Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Cherokee Hiking Club Calendar
Hike Difficulty Rating Scale (per Chattanooga Hiking Club)
Check out the
CHC Hike Calendar for 2018 - good for printing - Coming Soon
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Benton MacKaye Trail Assn Hike Schedule
January 7, 2018 - Sunday. Annual Planning Meeting. We will meet at 2 PM at the Family Resource Center, 3680 Michigan Ave Rd NE, Cleveland, TN, hosted by James Anderson. Led by Jack Callahan.
Everyone interested in planning an event or leading a hike is encouraged to attend. New or interested perspective members are always welcome. Club will provide soft drinks. Refreshments are not required, but always welcome. James Anderson is our host.
Everyone proposing a hike or event should have the following descriptive information typed or written out on a slip of paper; one per each slip. The information should contain:
- the location of the hike
- trail name and number (if known)
- difficulty rating
- meet up time and location
- carpool information if applicable
- length of the hike in miles
- any special considerations, as stream crossings, or other conditions that will affect hikers needs
- hike leader and their contact information
- number of hikers allowed if limited
- approximate date you would like to conduct the hike. If hike/event must be held on a specific date please specify.
Your write-up will be assembled on 3-hole punch paper (Jack will provide paper and glue stick) for notebook assembly.
Jan 19 - Friday - BMTA Hike from TN68 to Coker Creek, then up to Coker Creek Falls - Leader: Ed and Clare Sullivan. 7 miles, moderate. For further information, contact Ed or Clare at EdSulli@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. This hike has been moved from the 12th Jan to the 19th Jan due to the 100% chance of rain on the 12th.
Hike Report: Seven members from the Cherokee Hiking Club enjoyed the Benton MacKaye hike on January 19, 2018. They hiked from Coker's Creek cascading waterfalls to the trails junction with Section 14 of the BMT at the long wooden trail bridge, 3 miles. Following lunch upward they went to the gap where the BMT intersects with the Unicoi Mountain Trail/John Muir Trail. Linda Kryssing, Sue Robinson, Mary MacEachron, Rick and Brenda Harris, along with Clare and Ed Sullivan started the hike in 19 degree temps with snow and ice. The warm rays of 42 degrees greeted them after lunch. It was a gorgeous Winter day to get out and enjoy the beautiful falls and the views of the Hiwassee River and Starr Mountain
Jan 25-28 - SEFTC Winter Hike Week in the Smokies
Winter Hike Week
Jan 25-28, 2018
Music Road Inn in Pigeon Forge
The Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition will hold their annual Leadership Conference meeting and winter hiking event this coming January 25-28, 2018, at the Music Road Inn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The hiking component of this event is meant to continue the winter hiking tradition popularized for 25 years by Wilderness Wildlife Week, an annual winter event, now being held in May due to winter scheduling conflicts. The appeal of winter hiking in the Smokies, although not for everyone, has a sizeable following and SEFTC is glad to resurrect this winter hiking opportunity.
The evenings will include a Friday Leadership Conference gathering at 4:30 which everyone is welcome to attend. Election of officers will occur at this meeting, too. It will end no later than 7:00 p.m. Saturday evening there will be a presentation by a special speaker between 7 and 9 p.m., with doors opening at 6:00. Both these meetings will be held across the street in the conference center which is part of the Music Road Resort, also a throwback to the Wilderness Wildlife Week events held at the Resort. Please join us!!!
SEFTC will be offering multiple hikes daily, beginning Thursday, running through Sunday. The hike schedule is below and hike sign up will be handled on-site beginning Wednesday afternoon, Jan 24. Hikers will carpool from the hotel. Experienced hike leaders will accompany each outing. There will be a $35 fee to attend this event. Details follow. We are expecting this event to sell out and urge participants to make room reservations now.
You may reserve rooms for this event at the Music Road Inn, 303 Henderson Chapel Road, Pigeon Forge, TN at 1-855-790-4646. On-line reservations at our group rates are not available.
Day Date 2 Queens
Wednesday-Sunday Jan 24-28 $75 Sales tax of 9.75% and lodging tax of 2.5% is applicable to all rooms
SEFTC Winter Hike Week - January, 2018
The schedule below is subject to change. It is our intent to offer all these hikes. However, we may find it necessary to make changes based on participation level, leader availability and weather. As changes occur and hike leaders are assigned, this schedule will be updated. Hike signups will be conducted on-site at our registration table in the lobby of the Music Road Inn beginning Wednesday Jan 24 at 2pm. Registration table will open throughout the event in the mornings as hikers assemble and again later in the day as hikers return from outings.
