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Benton MacKaye Trail Assn Hike Schedule



JANUARY 6, 2019 - SUNDAY 2-4 PM - ANNUAL CLUB PLANNING MEETING - We will meet again at the Family Resource Center, 3680 Michigan Ave Road NE, Cleveland, Tennessee, hosted by James Anderson.   Please come with your proposed hikes and events for 2019. Jack will have three ring binder paper available at the Christmas party for you to write your proposals on.  Remember to include all pertinent data for hikes, including length, difficulty rating, meeting locations, what to expect on the hike, and  special considerations. Mtg Report: We met again at the Family Resource Center, 3680 Michigan Ave Road NE, Cleveland, Tennessee, hosted by James Anderson.  The meeting was well attended with 19 members participating, and everyone contributed a hike or event for 2019. Over fifty events to the annual calendar, with some being a weekly happening  like Mike's Every Friday hike originating at the Whitewater Center.   The participants were well prepared with their proposals and 2019 looks to be another great year.

Rails to Trails, flat, wide with good tread and marked every 1/4 mile. Trail begins at large parking lot just past Mayfield dairy plant off CR 307 and continues 4 miles to near Englewood.  Walk as far as you want. Lots of shade on trail with mixed walking/biking and some horses. Hike leader Ruth Pannell, 423-506-9623 or 423-263-9730. Meet at the parking lot just beyond Mayfield Dairy plant at 10 am, with possible lunch afterwards in Athens. Trip Report: On Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, CHC  with members, some new members & new friends met at the Eureka Trail in Athens on an overcast day with 40's temps. This is a "Rails to Trails" project that has become a popular hiking, biking, running & horseback riding trail. It is 8 miles one way but very well marked. Some took off & did the whole trail, I believe, as we never saw them again. The rest of us did about 2.6 out & back. It's a flat trail with a great surface of finely crushed stone. It was an enjoyably hike on a trail that just about anyone no matter what their preferences or limitations would enjoy. 


Hike in and back portion of the trail, between 5 to 8 miles, depending on the group. Bring a lunch, water and wear sturdy hiking boots.  Moderately strenuous. Meet at the Park and Ride next to the Mapco/BP station on Hwy 60 at the Exit 25, I-75/Hwy 60 interchange.  Hike Leader Jack Callahan, 423-284-7885, Trip Report: Eight adventuresome hikers made the 8.3 mile hike from the Newby Branch Trailhead along fast moving streams and curtains of ice cycles, then along Duskin Creek and finally joined the Piney River. Due to the recent rains and the hard freeze the night before, ice was plentiful. Leaf off provided great views of the terrain and the many falls and historic sites along the way. Temperature at the beginning of the hike was 20 degrees and had warmed up to 27 by 4:30 that evening when we finished.  A future hike will be scheduled around the peak of the gay wing blooming where we will plan to do about four miles and take our time. Hikers included Sue Robinson, Al Johnson, Jenifer Schroll, Allison and William Odom,  James and Phyllis Anderson and Jack Callahan, hike leader.     


Hikes from the Whitewater Center every Friday for the next few months.  Hikes will depend on the weather and the group preferences on each day.  Hikes may include but not limited to, the Rhododendron Trail, portions of the Bear Paw trail complex, the Old Copper Road.   Meet Mike at the parking lot at the lower end of the whitewater course adjacent to the bridge which provides access to the picnic area across the river. Hikes will begin at ten am and may last for a few hours.  Bring a lunch and water and hiking boots. Hike Leader Mike Friedman, 954-296-9098 or Contact Mike before each Friday to discuss which hike will be preferred.

