Saturday, March 31, 2012

Poplar Springs

Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins returned to Prentice Cooper today to restore the Poplar Springs Campsite spur trail which had become completely obscured by fallen leaves and downed trees. A few hours of work with chainsaw and rakes had the trail and campsite looking good. After all work was done, we walked down to Lawson Rock Overlook for a lunch break followed by a hike back to the campsite to admire our work. While there we decided to look for Poplar Springs, a water source that was reportedly hard to find. We found it less that 300 feet from the campsite at these coordinates: N35 08.226 W85 23.559. Although it could have provided drinking water today, the flow was minimal so I don't think it can be relied on during the dry season.

Slideshow of Don's photos

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Group photo at Poplar Springs Campsite

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Prentice Cooper Again

Jane Ellett, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins made our second trip this week to Prentice Cooper State Forest where we hiked a 4.9 mile section of Cumberland Trail between the main trail head and Suck Creek Road. We carried pruning shears and folding saws which resulted in a significant amount of trail maintenance being performed. We also made a side trip to Poplar Springs Campsite and found the trail was completely buried under fallen leaves and downed trees. It apparently has seen little or no use. Although the spur trail to the campsite is only 890 feet long, it would have been difficult to find the site without the help of GPS. We decided to dedicate an upcoming maintenance hike to restoration of this trail. Fortunately, we can drive right to the work site so we won't have to hike a long distance carrying chainsaws and other tools.

Slideshow of Don's photos

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Group photo at Little Stone Door

Monday, March 26, 2012

Prentice Cooper

Caroline Woerner, Jane Ellett, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins returned to Prentice Cooper today for a 3.5 mile hike which began at the trail crossing on Tower Drive near Snoopers Rock. From there we hiked down to Snoopers Rock, then on to Indian Rock House, and finally back to the main trail head. Temperature was comfortable when we started but by hike's end was getting warm. Wild flowers were in bloom all along the trail and bugs were out in full force. Looks like spring has sprung in a big way.

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Slideshow of Don's photos

Group photo at Indian Rock House

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Roaring Creek

Today's hike took us to Roaring Creek, the just completed section of Cumberland Trail in Graysville. Our goal was to obtain GPS data and measure the length of this new section with a measuring wheel. We found the length of the entire section from trail head kiosk to the overlook was 9580 feet or 1.8 miles. The first 4120 feet (.78 mile) is an old, relatively level jeep road. The remaining 5460 feet (1.03 miles) is a beautiful new footpath through very rocky terrain and is an uphill climb all the way to an overlook where the trail temporarily ends. The spectacular view from the overlook is definitely worth the climb.

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Group photo on new Roaring Creek Trail

Saturday, March 17, 2012

GPS Data Collection

Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked into the Board Camp Creek area of Soddy Gorge trail segment to obtain GPS data and length measurements of the recently rerouted trail section that now runs along Board Camp Creek and circumvents an old eroded jeep trail that previously provided passage through this area. We learned that the rerouted section is 1475 feet or .28 mile long and is 110 feet shorter than the section it replaces. All of our track-logs, maps, and trail measurements have been updated to reflect this slight change. This revised data along with other trail data we have collected is available here.

Group photo along Board Camp Creek

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Maintenance Hike

Jane Ellett, Ava Navin, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked with chainsaw into Big Possum Gorge to remove a couple of trees from the trail that Ava discovered on a recent hike. One tree was about half way to Bare Point and the other was on Bare Point. After cutting the second tree, we continued on to Big Possum Creek Bridge where we took an extended break and during that break, cut a few of the logs in the log jam just a few feet upstream from the bridge. During our climb out of the gorge, we encountered George Bonneau on the trail. He had come to help with the tree removal but was just a little too late. Next time we will work a little slower.

Group photo on Big Possum Creek

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Board Camp Creek

Judy Varner, TC Varner, and Don Deakins hiked into the Board Camp Creek area of Cumberland Trail off highway 111 to check out the just completed rerouted section of trail. This new section runs along Board Camp Creek and circumvents the old rough eroded jeep trail that previously provide a route through the Board Camp area. Although it is a 2.4 mile hike back to where the new segment begins, it is well worth the walk as this is one of the nicest sections on the entire Cumberland Trail.

Group photo on new trail along Board Camp Creek

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ransom Hollow

Today's Prentice Cooper hike from Snoopers Rock parking area to Ransom Hollow Overlook just happened to fall on another day of perfect weather. As usual we made numerous stops to remove fallen trees from the trail, at least the ones that didn't require a chainsaw and we made an extended stop at Ransom Hollow Overlook for a lunch break. After lunch we took in the view and enjoyed the tranquility.

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Group photo at Ransom Hollow Overlook

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mullens Cove

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Bob DeHart, Caroline Woerner, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins hiked the approximate 3.6 mile segment of Mullens Cove loop that begins at Haley Road and is directly above Mullens Creek. Although recent weather has been spring-like, today's cooler temperature in conjunction with the wind provided inspiration to keep moving. We did however stop numerous time to remove trail obstructions that did not require a chainsaw and documented three more trees across the trail that will require a chainsaw. As we left Prentice Cooper, we decided to return on Wednesday and hike out to Ransom Hollow Overlook.

Slideshow of Don's photos

Slideshow of Bob's photos

Group photo at Mullens Cove Overlook

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Big Possum Creek

A late morning discussion with TC Varner prompted an impromptu hike from Heiss Mountain Road down to Big Possum Creek Bridge. At the bridge, Judy Varner, TC Varner, and Don Deakins hiked upstream a short distance and found a suitable place for a snack break. After eating, taking a group photo, and solving many of the world's problems, we began our hike back to Heiss Mountain Road and headed home so we could prepare for tomorrow's hike at Prentice Cooper State Forest.

Group photo on Big Possum Creek

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rock Creek

Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, Don Deakins, and Ava Navin along with her well behaved Molly made a 5.2 mile round trip hike from Leggett Road upper trail head to Rock Creek Campsite and back in perfect weather. Looks like spring is already here and this warm weather is bringing out  bugs and snakes. We saw two seldom seen little ringneck snakes on the trail and brought home two ticks. Looks like it is time to get out the bug repellent and start watching for more dangerous snakes underfoot.

Group photo at Rock Creek Campsite