As updated Sept 2017
WEDNESDAY, JAN 24
W1 - 2 PM Short Hike for Early-Bird Arrivals - New park accessibility trail and other short treks near Sugarlands Visitor Center (small waterfall included) - 2.5 to 3.5 mi – E - Leader: George Owen
THURSDAY, JAN. 25
T1 - 8:30 AM Schoolhouse Gap and Turkeypen Ridge Trails - 4.5 mi. - shuttle – E
T2 - 8:30 AM Finley Cane and West Prong Trails to Tremont – 5.5 mi. – shuttle – M – Leader: George Owen
T3 - Schoolhouse Gap & Chestnut Top Trails - 6.4 mi. - shuttle – M
T4 - 8 AM Trillium Gap Trail to Brushy Mountain and back, including Grotto Falls - 10.0 mi – out and back from end of Cherokee Orchard Loop - D – Leader: Rick & Brenda Harris
T5 - 8 AM Mt Cammerer from Cosby – 12 mi. – D – This is a long and quite difficult hike which might be snowed out. Think twice before signing up - Leader: Jim Plant
FRIDAY, JAN. 26
F1 - 8:30 AM Cherokee Orchard trailhead to Rainbow Falls & return - 5.6 mi. – M
F2 - 8:30 AM Cades Cove Loop Rd. to Abrams Falls and return - 5.0 mi. – M
F3 - 8 AM Gabes Mountain Trail to Hen Wallow Falls and back – 5.0 mi. – out and back from Cosby - M – Leader: Rick & Brenda Harris
F4 - 8 AM Little River, Huskey Gap, & Sugarland Mtn. trails to Fighting Creek Gap - 7.9 - shuttle – M – Leader: George Owen
F5 - 8:30 AM 8 AM Ramsey Cascades - 8 mi. – out and back from Greenbrier Rd – D
SATURDAY, JAN. 27
S1 - 9 AM Finley Cane, Bote Mtn. northwest back to Laurel Creek Rd - 4.3 – E
S2 - 8:30 AM Porters Creek Tr. - 7.2 – out and back - M
S3 - 8:30 AM Loop from Cherokee Orchard with two waterfalls - Baskins Creek, Trillium Gap, etc. - 7.4 mi - M
S4 - 8 AM Maddron Bald Trail to Albright Grove and back – 6.8 mi – M – Leaders: Rick & Brenda Harris
S5 - 8:30 AM Injun Creek via Grapeyard Ridge Trail ~5 mi – out and back from Greenbrier Rd – M – Jim Plant
S6 - 8 AM Crooked Arm Ridge, Indian Grave Gap, Rich Mountain Loop out of Cades Cove with side trip to Oliver Cabin – New Hike - 8.7 mi. – D – Leader: George Owen
SUNDAY, JAN. 28
U1 - 8:30 AM Historical Hike: Little Greenbrier, Little Briar Gap, Metcalf Bottoms trails - shuttle – E – Leader: George Owen
U2 - 8:30 AM Gatlinburg Trail from Sugarlands VC, shopping in Gatlinburg, eat lunch, and return to Visitor Center - ~5 mi. – E – Leaders: Rick & Brenda Harris
U3 - 8 AM Huskey Gap Trail from U.S. 441, Little River, Cucumber Gap, & Jakes Creek trails to Elkmont - 7.1 mi – D
U4 - 8 AM Big Creek Trail to Walnut Bottoms and back – 10.6 mi. – D –New hike for 2018. Options for shorter routes for those needing to get down the road. Convenient for those heading out via Cosby and I-40 toward Asheville – Leader: Jim Plant
Feb 1 - Thursday - Harrison Bay State Park, Bay Point Loop Trail - 4.3 miles easy. Afterwards we will lunch either in Ooltewah or Cleveland. To carpool, meet in Cleveland at Bradley Square Mall in front of the former KMART location at the northern end of the Mall at 9 am. Travel time to Harrison Bay SP is about 40 minutes. Leaders: Ruth and Clayton Pannell CANCELLED, WILL BE RESCHEDULED
Feb 7 - Wednesday -BMTA Hike from Kimsey Highway to Thunder Rock Campground - 5.7 miles, moderate, mostly downhill. Long shuttle. Possibility of doing a “key exchange” if enough sign up. Spectacular hike along mostly a ridge. Kimsey “Highway” is a historic Indian Trail. Contact Hike Leaders Tom Sewell at SewellTom@yahoo.com or by text to 706-669-6406 OR Tim Holby 828-361-4205.
Feb 8, 2018 - Thursday. Monthly Meeting - 6PM - Michaels in Etowah, 862 US 411 in Etowah, Tennessee
Feb 24 - Saturday - Rocky Flats Trail - Leader: Richard & Brenda Harris - 2 or 5 miles, moderate. This hike will go in from the Doublecamp Creek end of this trail in the Citico Wilderness one mile to the old Hollinghead homestead site. There Chris Hollinghead (teacher at Tellico Plains HS and grandson of the original owners) with his father and uncle will tell us of his childhood growning up at this site. Afterwards, those who wish a short hike can return to the cars along Doublecamp Creek Rd. Those who want a longer hike will follow the recently refurbished trail for 5 miles to Warden Fields where we will have our shuttle vehicles. Afterwards, we may go to a restaurant in Tellico Plains for supper. Contact Richard Harris at HarrisRi@aol.com to sign up or for questions. Meet behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico at 9 AM to set up the shuttle and carpooling. Non-members are welcome.
Trip Report: Twenty-four hikers broke into two separate groups to meet Wilderness rules to hike the 5 mile Rocky Flats Trail and to hear about life growing up in the mountains in the early 1900s. Chris Hollinghead and his father Jimmy Hollinghead joined us for the hike. Chris is a teacher at Tellico Plains High School and is a relative of the Hollingheads who lived at Rocky Flats around 1910. His relatives worked for the Babcock Lumber Company and raised their families along Rocky Fork in the two homes whose chimneys are seen along the trail. Chris has written a book Papaw's Tales based on the recorded life stories of his grandfather. Chris spent over an hour enthralling us with his stories. We also visited the stone walls built to keep the livestock enclosed and the "fish cleaning rock" in Rocky Fork where fish were cleaned before family gatherings. One group of hikers then returned to their cars for a short 2 mile in and out hike, and others continued on down the trail, finishing at Warden Fields their 5 mile hike. We had to shuttle folks over the water level cement bridge at Warden Fields because Citico Creek was flowing over the top of the bridge. Along the way at Abbey Branch we ran into a group of ladies hiking from Warden Fields. They turned out to be members of the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club in Knoxville who were on a Saturday hike. After out hike, we returned to the upper trail head to retrieve our cars and the ladies were just coming out of the woods with the intention of hiking the 6 miles back to their cars at Warden Fields. We offered their drivers a ride back to their cars to shorten their hike and keep them from hiking in the dark. They gladly accepted.
