Saturday, October 22, 2011

Possum Gorge South

Caroline Woerner, Jane Ellett, Maria Cheek, Mike Cheek, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins did a repeat of the October 5 RiverRocks hike where we hiked the southern section of Possum Gorge Trail between Little Possum Creek and Heiss Mountain Road. However today we maintained a casual pace and performed some minor trail maintenance along the way. At Big Possum Creek we met Cindy and Steve Smith with whom we discovered we have much in common. They joined us in our group photo and may join us on future hikes.

Slide show of Bob's photos

Group photo in Big Possum Creek
Climbing down after group photo

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Rock Creek Again

Yesterday we hiked Rock Creek Trail from the upper trail head to the lower trail head via the upper half of the loop trail and the 1.2 mile access trail from the loop to the lower trail head. Today we began at the upper trail head but hiked the lower half of the loop trail and, instead of hiking the 1.2 mile access trail, we hiked down the creek which parallels the access trail. One mile of boulder hopping added much fun to today's event. We should do this again before monsoon rains begin and creeks are flooded.

Today we also learned of another use for the trail. We met two guys, one from Roane County and the other from Hamilton County, that were running radio controlled dune buggies on the trail. Check out Bob's photos for a glimpse of these little machines.

Slide show of Bob's photos

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rock Creek

Jane Ellett, Deb Wilder-Kimberlin, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked a short section of Rock Creek Trail from upper Leggett Road trailhead to lower Leggett Road trailhead via the upper half of the loop trail. We carried a chainsaw and cut one large tree and two smaller trees from the trail along with other smaller debris which was removed by hand. Perfect weather, a casual pace, and a good group of hikers made for an excellent day on the trail.

Slide show of Don's photos

Slide show of Bob's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Piney Maintenance

Jan Agee, TC Varner, and Don Deakins joined Brandy Selman and Ronald Skiles of the state trail maintenance crew for a hike to the Piney River Bridge where a landslide has covered the trail. At least 100 feet of trail is buried under 2 to 3 feet of debris while the middle 50 feet of this 100 foot section is covered with and additional 12 feet of mud, rocks, and trees. This section can probably never be reclaimed without heavy equipment so the trail will have to be rerouted. Although not built to Cumberland Trail specifications, we did construct a temporary route over the landslide which required cutting away numerous trees and building a ramp of stacked rock on which a sure-footed hiker can climb.

Slide show of Don's photos

Group photo on our roughly constructed route over the landslide

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Emory River Gorge

A map request for the Emory River Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail prompted Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins to head to Wartburg in an attempt to locate Nemo Trailhead and collect map data. Thanks to Google Earth and Bob's Garmin Nuvi GPS, we had no problems locating our destination. Once there, we hiked out the 1.3 mile segment, recording GPS data as we explored the trail. This presently is a dead end trail so we had to turn around and retrace our steps back to the vehicle. After completing the hike, we drove many miles on a backwoods gravel road inside Catoosa Wildlife Management Area searching for Daddys Creek Trailhead which we also found with no problems. So today we hiked the Emory River Gorge Trail and learned where the trailheads are located for the Obed Wild Scenic River segment. Now if we can just get the energy to hike this 14 mile section, we will have accomplished something.

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Slideshow of Don's photos

Group photo overlooking Emory River Gorge

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RiverRocks Hike

Twenty seven hikers turned out for today's RiverRocks 4.17 mile hike on the Possum Gorge segment of Cumberland Trail. Although the entire Possum Gorge segment is 9.5 miles long, we hiked only the southern end between Little Possum Creek Bridge and Heiss Mountain Road which provides an excellent representative sample of the entire Cumberland Trail. Hikers that experienced this trail for the first time seemed impressed. We hope to see them again.

Slide show of Don's photos

Slide show of Bob's photos

Group photo on Heiss Mtn Road

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Trail Maintenance

Bob DeHart and Don Deakins hiked portions of Possum Gorge Trail with chain saw removing major obstructions in preparation for October 5 RiverRocks hike. Three obstructions were removed near Little Possum Creek Bridge and one obstruction near Big Possum Creek Bridge. There are at least two more trees across the trail between the bridges which we did not tackle today but they can easily be stepped over.

Obstruction # 1 before
Obstruction # 1 after
Obstruction # 4 before
Obstruction # 4 after