7.5 miles, moderately strenuous to strenuous, with one stream crossing. Car shuttle from Thunder Rock Trailhead to Rock Creek trailhead. Meet at 8:30 am at Hardees Ocoee on Hwy 411 parking in back, or at Thunder Rock trailhead parking behind Powerhouse #3 at 9 am. Lunch, water, and hiking shoes and be prepared to wade stream. Hike Leader Randy Morris, 423-650-0485 or Trip Report: Eleven hikers enjoyed a beautiful, warm February hike in the Little Frog Wilderness area. After meeting at Thunder Rock Campground, we carpooled the short distance to the trailhead to begin our hike. We enjoyed great views of surrounding mountains such as Little Frog, Big Frog, and Panther Knob under crystal clear skies. After climbing around the lower flanks of Little Frog, we dropped down into the Rock Creek gorge to view the once impressive hemlock stands along the drainage. Sadly many of the biggest trees have already succumbed to the woolly algid that is wiping out the area's hemlocks. It was nice to see several living specimens, however—a sight we may not witness for much longer in the Cherokee National Forest. The weather cooperated once again for our hike as a lack of significant rain during the week made the crossing of Rock Creek much easier than expected. After a lunch on the opposite bank, we climbed back out of the gorge to the intersection with the Dry Pond Lead Trail. We then enjoyed downhill trekking the rest of the way to Highway 64. Making the hike were club members James Anderson, Al Johnson, Mike Friedman, Jack Callahan, Megan Callahan, Sue Robinson, Judy Price, Mary Alton, Deborah Slaughter, Jackie Williams, and hike leader Randy Morris.


Monthly meeting moved up one week due to Valentine's Day.  Note  We will begin at 5:30 pm!! 


Six miles, easy, level, loop trail. In addition we can tour the museum and see one of the best collection of antique firearms in the country.  Confederate Line patches available for those who complete a scavenger hunt at a minimum cost. Pack water and snacks. Hike Leader, Jennifer Schroll, 423-254-1256 or  Meet at the Park and Ride on Hwy 60 just west of the I-75/hwy 60 interchange, Exit 25 at 8;30 am to car pool to the hike.  Trip Report: After a visit to the museum, Jennifer Schroll led 14 members and visitors on a 7 mile hike along the Confederate Line, with stops along the way to answer questions about historic markers and possibility of earning a NPS patch.
The ground is flat and after the recent rains there was a bit of water which required some rerouting at times but Jennifer kept us all on track. The park has numerous trails similar to the one we explored, and there are options for future hikes there. The firearms museum is one of the most extensive in the country, and is a great exhibit of how they evolved. It was a great day to be out!

Sixty five acre facility with over 35 log cabins, churches, barns and over 250,000 artifacts with vast collection of folk art, musical instruments, baskets, quilts and more. We will have lunch in their restaurant, with a variety of items under ten dollars. Cost for admission is $15 per person over 65, $18 under 65. For more information see their website at  Meet at Cleveland Home Depot parking lot on Paul Huff Parkway at 8:30 am to carpool to the museum. Drive time approximately 1.5 hours.  Hike leader Jack Callahan , 423-284-7885, or Trip Report: Eight members made the trip to the museum, on a bit of a cool overcast day. The weather allowed us to view all the outside log structures and then we had a nice warm lunch in the restaurant. Food and service were great. After lunch we toured the indoor portion of the museum, which has over 250,000 items from the Appalachian area, most items dating from the late 1700s on. If your grandparents or great grandparents had an item, there is one in this museum. Members making the trip included Ann and Bill Gray, Ruth and Clayton Pannell, Doreen Johnson , Linda Kryssing, Margaret Callahan, and Jack Callahan, event leader.


