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.

Before
During
After

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.

Before

After

Lunch along trail