Mar 3 - Saturday Savage Gulf Hike, Moderate. Hike the Savage Gulf day loop (4.2 miles) with a side hike out and back (0.5 miles) to Savage Gulf Falls. Meet at the Park and Ride in the SW quadrant of exit I-75 and Georgetown Road (Exit 25) in Cleveland adjacent to the service station at 8:15 am to carpool to Savage Gulf Ranger Station to begin hike. Pack a lunch to eat on the trail. Contact Hike Leader Jack Callahan at email@example.com or 423-284-7885 to sign up. For last minute updates to current hike schedule, check: WWW.cherokeehikingclub.org, Facebook, or the Cherokee Hiking Club Meetup page.
Trip Report: Three club members made the Savage Gulf day loop(4.2 miles). With past rains the falls were flowing well. This day there were lots of hikers on the trail, and lots of interesting canines towing them along. The weather was great for a hike and this is a fairly easy hike, with great views of the gulf. As the trees begin to leaf out, the views will almost all be gone. Hikers included Sue Robinson, Margaret Callahan and Jack Callahan.
Mar 8, Thursday - Monthly Meeting - Pot Luck Supper, from 6-9 pm at the Etowah Senior Center, located at 435 Cooper Street, Etowah, Tennessee. After supper and a brief business meeting, for those who are interested, Jack Callahan and Rick Harris will have an open discussion and Q &A about backpacking equipment, with a display of some of the basic equipment. This will be designed to provide information to possibly hikers who have not yet gotten into backpacking but have an interest. It will also be a prelude to new hikers who might want to join James Anderson for his backpack trip to Bob Bald on May 5-6, if there is sufficient interest.
Mar 10 -Saturday - Unicoi Turnpike Trail from Unicoi Gap to Joe Brown Highway, approximately 2.5 miles, easy. From Unicoi Gap to Joe Brown Highway. Meet at the Food City Parking Lot in Etowah, TN at 10 am to carpool to Coker Creek Visitor Center at 10:45 am. Trail passes through remains of CCC campground, as well as old gold mine sites, the old Toll Gate site, and several grave sites. Hike Leaders Ruth and Clayton Pannell. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Mar 17 - Saturday - St Patty's day Hike at Bald River Falls -moderate with a few short pitches. Dogs on leash welcome. Hikers wear green to celebrate the occasion. Meet at Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains, TN at 10 am to carpool to trailhead. Group will decide to do 5 mile hike with shuttle or up to 10 miles in and out. Hike leaders Rick and Brenda Harris. After hike, Harris's are inviting hikers to stop by their home for snacks and green beverages. For arrangements to spend night either before or after hike, contact the Harris's at BrendaTHarris@aol.com. We now have plans to have more than just green beer. I plan to try my hand at making a brisket and Brenda may make cabbage and potatoes or something equally green in addition to some green snacks. All are welcome on the hike and to our house afterwards.
Trip Report: Rick & Brenda Harris led 18 human and 2 canine hikers on a hike on this beautiful sunny day on the Bald River Trail. Because of the Bald River Gorge Wilderness limitations, we broke into two groups. One group of 8 with 2 dogs, led by Rick Harris, went in from the Bald River Road trailhead, and Brenda led the group of 10 from the Falls Trailhead. We all met in the middle for a joint lunch, then continued on. A key swap minimized the amount of driving on the forest service roads. From there we returned to the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center to regroup in all our cars, then went to the Harris's home off the Skyway for green snacks, green tea, green beer, potatoes and cabbage, brisket, and Irish Soda Bread. We finished off with green cookies and cake and watched the sun go down. After folks left, the skies turned very dark with lots of lightning. Report of a tornado over Etowah and Coker Creek was to follow, but it apparently never touched the ground. All agreed the hike was a great trip, sandwiched between rain in the morning and very threatening weather in the evening. Attending were Rick & Brenda Harris with Jake (golden retriever), Mary Alton, Janna Hawkins, Al Johnson, Larry Van Dyke with his dog Cody, Jack, Megan and Margaret Callahan, Sue Robinson, Hoke Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Lewis, Becky Buchberger, Ruth and Clayton Pannell, Sandra Fenton, Perlika and Rajneesh.
Mar 22 -Thursday - Turtletown Falls hike, rated 4.5 miles easy to moderate. Road to trailhead fords a stream. Meet at Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains at 9:45 AM to carpool to trailhead. (Alternate location to meet if coming from Tellico Plains area is the Post Office in Farner at 10:45 or the trailhead at 11:00 AM). There is limited parking at trailhead and high clearance vehicle needed for access road to trailhead. Meet at Cherohala Skyway VC in Tellico Plains at 10 am to carpool. Hike leader Sue Robinson...contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements if meeting at Farner location.
Trip Report: Eleven hikers made the Turtletown falls hike led by Sue Robinson. We took the upper trail to the falls closest to the Hiwassee River and had lunch in a nice sunny spot. Then we hiked upstream to the upper falls. With the past rains the falls were quite a sight. The total hike was almost 5 miles, and the temperatures started in the forties, but warmed up to the mid fifties by afternoon. It turned into a beautiful sunny day and great hiking weather. We also had four very well behaved dogs with us and it was a great hike.
