The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club




Bald River Falls


Cherokee Hiking Club Calendar




Hike Difficulty Rating Scale (per Chattanooga Hiking Club)
Archive of past calendars 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Check out the Sequoyah Hiking Club and the Hiwassee Hiking Club Activities

2011 Hike Schedule as PDF File

Jan     Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

Tennessee Wild Hike/Backpack Schedule
Benton MacKaye Trail Assn Hike Schedule



Sun, Jan 9 - Annual Calendar Planning Meeting, 2 PM, Family Resource Agency offices located at 3680 Michigan Avenue Road in Cleveland.

Sun, Jan 16 - Athens Regional Park. 2PM. 3.1 mile gentle hike. Contact Jane Bohannon (745-9534). This is a joint hike with the Hiwassee Hiking Club.

Sat, Jan 29 - Metcalf Bottoms to Tremont in the GSMNP - 9.2 miles, MS. Contact Randy Morris (650-0485)


Thu, Feb 10 - Monthly Meeting - 6:30 PM at Ryans in Cleveland

Fri, Feb 11 - Dry Pond Lead Trail Hike - Leader Karen Morgan (see March Newsletter for info on this impromptu hike)

Sun, Feb 20 - Twin Rocks Trail (Cumberland Side Trail) - 2.5 mi, E. Contact Bob Lee (568-2501). This is a joint hike with the Hiwassee Hiking Club.

Sat, Feb 26 - Thunder Rock Campground on BMT - 5 mi, M. Contact Clayton Pannell (263-9730)


Thu, Mar 10 - Monthly Meeting - 6:30 PM at Ryans in Cleveland

Sat, Mar 12 - Annual Tellico Cleanup - 8AM, Tellico Ranger Station, free T-shirt for those who get there early

Sun, Mar 13 - Turtletown Falls - 4 mi, M. Contact Marc Bernatti (261-2573)

Sat, Mar 19 - Walls of Jericho - 6 mi MS. Contact Leon Bates (338-4092) & Jennifer Schroll (284-1256)

Sat, Mar 26 - Hens Wallow Falls in GSMNP - 4.2 mi E to M. Contact Lettie & Phillip Burress (479-2063), Randy Morris (650-0485)


Sat, Apr 2 - Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Project - Contact Debbie Flower (476-3907)

Sun, Apr 3 - John Muir Trail Cleanup - 3-6 mi E. Contact Clayton Pannell (263-9730) & Debbie Flower (476-3907)

Sat, Apr 9 - Enterprise South Trails at Volkswagen Road Exit 9, I-75. Contact Jennifer Schroll (284-1256) MAP

Thu, Apr 14 - Joint Hiwassee & Cherokee Hiking Club Mtg, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, Etowah at 6:30 PM. Richard Taylor with TEMA Search and Rescue will be the guest speaker for the April 14 meeting. He will be giving a powerpoint presentation which will include information on the bear attack at Benton Falls and the 2009 electrocution of a young man who climbed a high tension tower.

Sun, Apr 17 - Lady Slipper Trail, CNF - 4 mi M, off trail. Contact Jimmy Drinnon (650-1244) OPEN TO MEMBERS ONLY

M-F, Apr 25-29 - Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage. Contact Leon Bates (338-4092)

Sat, Apr 30 - BMT Section 5 Wilscot Gap to Shallowford Bridge - 7.7 mi S. Contact Randy Morris (650-0485)


Sat, May 7 - Piney River Trail (Cumberland Trail) - 10 mi M. Shuttle. Contact Rick Harris (253-6358) & Rhonda Morgan (559-2869)

Thu, May 12 - Monthly Meeting - Home of Leon Bates (338-4092), 6:30 PM (talk on AT Thru-Hike by Ralph Jones)

Sun, May 22 - Indian Boundary Loop Trail - 3.2 mi, E. Contact Bob Lee (568-2501). This is a joint hike with the Hiwassee Hiking Club.

