Saturday, February 27, 2010

Map and Explore # 3

Today was the last planned day of exploration and mapping of the newly acquired 3300 acres on Dayton and Graysville Mountain where a new segment of Cumberland Trail will be built. Most foot trails; Hummer trails; topographic features such as overlooks, creeks, etc.; areas suitable for trail; and areas not suitable for trail have been documented photographically and labeled with GPS coordinates. This information will be entered into a database which will be used to determine the route of the new trail.

Documenting an overlook high above Roaring Creek


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Clemmons Point

Don Deakins, Carol Deakins, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Jane Ellett, Bob McGavock, and Earl Helmer performed a trail inspection in Soddy Gorge on the section of trail between Sluder Lane trailhead and Clemmons Point. We found numerous downed trees in the 1+ mile section of trail, some of which we were able to remove with the help of hand saws. However, most debris remains and will be removed with chainsaws on a maintenance hike.

Group photo at Sluder Lane trail head


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Map and Explore # 2

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob McGavock, Bob Dehart, Bill Leiper, Ed Swanner, Caroline Woerner, Judy Varner, Jane Ellett, Teresa Jordan, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined a group of Chattanooga Rock Climbers, the Cumberland Trail maintenance crew, assorted individuals, and a crew of park rangers for our second day of mapping and exploring the recently acquired 3300 acres on Dayton Mountain.

Although my team did not encounter scenery to compare with last Saturday’s exploration, we did happen upon something unusual, a friendly deer. We were just a few hundred yards from our destination when the deer joined our group. It followed us to our destination on Brayton Road where it wandered among the houses until a pack of dogs chased it back into the woods.

Slide show of Don's photos

Encountered a friendly deer on Graysville Mountain


Friday, February 19, 2010

More Trail Maintenance

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob DeHart, Ed Swanner, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Jan Agee, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined trail runners Dreama Campbell, Lance Steele, Michael Hawkins; Cumberland Trail maintenance crew Brandy Selman, TC Varner, Brad Johnson; Cumberland Trail general manager Tony Hook; and Pete Berntsen for a day of chainsaw work in Possum Gorge. Recent snow and ice storms have downed many trees and in some places the tangled mess was impenetrable causing hikers to leave the trail to search for a route around. Although there is still work to be done, hikers can now walk the entire segment without leaving the trail.

We saw numerous tangles like this


Chainsaws got a workout today


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lawson Rock

Bob DeHart, Matt Stullich, Bob McGavock, Earl Helmer, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins planned to hike from main trail head in Prentice Cooper State Forest to Snoopers Rock but, due to dangerous road conditions, the road into Prentice Cooper was closed so we instead parked on State Highway 27 and hiked to Lawson Rock inside Prentice Cooper. After reaching Lawson Rock, we took a short side trip down a spur trail in an attempt to locate Popular Springs campsite and, although it was a little farther than anticipated, we did find the camp. Remainder of hike consisted of a return to Lawson Rock for a snack break before returning to vehicles which completed the 4.5 mile round trip.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Popular Springs campsite


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Map and Explore # 1

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob McGavock, George Bonneau, Bob DeHart, Joanne Denise, Earl Helmer, Sarah Hurt, Bill Leiper, Ed Swanner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined a group of Chattanooga Rock Climbers and a crew of park rangers for a day of mapping and exploring the recently acquired 3300 acres on Dayton Mountain. This property will encompass an approximate 10 mile section of Cumberland Trail from Dayton to Graysville area. Mapping and exploration was not completed today and will continue for at least two more weekends.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More Trail Maintenance

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob DeHart, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Judy Varner, Bob McGavock, Jane Ellett, George Bonneau, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined the Cumberland Trail maintenance crew composed of TC Varner, Brandy Selman, and Brad Johnson for our second day of trail maintenance this week. Our goal today was to inspect and clear all trail in Rock Creek segment. To accomplish this we split up into three groups. The Cumberland Trail maintenance crew took the long section from Leggett Road upper trail head to Retro Hughes trail head. The second group took the upper half of Rock Creek loop trail while the third group took the lower half of Rock Creek loop trail. Group 2 and 3 met near the connector trail junction and hiked out together on the connector trail to Leggett Road lower trail head. Since there were fewer downed trees on the trail than anticipated, we finished sooner than expected so we loaded up and drove to Hotwater Road to remove trees from the section of trail between Hotwater Road and Posey Point. At day's end we can report that Rock Creek trail is clear and a short segment of Soddy Gorge from Sluder Lane to Posey Point is clear.

Slide show of Don's photos

Monday, February 8, 2010

Trail Maintenance

Soddy Daisy TTA members Bob DeHart, Jan Agee, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Judy Varner, Bob McGavock, Sarah Hurt, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined the Cumberland Trail maintenance crew composed of TC Varner, Brandy Selman, and Brad Johnson for a day of trail maintenance. A result of recent snow and ice storms, many trees have fallen across the trail. We spent the day with chainsaws removing some of those trees on a short section that runs through the Little Soddy Historic Mining Area along Hotwater Road in Soddy.

Removing downed trees from Cumberland Trail


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Davis Pond

A questionable weather forecast did not keep Bob DeHart, Caroline Woerner, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Sarah Hurt, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins from hiking at Prentice Cooper State Forest as planned. Although there was snow and sleet blowing around when we arrived, it did not discourage us. After meeting at the main trail head, we then drove over to Davis Pond where this off-trail hike began. Upon arrival at Davis Pond, we made a group photo at pond’s edge, fired up GPS devices, and off we went to Raccoon Mountain Overlook. We planned to hike off-trail for the entire trek but it just so happened that we were able to follow an old jeep trail most of the way to the overlook which made for an easy walk. The remainder of the hike to McNabb Gulf camp and then back to Davis Pond was anything but easy. Most of that segment was on rugged steep terrain or busting through brush. Of course, that is what we went for, so there were no complaints.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo at Davis Pond in Prentice Cooper


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Trail Inspection

Soddy Daisy TTA members George Bonneau, Nance Jo Ogozalek, Jan Agee, Jane Ellett, Bob McGavock, Bob DeHart, and Don Deakins were joined by Carol Wunk for an inspection of the segment of Cumberland Trail that parallels Hotwater Road in Soddy. We discovered much more damage than anticipated. The trail was littered with fallen limbs and downed trees, the result of recent snow and ice. Most of the small debris was removed but a day or two of cutting with chain saws will be required to remove the numerous trees across the trail. We have tentative plans to start tomorrow, weather permitting.

Group photo in Little Soddy Historic Mining Area