Mar 26 - Monday Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave, Knoxville, TN. See website at Ijams.org for complete overview of the facilities. Numerous trails to select from but a must do is the trail along the river and its access trail of approximately 4 miles. Rated easy to moderate. Bring a lunch and we will picnic in the area. Free admission, but the zip line and some other activities have fees. Currently do not plan to do anything but hike. There are approximately 12 miles of trail in the center. Dog friendly on a leash. Meet at the Home Depot (near the nursery center) in Cleveland on Paul Huff Parkway at 8:30 am to carpool to Knoxville. Hike Leader Jack Callahan, email@example.com.
Trip Report: Sixteen club members and guests made the approximately 2 mile walk out to the boardwalk along the Tennessee River, and then back past the pond and up to the former owners home site. The woods are beginning to show their spring colors as the bloodroot, yellow poppy, Virginia bellwort, and a variety of other wildflowers are up. We were fortunate to have Leon Bates with us to identify and discuss the wide range of plants we encountered. After our walk, we had a picnic lunch at the Center picnic area, and then several of us toured the Visitor Center before heading home.
Mar 31 - Saturday - Pocket Wilderness Wildflower/Rocktown Hike at Pigeon Mountain, GA - The walk is an 800 foot boardwalk on the Shirley Miller Wildflower trail. The boardwalk guides the hikers through the wildflowers while protecting one of the finest areas for wildflowers in Georgia. Following this walk we will have lunch at the Pigeon Mountain Grill. Next we will travel to the two mile Rocktown hike, rated easy. This area contains several acres of large sandstone boulders, making it a very popular area for rock climbers. This is a fee area...the best deal is the one year Senior Sportsman's license for $7, unless you are a resident of Georgia and then the Sportsman's license is free. Must be age 65 or over for the Senior discount. Meet at the Food City parking lot, 2310 McGrady Drive (off APD 40) at 9 am to carpool. Hike leader Ann Gray
Trip Report: Six hikers accompanied Ann Gray, hike leader, on a beautiful spring morning to the Shirley Miller Wildflower boardwalk at Pigeon Mountain near Lafayette, GA. The boardwalk is named in honor of the wife of former GA governor Zell Miller. There were many wildflowers in bloom. Following lunch at the Pigeon Mountain Grill, the group drove to the peak of Pigeon Mountain and hiked the two-mile Rock Town trail. These 200-million-year-old rock formations make this one of the most diverse rock climbing destinations in the area. Hikers include Jack Callahan, Margaret Callahan, Janna Hawkins, Barbara Morgan, Brenda Kelley, Letha Kelly, and Ann Gray
Apr 7 -Saturday - Ocawassee Festival to be held at Gee Creek campground and day use area in the Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park. Leon Bates will lead two hikes, one at 10 am and the second at 2 pm to discuss local wildflowers. The Club will share a booth with BMT to provide information to the public. One subject will be food to take on a backpacking trip, by Jack Callahan. The final park agenda will be shared when the park publishes its schedule.
Trip Report: Weather was cold and misty, but there were a large number of the public in attendance, and many of them joined Leon Bates on his first of several wildflower walks. There were numerous presentations in the afternoon with a session on mushrooms, wildlife, fly fishing, and trail bikes. The Hiking Club participated in a group presentation with reps from BMTA and SAWS discussing history of the Wilderness Act and maintenance of the trail systems. Clayton Pannell gave a presentation on the history and original location of the BMT and Jack Callahan discussed backpacking food information.
Apr 12 -Thursday - Club Meeting, Pot Luck Supper, to be hosted by Lettie and Jim Whisman's farm , 7640 Gann Road, Hixon, TN 37343. For those who want to tour Jim's goat farm, plan on arriving around 5pm, and remember to bring a separate pair of shoes if intend to get in the pasture. We will begin the meal at 6 pm and ou:r business meeting afterwards.
Apr 14 -Saturday - Walls of Jericho, located in Alabama, north of Scottsboro. Hike Leader Jennifer Schroll Details to follow.
Trip Report: Jennifer Schroll , Mitchell Schroll and Jack Callahan made the hike to the Walls of Jericho following heavy rains in North Alabama. Stream crossings were aided by foot bridges, with water tugging at the bottom of the log stringers. Due to the large amount of water in the streams we were unable to make the last 100 yards up to the falls. Wildflowers were abundant, with trillium, fire pink, cats paw, and showy orchid along the trail. It was a great hike and the climb out was a great heart starter.
April 20 - Friday - Harrison Bay State Park -
Hike Report: Hikers Carol Guhue, Barbie Willis, Doreen Johnson, ann Gray and Karen Young, led by Clayton and Ruth Pannell. It was a cool, beautiful day, and great hike, although the short cut did not turn out to be so short, but everyone made it fine. Afterwards we enjoyed a marvelous lunch at the Dockside Restaurant right at the trailhead.
Apr 21 -Saturday - John Muir trail cleanup Hike leaders Clayton Pannell and Jack Callahan Meet at Childers Creek Trailhead/parking at 9 am for duty assignments. Bring work gloves, sturdy boots, , water and a lunch. Contact Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend.
Trip Report: Clayton and Ruth Pannell, Megan Callahan, Jack Callahan and guest Angela Steininger. We preformed minor brushing and cleanup on the three mile section of the trail. The trail is in excellent shape with lots of wildflowers emerging.