Sat, May 28 - Rock Creek Loop Trail (Cumberland Trail) - 3.3 mi, M. Contact Kenneth Johnson (238-4150)


Sat, Jun 4 - National Trails Day, Hikes to Falls Branch Falls & Whigg Meadow, pitch in lunch along Skyway - 6.5 mi, MS. Contact Rick Harris 423-253-6358 or,

Sun, Jun 5 - Falls Branch Falls & Whigg Meadow on BMT - 6.5 mi, MS. Contact Rick Harris 423-253-6358 or, (Cherokee Hiking Club Hikes). Plan to meet at Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center at 10 AM for Falls Branch Hike (~2.6 miles round trip), and at Visitor Center at 2 PM for Whigg Meadow Hike (~3.5 miles round trip). Please call in advance. If doing both hikes, bring a lunch to eat between the hikes.

Sat-Sun, Jun 11-12 - Big Frog Backpack. 8 mi, S. Contact Jimmy Drinnon (650-1244) CANCELLED, TO BE RESCHEDULED IN THE FALL

F-Sun, Jun 17-19 - Campout at Elkmont CG GSMNP - Hiwassee Hiking Club activity, but Cherokee Hiking Club members are welcome. Contact Sherrie Stewart by March 1 if you plan to go (507-7905)  Limited number of campsites. Will break camp on Sun. a.m. Easy to Moderate trail-hiking and synchronized firefly observation.

Sat, Jun 18 - Bald River Trail - 4.5 m E. Contact Ken Jones (745-2451) (BMTA Hike)

Sun, Jun 26 - Rhododendrum Trail - 2.5 mi E. Contact Jane Bohannon (745-9534)


Sun, Jul 3 - Monthly Meeting - Home of Ann & Bill Gray

Sun, Jul 10 - Hiwassee River Canoe Trip - US411 to Two Rivers CG. Contact Clayton Pannell (263-9730)

Sun, Jul 24 - Scenic Spur Trail - 3.5 mi E. Contact Jane Bohannon (745-9534)


Sat, Aug 13 - Donley Cabin & Brookshire Creek - 4.5 mi E. Contact Jane Bohannon (745-9534)

Sun, Aug 14 - Hiwassee River Canoe Trip - Gee Creek to Patty Bridge. Contact Clayton Pannell (263-9730)

Sat, Aug 20 - Hooper Bald and Huckleberry Knob - 3.5 mi E. Contact Bob Lee (568-2501). Joint hike with Hiwassee Hiking Club


Sat, Sep 10 - Hangover & Bob Bald - 10 mi MS - Contact Rick Harris (253-6358)

Sat, Sep 10 - Monthly Meeting - At Rick & Brenda Harris's home after the hike about 4 PM (253-6358)

Sun, Sep 11 - Unicoi Turnpike - 3 mi E. Contact Marc Bernatti (261-2573)

Sun, Sep 18 - Jeffrey Hell - South Fork Citico Creek - 8.2 miles MD - Rick & Brenda Harris hiked this trail today on the spur of the moment. Check out the map and pictures.

Sat, Sep 24 - Rock Creek near Ocoee Whitewater Center - 7 mi, M. Contact Carol Kamm (338-4588) CANCELLED


Sat, Oct 1 - Coker Creek Falls Trail - 3.5 mi, M. Contact Marc Bernatti (261-2573)

Sat, Oct 8 - John Muir Trail Cleanup - 3-6 mi E. Contact Clayton Pannell (263-9730) & Debbie Flower (476-3907)

Saturday October 8 will be our trail work day. We will also be picking up trash and lopping. We are planning to do some re-grading of the trail in places where the trail is getting very rough and working way down hill near the river. I will have some tools, but we may need more, so bring tools to dig with, gloves and a hard hat if you have one. Also bring some water and a packed lunch. Steve Biatowas from the Forest Service plans to be there, so please join us! If you have any questions or for times and directions, call clayton at 423-263-9730 or e-mail

The BMTA American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacation Work Week is Oct 10-14: Just a reminder to all you people that this is coming up this coming week. All you BMTA/CHC members and trail maintainers are welcome to help on work days and to come to the evening presentations. Below is the schedule. If you come for an evening program, the Ranger Station gate may be closed, but not locked. Enter and then close (but not lock) the gate behind you. The presentations will all be in the Ranger House on the right by the circle drive. Summary of the week with pictures.

