Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Rock Creek with CHC

Judy Varner, TC Varner, Sue LaGraff, Rick Rogers, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins joined the Chattanooga Hiking Club for a Rock Creek Loop hike. We began at the Leggett Road Lower Trailhead on the 1.2 mile long access trail which connects the lower trailhead to the main trail. Upon arrival at the main trail, we turned right and proceeded uphill on the upper half of Rock Creek Loop. Near the top we took a short-cut over to Leggett Point Overlook. Although the view was excellent, cold wind made it a little too uncomfortable for a lunch break so we headed back down into Rock Creek Gorge where we stopped for lunch along the creek. After lunch we retraced our steps back down the access trail and returned to the parking lot to end an excellent day on the trail.

Don's photos

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo at Leggett Rd Lower Trailhead

Monday, October 29, 2012

Soddy Gorge North

Our plans to meet Tony Hook and crew at Back Country Bridge didn't pan out as Tony had to complete construction of a temporary bridge across Big Soddy Creek for the upcoming UpChuck Trail Race. We did however work at the Back Country Bridge. The bridge is rapidly approaching an unsafe condition. Rather than build a new bridge, the trail is being rerouted upstream of the bridge where hikers can boulder hop across the creek. We spent our time at the bridge site roughing in the new trail. The remainder of our six hours on the trail were spent removing trail obstructions. We didn't carry a chain saw today so two trees remain across the trail but they can easily be stepped over.

Don's photos

Group photo at rock house above Board Camp Creek

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

S Chick Greenway

We were due for a hike without a chain saw so, at Bob DeHarts' suggestion, we drove down to Sterchi Farm City Park and hiked a portion of South Chickamauga Creek Greenway. Except for a short encounter with two runners and one photographer, we had it all to ourselves. Ideal weather along with exceptional scenery made this 4.5 mile round trip an event to remember.

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo on boardwalk along S Chickamauga Creek

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maintenance Hike

Today's maintenance hike covered the section of trail between Sluder Lane trailhead and Posey Point. It has only been a few short months ago that this trail was clear but apparently high winds have taken their toll. There were enough trees on the trail to keep us busy for 5 hours but ideal weather made it enjoyable. We will now sit back and wait on the next wind storm so we can go back and do it again.

Carol's photos

Bob's photos

Group photo at 1st trail obstruction

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Soddy Gorge

Today's hike from Sluder Lane out to Posey Point and on to Deep Creek was planned as an inspection but we found numerous trail obstructions, some of which we could remove by hand with the assistance of rope and hand saws. Others were much too big. Therefore we are planning another hike on the same section of trail but we will be carrying a chainsaw instead of hand saws.

Bob's photos

Group photo in Soddy Gorge above Deep Creek

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rock Creek

We spent almost the entire day on Rock Creek Trail between Retro Hughes Road and Upper Leggett Road Trailheads. Much of that time was devoted to pruning along the trail with pruning shears and loppers but a substantial amount of time was spent with the chain saw. We cut trees on the trail and trees hanging over the trail that would have eventually fallen on the trail. We can now report that the entire Rock Creek segment including the Access Trail from Lower Legget Road Trailhead, Rock Creek Loop, and the main trail from Boiling Springs to Retro Hughes Road is now clear and ready for the November 10th UpChuck Trail Race.

Group photo at biggest tree we cut today

Big beech tree has been removed from trail

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rock Creek Access

Today's maintenance hike encompassed only the Rock Creek Access Trail which stretches between Lower Leggett Road Trailhead and Cumberland Trail where the access trail intersects Rock Creek Loop. This short segment is 1.2 miles long which resulted in a 2.4 mile round trip. Our To-Do list contained only one tree that required removal but we encountered numerous other smaller trail obstruction which we also took care of.

Bob's photos

Today's crew along Rock Creek

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rock Creek Loop

Although we removed all downed trees from Rock Creek Loop trail on July 29th, it again sorely needed the services of a chainsaw and Judy Varner, TC Varner, Emily Duncan, Caroline Woerner, Bob DeHart, Carol Deakins, and Don Deakins were willing to provide the manpower required to assist the saw. Fortunately we had a good size crew as we encountered more trees on the trail than anticipated. We can now report that Rock Creek Loop is in excellent condition, at least until the next tree falls.

Bob's photos

Group photo on Rock Creek

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Maintenance Hike

Today's maintenance hike was in response to a report we received about two big trees blocking the Soddy Gorge Trail between Mowbray Pike and Hotwater Road. We encountered numerous other trees on the trail which could either be stepped over or climbed under but the two big ones were impenetrable and forced hikers off the trail. After 5 hours on this 4.9 mile section of trail with our Stihl chainsaw, this section of trail is again in excellent shape.

Bob's photos

Group photo on Soddy Gorge Trail between Mowbray Pike and Hotwater Rd