Apr 18 - Wednesday - Warriors Passage Hike - 6.2 miles - moderate - mostly downhill but with a significant creek crossing - We will meet at 9 AM at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center, then carpool to the top of Waucheesi Bald, dropping cars at the trailhead along Old Furnace Road on the way. We will hike down the trail, dropping about 2500 feet to Wildcat Creek, then up to the cars on Old Furnace Road. We will then retrieve our cars from the top of Waucheesi Bald, then eat ice cream at Tellico Beach Drive-In. The crossing over Wildcat Creek will require river shoes or just getting your boots wet. No way to cross without wading across the creek, but this is part of the fun. It is just a short distance from the creek crossing to our cars. The Warriors Passage is a historic Indian Route across the mountains and is currently a Boy Scout National Recreation Trail. Those who complete the hike can earn a patch, even if you are not a Boy Scout. Contact Rick Harris at HarrisRi@aol.com or 423-253-6358 to sign up in advance. Info at www.warriorspassage.org
Trip Report: Thirteen hikers and two dogs joined us on this very historic hike from the top of Waucheesi Bald to Old Furnace Road on the Warriors Passage Trail. The weather could not have been better. Starting from the 360 degree view atop the bald, we headed down the Lookout Tower Rd about a mile to where the trail heads off into the woods down the steep west side slope on easy switchbacks. We passed through a regenerating pine forest following fires which had been set by an arsonist many years ago. We then passed through Mule Pen Gap, then on down to the crossing over Tobe Creek, where we ate lunch. We crossed over Bald River Road then climbed up another burned over area with great views of the surrounding mountains. We then crossed Wildcat Road, then came to Wildcat Creek. Here hikers had to choose crossing on some logs or wading the creek. From there we hiked uphill to Old Furnace Road. We then all ate ice cream at the Tellico Beach Drive In, then retrieved our cars from the top of Waucheesi Bald. During the hike, Rick Harris gave several short talks on the history of the trail, dating back to 1730 when an old Indian route (The Great Warrior Path) which crossed the southern Appalachians was used by soldiers to bring cannon and supplies to build Fort Loudoun. The trail was the primary route over the mountains from Charleston SC to the Great Valley of the Tennessee River until it was rerouted through an easier route for wagons and renamed the Unicoi Turnpike. The Unicoi Turnpike was a primary route of trade into and out of the lands west of the Southern Appalachians. After the Removal Act during the administration of Andrew Jackson in the 1830s, this route was used to transport the Cherokee Indians out of the TN/NC mountains from their homeland to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears. The route of the trail was researched by Boy Scouts in the late 1950s then was rebuilt by Scouts as a Scout hiking trail in the early 1960s, and was opened to hikers in 1965. Designated as a National Recreation Trail, the trails was very popular among Scout troops for hikes and backpacks until the arson set fires for the most part destroyed the trail corridor. About 10 years ago, the Tellico Volunteer Trail Crew reopened the trails which is again being used by Scout troops and other hikers. The trail is currently in excellent condition. Your club, the Cherokee Hiking Club, is the primary organization managing the trail for Scouts. Check out the website dedicated to the Warriors Passage at www.warriorspassage.org.
April 24-28 - Tuesday-Saturday - Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. See website at springwildflowerpilgrimage.org. Leon Bates will be giving several presentations during this event.
Apr 27-29 - Friday, Saturday, Sunday - Backpacking trip from Carvers Gap to Highway 19E, a distance of 16.5 miles. Strenuous. Spend first night on Grassy Ridge, second night in Bradley Gap. This hike is limited to six and is currently full. If there is sufficient interest, we can add a second group. Contact Jack Callahan (email@example.com) to inquire and put your name on the list for the second group. Buddy Arnold will lead the second group and we will hike together at times. We will use the shuttle provided by Mountain Harbor Hostel on Hwy 19E.
Trip Report: Eleven brave backpackers made the strenuous hike of 18 miles with lows in the mid twenties on Sunday morning, and wind gusts topping 25 MPH as we climbed Big Hump Mountain. Skies were slightly overcast when we arrived by shuttle at Carvers Gap but by 3 pm on Friday the blue skies prevailed. First night was spent on Grassy Ridge with great views of the sunset and Saturday morning sunrise. Hike went from there to the Stan Murry shelter for a morning break, then on to the Barn shelter for lunch break and water resupply. Leaving the Barn, the real strenuous climb began with the assent to Little Hump Mountain, with over 1000 foot elevation gain. After a brief rest on Little Hump in the very cool wind, we dropped down into Bradley gap to set up camp in a nice, somewhat sheltered wooded area, with lots of sites for all the tents. The night began fine with little wind and pleasant temps, but during the night the wind picked up and brought freezing breezes. Ice formed in water bottles in hikers tents and breakfast was quick, so we could warm up on the assent to Big Hump, an approximately 700 foot elevation gain. From there it was downhill to Doll flats for a nice rest in the sun. Layers of clothing came off as we continued down in elevation and reached Mountain Harbor B&B around 12:30pm. Lunch at the B&B included great hamburgers fresh off the grill with sides and a chance to share thoughts of the hike. Everyone did very well on the hike and it was a great group. As always there are thoughts about what equipment to bring on the next backpacking trip and lots of discussion about gear, wildflowers, scenery and reading the fine print about the pre-hike information. Hikers included Stuart Johnson, Jerry Schneider, Tracy Brooks, Wade Cash, Becky Buchberger, Buddy Arnold, Sue Robinson, Russ Lingerfelt, Al Johnson, Jennifer Schroll and the slave driver.
May 5 - Saturday - Bob Bald Hike Approximately 7 miles roundtrip, moderate. If there is sufficient interest, this hike may be modified to an overnight backpacking trip (5-6 May) for new hikers interested in getting into backpacking. Maximum number of 12 hikers. Hike Leader James Anderson 423-715-8824. Hikers must contact James to make arrangements.