Eight miles round trip, moderately strenuous, with an elevation gain of around 3100 feet.  Possible sightings of pink Lady Slippers this time of year. Bring water , snacks, and wear good hiking shoes.  Possible lunch after at Flip Flops on the Hiwassee River at Reliance. Meet at Quinn Springs Picnic Area parking lot on Hwy 30 at 10:00 am.   Hike Leaders Clare and Ed Sullivan, 404-849-0872 or CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN, WILL BE RESCHEDULED


Easy to moderate trail, with optional old mine ore cart tunnels to walk through. Approximately 5 miles.  For those wishing to go the tunnel route, bring flashlight. There are trails around the tunnels for those not wanting to walk through. Trail ends at the Pocket Wildflower area. Will require a car shuttle.  Hike Leader Jennifer Schroll, 423-284-1256 text or To carpool from Cleveland, meet at the Park and Ride at 8:30 am on Georgetown Road at I-75, Exit 25 next to the Mapco/BP station just west of the intersection. Approximate drive time from Cleveland is 1.5 hours. NOTE: There is a $10 nonresident one day per person permit required by the State WMA which can be purchased on line. It is listed as a one day Fishing License. Go to to purchase. TO BE RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER


We will hike 4 to six miles depending upon the group.  This property is a part of the College complex. Trails are moderate to easy, with a large combination of routes to select from.  These are mixed use trails with bike traffic. Bring a lunch, water and hiking shoes. Meet at the Home Depot parking lot on Paul Huff Parkway in Cleveland at 9:30 am to carpool. or meet at parking lot P1C off Industrial Drive next to the campus in Collegedale where we will begin the hike. Hike Leader Jack Callahan 423-284-7885 or if you plan to attend. Coordinates for the trailhead parking lot 35 deg 02 min 38.78 sec North, 85 deg 03 min 15.08 sec. W. Trip Report: Eight hikers made the hike at White Oak Mountain, and we were guided by Rhonda Scott, who is very familiar with the trail complex. We hiked from the trailhead up to the ridgeline, north following the ridge, and gradually back down to the point of beginning utilizing numerous trails. Leaf off provided us with some great views to the west as well as the interesting terrain and rock outcrops along the ridge. Several deer casually walked near us and the weather was perfect for hiking. We completed the hike and had lunch at the nice trailhead facility. On the way home a stop was made at McKee Bakery Store to observe the necessary items a hiker should always have, and several purchases were made. They do provide shopping carts. Hikers included Sue Robinson, Judy Price, Linda Kryssing, Megan Callahan, James Anderson, Jennifer Schroll, Rhonda Scott and event leader Jack Callahan.

We will meet at the Etowah Community Center at 6 pm, pot luck supper, with a presentation by Larry and Candy Van Dyke  on their trip to India.  The Community Center is located on Hwy 30
approximately 1/2 mile west of the Hwy 30/Hwy 411 intersection in Etowah. Mtg Report: We met at the Etowah Community Center at 6 pm, and enjoyed a wonderful meal with a wide selection of dishes and desserts, all provided by the members. After supper we were treated with a presentation by Larry and Candy Van Dyke on their trip to India. Their slides and description of the trip were really great. Thanks to Larry and Candy, to all for the great meal, and to our visitors and new members for coming. See Sue's minutes for more detail.

Approximately 7 mile hike with an elevation gain of about 1500 feet, rated moderate. This area is home to many large poplar, Frazer magnolia, basswood and beech in a virgin old growth stand. We will stop for supper on the way home.  Bring a lunch, water and sturdy hiking shoes. This route was last hiked by the club in 2008. Time and location of carpool from Cleveland/Benton to be determined. Hike Leader Randy Morris, 423-650-0485 or Trip Report: Seven, and then eight (met one on the trail), club members visited the Cosby area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park on March 16 to hike part of the Maddron Bald Trail and the Albright Grove Loop. We hiked a total of about 8 miles and enjoyed beautiful weather, gazing at many large trees, for which this hike is famous, and touring an old cabin from one of the original settlers. We viewed large hemlocks, tulip poplars and basswoods to name a few. Unfortunately many once impressive hemlocks have already died and fallen. We also enjoyed several nice streams and small waterfalls which were enhanced due to all of the recent rain. Several members commented that a future longer hike might be in order for this beautiful area. Participating were club members Jack, Margaret and Megan Callahan; James Anderson; Sue Robinson; Judy Price; Al Johnson; and hike leader Randy Morris reporting.