The 9 volunteers will arrive by 4PM at the Tellico Ranger Station near Tellico Plains, TN, all by car. They will get all their gear into the Ranger House and prepare supper.

7PM - Rick Harris, TN/NC Maintenance Director for the BMTA, will give a powerpoint presentation on the Benton MacKaye Trail and go over the plans for the week and answer questions.

NOTE: Each day there will be several helpers who will provide transportation and direct the projects. The helpers will change each day for the most part, but at least 2 or 3 will be the same all through the week.

8AM - 4 PM: We will go to Farr Gap and head up the Fodderstack Trail section of the BMT and do tread work near the intersection of the BMT with the Mill Branch Trail. This section of the trail is open to horses. Then we will again return to the Ranger Station by 4PM and eat supper.

7PM - Joanne Mitchell of the SABCH (Southern Appalachian Back Country Horsemen) will give a presentation on horse trail maintenance and other aspects of horse trails in the region. She will also point out how horse groups can work together with hiker groups in maintaining the many miles of trails in our national forests. In the Tellico Ranger District, often horse crews are helping us hikers work on hiking only trails, and the hiker groups are often helping the horse crews on horse only trails.

8AM - 4PM: We will return to the BMT again at Farr Gap, but this time work on the Stiffknee Trail section of the BMT doing tread work and putting up some trail signs. Return to the Ranger Station by about 4PM and eat supper.

7PM Ė We will have a presentation by the Ranger Staff on the Tellico Ranger District, Cherokee National Forest. We will hear about bear management, what trees are dying in our forests, and how to manage volunteer maintenance crews. We may also hear about how bears from the mountains around here were reintroduced successfully onto the Cumberland Plateau to our west.

Fun day. We plan to offer a hike to Whigg Meadow at 5000' along the BMT and to the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest where the big huge trees are. Afterwards we will return to the Ranger Station then will go down to the Tellico Outpost for wood fired pizza and mountain music by Mike and Debra Rogers of the Mud Gap Band.

8AM - 4 PM: We will go to the Big Frog Wilderness down near the Ocoee River and put up several new trail signs on the BMT and may do some tread work. We have quite a hike to get to the last sign location, near the top of Big Frog Mountain. The whole group does not need to go all the way to the top. This will be open to those who volunteer to go all the way to the top, quite a challenge. Then back for dinner at the Ranger Station which will likely be a cookout with all volunteers and helpers as well as ranger staff invited to attend.

7PM - Presentation on Wilderness by Jeff Hunter and Bill Hodge, both deeply involved in Wilderness designation efforts. Bill Hodge is director of SAWS (Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards) which supports use of non-motorized tools in the wilderness by conducting seminars and courses on the use of primitive tools and leading many work trips and fun hikes in wilderness areas. Jeff Hunter is the Tennessee Field Organizer of SAFC (Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition).

8AM - 4PM:  We will go to the section along the Hiwassee River to install a sign and do some treadwork. Then back for dinner at the Ranger Station.
7PM - Final program with handing out certificates of appreciation and debriefing of the week (what went well and what needs improvement and suggestions to us for future AHS VVs).

Eat breakfast and you all are on your way back home.

Thu, Oct 13 - Monthly Meeting - Home of Al Rymer

Sat, Oct 22 - Fierry Gizzard Trail - 7-10 mi MS. Contact Randy Morris (650-0485)


Saturday, Nov 5 - BMT Sandy Gap to Unicoi Gap - 8 mi, MS. Contact Rick Harris (253-6358)

Thu, Nov 10 - Montly Meeting

Sun, Nov 13 - Fort Loudoun State Park Trails - 3.25-3.75 mi E. Contact Bob Lee (568-2501). Joint hike with Hiwassee Hiking Club

Sat, Nov 19 - Annual Linda Davis Memorial Chattanooga River Walk - 8 mi E. Contact Esther Nunley, 423-507-8817