Trip Report: There were 8 of us that set out from Beech Gap that morning but only 4 made it home that night!!! So now that I have your attention it was actually by design. Four were the day hikers and the other four were going to spend the night on Bob's Bald. The four day hikers were Sue Robinson, Sandra Fenton, Michael Friedman, and Al Johnson. The four backpackers were Megan Callahan, Jack Callahan, Becky Buchberger, and James Anderson the hike leader. Temps were in the high 60s when we left Beech Gap to hike the 3.5-4.0 miles to the top of the bald. The hike up went without a hitch. We ate lunch together on the bald and enjoyed the views although it was fairly overcast and a breeze was blowing. After enjoying a leisurely lunch the four day hikers headed back down and the four backpackers found a spot to set up camp. The bald had recently been bush hogged so it was pretty easy to get around. We set up camp in the edge of the woods. Jack and Megan setup their hammocks while Becky and I set up our tents. Around 5 or so we decided it was time for dinner. We all had dinner and enjoyed sitting around talking for awhile. Despite some brief episodes of sunshine late in the day the rain started around 8pm. It rained off and on the entire night. It was still sprinkling a bit when we broke camp that morning and hiked out. We did have a decent water supply from the spring nearby so that was a big plus. We also were awakened during the night by what Jack said was the mating calls of the barred owl. After some back and forth on the calls, they all decided to fly the coup and head down the mountain. That morning as we were hiking out the temps were in the low 40s and there was a stiff breeze. According to Jack's portable weather station the wind chill was in the 30s so it was kind of cool on the old fingers for awhile. We all made it out fine though. By the time we got to Tellico Plains it was sunny and much warmer. We are assuming the other four made it out ok as well since we did not hear of any lost hikers on the news and their cars were gone when we got back to the trailhead
May 8-12 - Tuesday-Saturday - Wilderness Wildlife Week in Pigeon Forge. Numerous hikes and events. Leon Bates will be giving several lectures on wildflowers. See www.mypigeonforge.com for details.
May 10 - Thursday - Club Meeting - 5 pm to 8 pm, Pot luck at Charleston Park pavilion, Charleston TN, 6 pm. Bring a dish and enjoy a program on geology and rock identification by Jennifer Schroll.
Meeting Report: Jennifer Schroll gave a great presentation on rock and mineral identification and shared her quite extensive collection...and she left with her gold samples intact.
May 12 - Saturday - Beech Gap to Warden Fields Approximately 12 miles, difficult, with several stream crossings. Begin at Beech Gap and follow Fodderstack Trail then down either North Fork or South Fork Citico Creek Trails depending on water levels in streams. Another option is to utilize Pine Ridge Trail if water is too high. Meet at 7 am at the Tellico Plains Visitor Center in Tellico Plains TN to car pool to Beech Gap, or meet at Beech Gap at 8 am. Supper in Tellico Plains afterward. Hike Leader Rick Harris.
Event Report: Three hikers (Rick & Brenda Harris, Sue Robinson) made this beautiful hike of 11 miles from Beech Gap at the State Line on the Cherohala Skyway on the BMT to Cold Springs Gap, then down the South Fork Citico Creek Trail to its junction with the North Fork at Warden Fields. The trail was in surprisingly good condition, thanks to the SAWS crews last summer. There were only a handful of downed trees, none hard to get around. The start of the hike was along the state line crest of the mountains for two miles on the BMT with great views into the surrounding mountains. The hike then took us very steeply down the South Fork Trail for the first mile or so, till we reached a logging rail line trail which was much more gentle. We followed this for several miles along the upper stretches of the South Fork. The trail then trended higher and higher above the creek along the old rail line course. Then again the trail went steeply downhill to the creek level. When we reached the creek, we ate lunch in a beautiful campsite. We then hiked out along the edge of the creek with several waterfalls and with a couple of creek crossings which were not very deep due to the low water levels. We were able to bypass two other creek crossings on a bypass trail with several blow downs. We finally reached Warden Fields and the trail terminus. Warden Fields was the location of a logging camp town known as Jeffrey. The area then became the site of a forest warden station (hence its name), and is now a large camping area and the junction for several great hiking trails into the Citico Wilderness. The campground is right on the edge of Citico Creek complete with rope swings. The general feeling is that the hike was much easier than expected and very scenic. We wish more had come on the hike. Sorry we labeled the hike as such a difficult hike.
May 19 - Saturday - Big Frog Loop Hike approximately 11 miles, rated strenuous due to distance and elevation gain. Hike begins on Lick Log trailhead on FS 221, following Lick Log to top of Big Frog Mountain, then down Big Frog trail to Fork Ridge trail to Rough Creek trail and then back to Lick log and point of beginning. Meet at Thunderock trailhead adjacent to Thunderock campground just below TVA Powerhouse #3 at 8 am to carpool to trailhead. Hike Leader Jack Callahan. This hike was cancelled due to inclement weather...it will be rescheduled in the fall to take advantage of fall color and cooler weather.
May 21-25 - Monday-Friday - Roan Mountain State Park Campout -Leader: Jack Callahan Rating : varies Length: several hikes of different lengths.