Actual trail and length to be determined.  Hike leader Mike Friedman, 954-296-9098 or

We will camp on the lakeside in a primitive campsite in the Baker Creek arm of the lake.  We will use the Forest Service boat ramp at Sugar Loaf as our access point.  Plan on four meals including a supper and a breakfast. For more details if you are interested in putting your name on the list, contact Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885 or TO BE RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER


Piedmont hotel, opened by Lt General James Longstreet was a social hub and guests included Woodrow Wilson and Joel Chandler Harris. The botanical garden is destined to be one of the largest and most diverse woodland gardens in the country ($8.95/person). It includes a visitor center, outdoor gardens and a model train garden. The history center at Brenau University ($5 admission) includes photos and artifacts of moments in history, Chief White Path's cabin and much more. Event leader Ann Gray and Letha Kelly, 423-240-8863,, meet at Food City on McGrady Drive in Cleveland at 8 am to carpool. You must contact Ann if you plan to attend this event to insure we do not leave anyone behind at the meeting location. Trip Report: The April 2 trip to Gainesville, GA, was a fun day with the following attending: Jack& Margaret Callahan, Clayton & Ruth Pannell, Barbara Morgan, Brenda Kelley, Judy Price, Deb Slaughter, Jackie Williams, and trip organizers Ann Gray and Letha Kelly. The group started with a stop at the Piedmont Hotel, which was owned by General James Longstreet for about 20 years after the Civil War ended. A small wing of the hotel has been preserved and houses the museum and the Longstreet Society. Following lunch at the Longstreet Cafe, we toured the Northeast Georgia History Center containing exhibits about the poultry industry since Gainesville is known as the Poultry Capital of the World. the disastrous tornado of 1936 which killed 203 people, and the Whitepath Cabin. Chief Whitepath was the Cherokee tribal leader and the cabin was built around 1780 near Ellijay, GA. Following the history center, we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens at the Gainesville site.

Two days of indoor/outdoor activities, including programs on campfire cooking, bird watching, and wildflower hikes. For a complete list of times and events go to the Ocowassee Festival, Upcoming Events, under the Hiwassee Ocoee State Park web site. Leon Bates will lead a Wildflower Walk at 10 am, and Jack Callahan will give a presentation on Backpacking at 4 pm. The ranger station is located at 404 Spring Creek Road, in Delano, Tennessee. Event Report: The Festival was well represented this year with several Hiking Club members participating in various events. Leon Bates led a wildflower walk from the boat put in along the river, and through the area between the group camping area and the Ranger office, which was very well attended. Ruth and Clayton Pannell shared a booth with the BMTA and shared information with visitors about the BMT and the Cherokee Hiking Club. Jack Callahan gave a presentation on planning, equipment needs and food requirements for a backpacking, with emphasis on light weight equipment. The Club thanks Park Manager Angelo Giansante and ranger Gillian Roberts for allowing members to share our story with the attendees.

APRIL 11, 2019  THURSDAY  MONTHLY CLUB MEETING..POT LUCH SUPPER AT THE PAVALION AT CHARLESTON CITY PARK, CHARLESTON, TN. We will meet at 6 pm rain or shine. Be sure to attend and learn about trail whistle signals. Event Report: Meeting was well attended...see Sue's meeting notes for more detail. Also see the last page of this document for the proposal based on Randy Morris's suggestion of rewarding hike leaders. This has evolved and should be read by all club members. At the May club meeting we will have a "First Reading" of the proposal, and consider further input, with a final vote to be done at the June club meeting.

