arrival at the end of the hike.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rock Creek Maintenance

Earl Helmer, Jane Ellett, Caroline Woerner, Ed Swanner, George Bonneau, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined the state trail maintenance crew which consisted of Ted Varner, Brandy Selman, Brad Johnson, and Ronald Skiles for a morning of maintenance on Cumberland Trail at Rock Creek. A crew of eleven attacked a 1.7 mile section of trail with weed eaters, swing blades, loppers, and pruners. Within about two hours all weeds, briars, and overhanging limbs had been trimmed or removed and the trail was ready to impress the next Rock Creek hikers.

Group photo after Rock Creek work complete

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Possum Gorge With CTC

Ed Swanner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined Chattanooga Track Club members Susan Gallo, Bernice Delaney, David Klinger, and Walt Sinor along with their guests Lucy Stokely of Oakland, California and Alan from Miami, Florida for a 4 mile Possum Gorge hike from Heiss Mountain trail head to Little Possum Creek Bridge construction entrance on Retro Hughes Road.

These Track Club members are a hard core bunch. They were using today’s 4 mile hike to rehabilitate themselves after yesterday’s 12 mile run. I don’t expect we will be joining any of their running events but we will hike with them again.

Group photo on Big Possum Creek Bridge

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

River Gorge Maintenance

Today's work crew consisted of Jane Ellett, Ed Swanner, Earl Helmer, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins. Our goal was to remove a significant obstruction on the River Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail between Snoopers Rock and Natural Bridge. It was only a 1.1 mile hike to the work location but rugged uphill terrain made it feel much longer. Upon arrival we made a “before” group photo and then began the process of clearing the trail. It didn’t take long with a crew of six. After all debris was removed we made an “after” group photo and then began the hike back to our vehicles which were parked at Snoopers Rock. A few more trees were removed along the way and the day ended with lunch on Snoopers Rock.

Group photo before work began

Group photo after trail cleared