We will try to get sites in Loop A this year, as it is on much more level ground. This loop fills up quickly so if you are interested in this location you should consider making reservations. There are also numerous sites in the other loops and cabins available. We will make several day hikes, including a strenuous hike to Little Hump Mountain, a drive to local waterfalls, and a moderately strenuous hike to Grassy Ridge. Hikes will be all day events and require packing a lunch and sufficient water for the day. Jack has rented a shelter for Monday and Thursday for us to meet and have supper and discuss hikes and other events. Also planned is a day trip on Thursday to Damascus VA to rent bikes and coast down the Virginia Creeper Trail, approximately 18 miles. Bike rental and shuttle to the top of the mountain is approximately $25. If you have any questions, contact Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trip Report: Monday was an assembly day and we had meals in one of the park shelters and discussed the proposed events for the rest of the week. Tuesday we headed up to the Gardens, and found out they did not open the gates till the upcoming weekend....that eliminated the proposed hike to the Roan Mountain shelter. Plan B we took off to enjoy the Elk river falls, and it was closed due to a drowning and recovery in progress. Plan C several of us headed to Banner Elk and had a great lunch then went to the original Mast General Store which is a trip worth doing. Wednesday the majority of the group went to Carvers Gap and hiked to Round and Jane Bald, where a couple of hikers chose to stop, and the rest went on to Grassy Ridge and had lunch and lounged in the sun for about an hour. Following the hike, several of us enjoyed a great pizza place in Roan Mountain, and a great campfire with wood supplied by Boyd. Thursday nine of us took off for Damascus, VA to meet our scheduled shuttle and bike rental for our ride on the Virginia Creeper trail. A flat tire caused us to reschedule our departure to 1 pm, and up the mountain we went to Whitetop to start our descent. Along the trail there were several accidents with the most consequential being one rider cracking three ribs. Ratings afterwards ranged from fantastic to never again! For the late arrivers back in camp, the group had prepared a wonderful spread of food, and had a great fire underway. Jack much appreciated the donations to cover the shelter cost. Campers included Boyd and Martha Firestone, Clayton and Ruth Pannell, Sue and John Robinson, Carol and Carroll Guhne, Margaret and Jack Callahan, Larry Van Dyke, Joanne Jackson, and Margaret Garland. Not everyone would agree with this......but the raccoons had a great time after dark......you had to have been there.....
Jun 2 - Saturday - BMT Mud Gap to Pheasant FieldsApproximately 8 miles, moderately strenuous. Hike will cover a section of the BMT, with a stopover on Whigg Meadow. Will require a somewhat lengthy shuttle. Meet at Tellico Plains Visitor Center in Tellico Plains TN at 8:30 am to determine carpool needs. Possible ice cream at Tellico Beach afterwards. Hike Leader Jack Callahan contact Jack at 423-284-7885 or email@example.com if you plan to attend.
Jun 7-11 - Thursday - Monday Camping trip to Mt Pisgah campground and lodge, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 20 miles south of Ashville, NC. Numerous day hikes including Graveyard Fields, 2.3 miles, Shinning Rock Wilderness 8.4 miles with some shorter options, and Mt Pisgah trail, 3.6 miles. Difficulty ratings vary depending upon individual trails selected. Most are moderate due to elevation gain. Meet at Mt Pisgah campground on the afternoon of June 7th. The campground and Inn fill quickly so reservations should be made ASAP. Reservations may be made up to 6 months in advance. The campground includes sites for tent as well as RV site, with hot water showers. No water, sewer or power hookups available. Rates are $20 per night, while rooms in the inn are in the $170 per night range. Contact Buddy Arnold at 601-415-3551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jun 14 - Thursday - Club Meeting - Pot Luck supper at TVA Sugar Loaf Picnic Area immediately downstream from Dam #1 on US 64. Meet at 6 pm for Supper and a brief business meeting afterwards.
Jun 15 - Friday - Scenic Spur to Rainbow Falls in the Ocoee/Reliance area. Distance 3.2 miles, moderate with two stream crossings which can be crossed with rock hoping unless recent rains, then hiking poles are recommended . Meet at the Clemmer Trailhead parking Lot at 9:30 am Hike leader Clare Sullivan, 404-847-0872 or email@example.com.
Jun 23 - Saturday - Piney Falls hike in Grandview TN - Approximately three miles, fairly easy trail. Hike Leader Sue Robinson. Carpool details to be arranged based on where hikers are coming from. Contact Sue at 423-519-9751 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in making this hike to get details.
Jul 12 - Thursday - Club Meeting Location to be arranged
Jul 15 - Sunday - Hiwassee River Float Trip Float from Gee Creek put in to Patty Bridge. Everyone responsible for their own water craft, safety equipment, and snacks. Each person must have and wear a lifejacket. Meet at the Gee Creek Campground (on Hiwassee River upstream from Highway 411 bridge approximately 0.75 miles) at 2 pm, and we will organize shuttles and catch the rising water when the turbines begin releasing. Event organizer Clayton and Ruth Pannell, 423-263-9730 or 423-435-1848, or email@example.com
Jul 19-22 -Thursday-Sunday - Four day three night backpacking trip from Newfound Gap to Cosby Campground in the Smokies. Trails- AT and Snake Den, approximately 25 miles, strenuous. day one, 2.7 miles to Icewater Springs Shelter, day two 7.7 miles to Pecks Corner shelter, day three 5.3 miles to Tricorner Knob shelter, day four 9.0 miles to Cosby Campground. Special considerations - need to coordinate shuttle or arrange for commercial shuttle from Cosby to Newfound Gap. May want to camp in Cosby Campground on either end of the hike. Limit to 4 or 5 hikers due to difficulty to get permits for shelters. Shelters must be used, no tent camping. Hike Leader Buddy Arnold 601-415-3551 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Must contact Buddy at least two months prior to hike date to begin to make arrangements for shuttle, reservations, etc. Great way to get a portion of the AT if you are a section hiker. Some of the best views in the Smokies, especially from Charlie's Bunion, and Eagle Rock.
Jul 23 - Monday - Tour of the VW assembly plant in Chattanooga. Tours last approximately 1.5 hours, beginning at 11:30 am. Restrictions apply- no cell phones, no cameras, no flip flops, no heels, no open toed shoes, no shorts, no skirts, no dresses. Long pants and close toed shoes must be worn. Maximum in group cannot exceed 20. Must provide first and last names of attendees 48 hours prior tour. Meet at Home Depot parking lot at 10 am on Paul Puff Parkway in Cleveland to carpool. Event Leader Jack Callahan 423-284-7885 or email@example.com. Must contact Jack at least one week prior to event date to get on the attendee list. After the tour we will eat lunch near the plant or on the way back to Cleveland.