Meet at 9 am at the Childers Creek parking lot/trailhead to help in maintaining the Club section of the BMTA. This is a three mile section along the Hiwassee River just upstream from Reliance, TN. Bring gloves, boots, hand tools and a lunch and water for a day of brush clearing and trash cleanup along the trail. This time of year there are a multitude of flowers usually in bloom along the river. Hike Leader Clayton Pannell, 423-263-9730 or  Trip Report: With a bad weather report and a wet and rainy day for any outdoor active the trail was so muddy that we could not do a shuttle from Childers Creek To Big Bend. Fourteen workers came out to do a trail cleanup on the Muir trail, led by Clayton Pannell. We signed up under an umbrella. The rain was very light when we started up the trail and played out early in the day. From BSA Troop No 444; Furnished us with three adults and five young ladies. Thanks to Jennifer Schroll and the scout troop and all who came out to do one of the largest clean up groups on the John Muir trail.

Ijams Nature Center is located at 2915 Island Home Ave in Knoxville, TN, approximately 1.5 hours drive from Cleveland. We will hike some of their wildflower trails along the river, approximately 2 miles total, then have lunch (bring your own) on the grounds. Leon Bates will help us identify many of the flowers which will be in bloom at this time of year. To car pool from Cleveland, Meet at the Home Depot parking lot on Paul Huff Parkway at 8:30 am. Hike Leader Jack Callahan, 423-284-7885 or Please contact Jack if you plan to attend. Trip Report: Thirteen lucky club members met at the center around 10 am and had a really nice wildflower walk, led by Leon Bates. There were fields of may apple in bloom, as well as trillium, jack-in-the -pulpit, Pawpaw, columbine, and the list goes on and on. After about a 2.5 hour walk, we enjoyed lunch at the Center picnic area, and then drove around to the upper end of the river boardwalk to experience that aspect of the trail complex. Along the walk we were treated to observe a large eastern water snake sunning itself in the rock bluff. It ignored us. Thanks to all who came out and made this a special day, and to Leon for his vast knowledge of the plants. Event Leader, Jack Callahan.

2.0 loop trail with a side trip on Fiery Gizzard trail of 0.9 miles to a waterfall/cascade. Total mileage of about 4 miles. Difficulty moderate, bring a lunch, hiking shoes and water. The trailhead originates at the Grundy Forest State Natural Area Picnic Shelter in Tracy City, TN, coordinates 35 deg 15 min 07.55 sec N, 85 deg 44 min 50.28 sec W. . To carpool from Cleveland, meet at the Park and Ride at I-75 and Hwy 60 next to the Mapco/BP station on Hwy 60,Exit 25 at 8:30 am. Drive time approximately 1.5 hours for Cleveland. Hike Leader , Jack Callahan 423-284-7885 or Please contact Jack if you plan to attend. Trip Report: Four club members made the one and a half hour drive to Tracy City, where we got an overview of the Fiery Gizzard trail system by the Park Manager at the South Cumberland State Park Headquarters. From there we drove the short distance to the trailhead and began our walk. The weather was overcast and a slight drizzle, with a few wet snow flakes joining us. Once we were on the trail, the weather was forgotten as we enjoyed waterfall after waterfall, large stands of healthy hemlock, and numerous early wildflowers. On the return loop we walked the interpretative trail around the remains of the CCC camp, which is new, and is very well done. Actual photos of the time period at numerous building remains give a good idea of what the camp and camp life was like in the late 30s. In this same area there were large numbers of pink lady slippers, many just beginning to bloom. On the way back we stopped at the 100 plus year old Dutch Maid bakery for some power food, and a quick stop by Foster Falls completed our trip. Hikers included Judy Price, Judy Norton, Jennifer Schroll and event leader Jack Callahan.

See the GSMNP website for more details.