Sat, Nov 19 - Tallassee Mtn near Farr Gap - contact Rick Harris for more info

We would head N & E from Farr Gap over (or around, I'd like to check a route there) Stiffknee Top onto Tallassee Mt. to investigate old routes suitable for trails recently acquired by the USFS. A likely route crosses First Creek to a ridge (recently burned by lightning) that ends at a cliff S of the Little TN River, across from the Tail of the Dragon & Smoky Mt. National Park. (Tallassee is an old Cherokee word meaning "sounds like motorcycles".)  Rating: strenuous, steep, not on maintained trails, at least 2 water crossings. Bring food, water, bear mace, flashlight and wear orange because hog hunting is now legal all year. Route may change according to developments, demand, and scheduling. We should leave early. Please tell me ( by Thursday 17 Nov. the earliest time you can get to the Cherohala visitor center Saturday morn (on the Cherohala Skyway, TN-165, third building on the L from Hwy. 68, Tellico Plains). The plan so far is to decide a time, declare it Friday by return message, meet and car pool near dawn Saturday 19 Nov.

Report on hike: Richard Foster (hike leader) and one guest departed Farr Gap near dawn, using the Benton MacKaye Trail until they reached Stiffknee Top, then they crossed the Top to Tallassee Mountain, our destination. Our objective on this hike was to find a reasonable route to an elevation over the Little Tennessee River, and we achieved it.  The route was exactly as hoped, a conveniently located (although not maintained) old roadbed.  We called the overlook Two Lakes Cliff for its view of both Chilhowee and Calderwood Lakes, and the Calderwood Dam. The route to Two Lakes Cliff crossed First Creek near the lower US Forest Service boundary.  We saw some species of rhododendron and blueberry bushes with dried berries.  Who knew November was blueberry season? The route back climbed the northerly Unicoi Trail and circled the First Creek watershed.  The return was more difficult than expected.  I estimated that there would be a fire trail blazed by a fire crew during one of last summerís fires.  My estimate of the location of this fire was wrong, however.  Instead, we found several old roadbeds, but they generally ran in cross directions. Their routes could be used for future expeditions.  We found the eastern end of the old road (a section of the Benton MacKaye Trail) around Stiffknee Top by following that roadbed from its western curve.


Fri, Dec 2 - Tallassee Mtn near Farr Gap

Second expedition from Farr Gap
Hike leader: Richard Foster, rating: strenuous, length: ?
This hike will start early on Friday 2 December, probably for most of the day, schedule adjustable. We would head N from Farr Gap toward the Little TN River to find forest fire locations in the Milligan Creek watershed. Continuation of the trip to Chilhowee Lake and views off the cliff end of Tallassee Mt. are possible, depending on attendee ambition. We would use a known route on old roadbeds and cleared by firefighters. Rating: strenuous, not on maintained trails, likely to be steep and have water crossings. Bring food, water, bear mace, flashlight and wear orange because hog hunting is now legal all year. Route may change according to developments, demand, and scheduling. We should start early. How about meeting at the Cherohala visitor center at or before dawn Friday morn, 2 Dec.? (Itís on the Cherohala Skyway, TN-165, third building on the L from Hwy. 68, Tellico Plains). If there are enough people for multiple cars we may divide to accommodate different departure schedules. A GPS will be useful if you plan to leave early. Please contact Richard Foster at 442-2849, 536-8353 or for more information.

Sat, Dec 3 - Foster Falls on Cumberland Plauteau. 6-7 milesómod. strenuous overall, but strenuous in spots-- rocky conditions, Contact Randy Morris (650-0485)

Sun, Dec 4 - Annual Christmas Party and Gift Exchange - 1:30 PM at Big Bear Cove Restaurant

Sat, Dec 10 - Tallassee Mtn near Farr Gap

Third expedition from Farr Gap
This is short notice and you all may have other plans, but just so you know: You folks all seem to have an interest in the Tallasse Mt. area. I like to show the place around and will probably be going back Saturday, aiming for Two Lakes Cliff. The Tallassee Creek Cascade is a possible additional destination if we make particularly good time. Would any of you like to accompany myself & Chris Fox from Farr Gap? We'd be starting early, around 6 AM. The plan is to return to Farr Gap before dark. Rating: strenuous, not on maintained trails, steep in places and with at least 3 water crossings. Bring food, water, bear mace, flashlight and wear orange because hog hunting is now legal all year.
.Please contact Richard Foster at 442-2849, 536-8353 or for more information.