Aug 7 - Tuesday - Tellus Science Museum, Cartersville, GA This a non-hiking hot weather event. We will visit the Tellus Museum, a Smithsonian Institute affiliate natural history and science museum. Following the museum, we will have a buffet lunch at Grand Oaks Mansion, in downtown Cartersville. Museum cost is $13.95 for seniors and $15.95 for non-seniors. Buffet lunch is $15 per person, which includes buffet, drinks and desert, in a circa 1901 Victorian style mansion. Event Leader Ann Gray Meet in the Food City parking lot at 2310 McGrady Drive (off APD 40) at 8:30 am. Attendees must contact Ann at least one month in advance to make reservations for the buffet.
No Club Meeting Scheduled this month.
Aug 11 - Saturday - Hiwassee River float trip - Gee Creek Campground put In to Patty Bridge Meet at Gee Creek put in at 2:00 pm adjacent to the group camping area and we will organize shuttle. Everyone is responsible for their own watercraft, and necessary equipment. Life preservers must be worn. Bring your own water and snacks. Event Leader Clayton and Ruth Pannell firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 423-263-9730Aug 17-26 - Friday-Sunday - Backpacking trip in the Weminuche Wilderness Area in southern Colorado. Trip will involve riding the Durango/Silverton train to Elk Creek trailhead, hiking a 38.5 mile loop with approximately 8000 foot elevation gain, six days and five nights. Two passes will involve hiking through gaps with elevations of around 12500 foot elevation. Hike will conclude with train ride from Needleton trailhead back to Durango. Actual hike will begin on August 19 and conclude on August 24, with cushion time on each end for acclimation to elevation and one day down time in Durango. Hike Leader Jack Callahan Note: This hike is currently full..if you are interested in more detail and to be put on the waiting list, contact Jack at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sept 7 - Friday - Murphy River Walk, Murphy, NC Easy 3 mile round trip, well graded, some paved, and some boardwalk sections of the trail, with portions along the Hiwassee and Valley rivers. Walk will include a discussion of "date nails" at the Historic L&N railroad bridge across the Valley River. After the walk we will eat at "Shoebooty" restaurant in downtown Murphy. Meet behind the Ocoee Hardees on US 411 at 9 am to carpool to Murphy. For those nearer to Murphy, plan on meeting at 10:30am at the trailhead parking lot adjacent to the old L&N railroad depot on Hiwassee Street in Murphy on the left just after you cross the Hiwassee river bridge. Hike Leader Jack Callahan email@example.com.
Sept 13 - Thursday - Club Meeting hosted by Ann and Bill Gray, at their home. Pizza night, meeting will begin at 6 pm. The Grays address is 2349 Varnell Road, Cleveland, TN 37311. 423-240-8863.
Sept 14-15 - Friday-Saturday - Hike to Len Foote Inn and spend Friday night at the Inn. Cost for single occupancy is $122, and double occupancy is $175. Includes supper and breakfast. Hike is approximately 5 miles each way, moderate. See hike-inn.com for more information. The signup date for this event was January 13th. Hike leader Ruth Pannell, 423-263-9730- Hike to Len Foote Inn and spend Friday night at the Inn. Cost for single occupancy is $122, and double occupancy is $175. Includes supper and breakfast. Hike is approximately 5 miles each way, moderate. See hike-inn.com for more information. The signup date for this event was January 13th. Hike leader Ruth Pannell, 423-263-9730
Oct 6 -Saturday Hike from Clingman's Dome parking lot to Andrews Bald and return - Approximately 3.6 miles round trip, moderately strenuous. Meet at the parking lot at Clingman's Dome at 10 am, bring lunch and sufficient water for the trip. Hike Leader Ruth Pannell, 423-263-9730, firstname.lastname@example.org. Carpooling options and possible overnight camping at Smokemont Campground details to be developed as we get closer to the event.
Oct 11 - Thursday - Club Meeting Hosted by Phyllis and James Anderson at their home. Pot luck, meeting to begin at 6 pm.
Oct 13 -Saturday John Muir trail cleanup. Approximately 3 miles. Meet at Childers Creek parking lot trailhead at 9 am. Bring water ,lunch, cutting tools and safety gear. Hike leaders Clayton Pannell and Jack Callahan. Jack1945@bellsouth.net.
Oct 21-26 - Sunday-Friday - Club campout at Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area. Club has reserved the Group camping area A for the week, which includes the shelter, and bathrooms with hot showers. camping spaces do not have electricity or water hookups. Cost per person will be determined by days of attendance, typically around $10 per person. . Events will include numerous day hikes of various lengths and difficulty. Evenings in shelter after the meals will include cards, and slide show presentations from earlier hikes and events by various members. And lots of firewood burned. Event Leader Clayton and Ruth Pannell email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov 8 - Thursday - Club Meeting Location to be determined.
Nov 24 - Saturday - Linda Davis Memorial Greenway Hike, Cleveland, TN. Eight mile round trip easy paved walkway on the Cleveland Greenway (may do less at your option). Hike will begin at Rader Drive Pavilion, near the middle of the greenway. This hike will be cancelled in case of rain. Hike Leader Randy Morris, 423-650-0485 the night before the hike to confirm the hike is on.Nov 30 - Tuesday - Tour of Caney Creek Roadless Settlement across Ocoee River from US64 Details to be determined
Dec 8 - Saturday - Club Christmas Party Will be a catered event with the installation of officers. Details to be determined.