Moderate 4.8 miles, in and out. Pack a lunch, water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Meet at park and ride, adjacent to the Mapco/BP station at I-75 exit 25 at 9 am to carpool, or meet at the Roaring Creek trailhead at 10 am, on Brayton Road, coordinates N35 deg 27 min 28.51 sec, W 85 deg 06 min 20.49 sec. If you plan to attend, contact Hike Leader Judy Price, Trip Report: Eight hikers and one dog made the approximately 5 mile round trip hike from Roaring Creek Trailhead in Graysville. We had a short road walk at the beginning and, after passing through a blow down, crossed a drainage area and began ascending. The trail ran along Brayton Road, which we crossed about a mile in, and, after looking at the mountain views, we began descending toward the creek. After another drainage crossing, we reached the bridge over McGill Creek, where the trail currently ends. The club members had lunch at the picturesque site, then returned to the trailhead. The weather was warm and sunny. Hikers included Sue Robinson, Jack Callahan, Linda Kryssing, Mike Friedman, guests Joe Cate, Jean Ellis, and Nancy Carroll. Judy Price, hike leader.


MAY 4, 2019  SATURDAY LITTLE RIVER TRAIL IN THE GSMNP - Elkmont area of GSMNP. This is an easy trail that parallels the picturesque Little River. The trail is 4.9 RT (round trip) miles, but some may turn around sooner. If you want to carpool or follow, we will meet at 8:30 am in the Food City grocery store parking lot in ETOWAH on Hwy. 411N & Hwy. 30E, & travel Hwy. 411N through Maryville to Townsend & proceed through GSMNP Little River Rd. to Y intersection on to Elkmont Campground. If you come from Gatlinburg to Sugarlands Visitor Center, go right towards Metcalf Bottoms & Cades Cove, then to Elkmont Campground. Drive time from Cleveland approximately 2 hours. Bring water, rain gear, snacks or lunch (unless we want to eat in Townsend or Gatlinburg). Hike leaders Ruth & Clayton Pannell. For more information contact 423-506-9623; 423-263-9730; or


Nature lovers, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts unite for educational programs and guided hikes in the Smokes.  For more information go to

Numerous adventuresome souls gambled that the rain would not interfere with our meeting, and they were correct! We had nice weather and great food as usual. Thanks to all those who ventured out and made it a nice get together.

MAY 11-12, 2019  SATURDAY-SUNDAY  BARTER THEATER/VIRGINIA CREEPER TRAIL BIKE RIDE ABINGDON/DAMASCUS, VIRGINIA -Travel to Abingdon for an evening at the Barter Theater, overnight at motel in Abingdon, and ride the Creeper Trail Sunday morning before returning home. Play on Saturday night is "Ms Buttermilk". Lots of options for restaurants in the Abingdon area. Event Leader, Jennifer Scholl 423-284-1256 text or to confirm if you plan to attend. Drive time from Cleveland to Abingdon is three hours. Tickets for the Barter Theater are on sale now. Purchase tickets for the Saturday May 11 show at 8 pm. On Sunday We will meet at Blue Blazes Bike and Shuttle in Damascus at 10 am. Bike rentals are $25 and the shuttle is $16. They will take us to White Top trailhead and we will ride 17 miles downhill back to the bike shop. We can stop at Taylors Valley Café (famous for chocolate cake) for lunch or bring your own. Picnic tables available). Saturday night stay in Abingdon, with several motels to chose from. Consider using the Country Inn near Huddle House. Contact Jennifer for carpool information if you are leaving from Cleveland. We plan to leave Cleveland at 1 pm and arrive at the Country Inn around 4 pm. Trip Report: Five club members headed off to Abingdon and had supper at a nice restaurant, 128 Pecan. Afterwards we caught the 8pm play, Mrs. Buttermilk, at the Barter was hilarious! That in itself made the trip. The next morning we were welcomed with torrential rains, but gambled and headed out to Damascus to the bike rental. By the time we had made the shuttle to White Top, the rain had stopped, and we had no rain all the way back to Damascus on the Virginia Creeper Trail. There was very little traffic and it was a great ride down the mountain, with very pleasant temps. After a filling lunch in Damascus, we headed for home, and made it back to Cleveland before dark. Jennifer Schroll was the event leader, and joining were Elizabeth Levine, Megan Callahan, Margaret Callahan and Jack Callahan.

- It will be a loop hike that will involve part of the BMT and the Big Frog Trail. We will begin the hike where the BMT crosses forest road 221. We will follow the BMT for approximately 4.5 miles to the area of Chimneytop on the north side of Big Frog. When we intersect the Big Frog Trail we will turn right onto the Big Frog Trail and hike out approximately 3.75 miles to the parking lot. We will probably park a vehicle there so we can get the other vehicle or vehicles. If we don't, then it is approximately a .75 mile walk along forest road 221 to return to the spot we departed from. I estimate there is about 1500 feet of elevation change and there are 3 stream crossings. In the past I have always been able to rock hop those fairly easily. The section along Rough Creek is usually very pretty and passes by a number of hemlock trees. These trails are typically rated moderate according to the trail maps. The total mileage should be in the 8-9 mile range. We will meet in the parking lot at Hobby Lobby at 8:00 am on Saturday the 18th, at 8:30 am in the parking lot of Hardees in Ocoee, and then finally at 9:00 am in the parking lot of Thunder Rock Campground. We can figure out the car shuttle there. If the weather looks iffy then you can call or text James Anderson at 423-715-8824 to see if the hike is still on. Trip Report: It was a warm and sunny Saturday, 5-18-19, when 7 hikers ventured on an approximately 8 mile loop on the northeast flank of Big Frog. Before getting to the Big Frog trail the group used the Benton Mackaye Trail to hike in to the intersection with the Big Frog Trail. There were three creek crossing involved but they were not a problem as we had not had much rain prior to the hike. Those participating that day were Jack Callahan, Judy Price, Deborah Slaughter, Randy Morris, Sue Robinson, Tracy Brooks, and hike leader James Anderson.

MAY 23, 2019  THURSDAY  ABRAMS FALLS HIKE, GSMNP - Approximately 5 miles roundtrip, moderate difficulty. Hike in form the Cades Cove trailhead. To carpool from Cleveland, meet at the Home Depot parking lot on Paul Huff Parkway at 7:30 am. approximate drive time is two hours. If want to meet in Cades Cove, meet at the large parking lot on left at the beginning of the one way loop road in the Cove. Pack lunch, water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Hike Leader Jack Callahan 423-284-7885 or Hike Report: Six club members and two visitors made the 5 mile round trip to Abrams Falls, and the hike lived up to its billing as being one of the busiest in the park. We saw dozens of hikers coming and going to the falls. The ride on the loop road in Cades Cove provided us a great view of black bears, as well as at least an hour delay. Thankfully the bears wandered off and a Park Ranger showed up to get traffic moving. The falls are spectacular, and well worth the trip. Hikers included Margaret Callahan, Judy Price, Sandra Corn, Will Dostie, Al Johnson and his two friends, Kate Zavaracky and Drew Tucker. Hike Leader Jack Callahan


JUNE 6, 2019  THURSDAY  TURTLETOWN FALLS - Moderate 4 mile round trip hike into the falls, pack a lunch and water and good hiking shoes. Meet at 10 am at the Turtletown Post Office at 10 am to carpool to the trailhead. Hike Leader, Sue Robinson, 423-519-9751 or Trip Report: Seven hikers decided to take our chances with rain in the forecast while seven backed out. Started out overcast. We took a side trail to see Jasper Stuart's grave site, and then returned to the trail on old logging road to the first water fall. Lots of water in the falls (and also when the rain started). Made our way through pine forest to second water fall. Quite a few downed trees, but passable. Yes, we got a little wet, but still nice hike. No one melted and no injuries! And we came across a resident turtle sharing the trail.

JUNE 8, 2019  SATURDAY  SCENIC SPUR TRAIL - Approximately 3.4 mile easy trail with two stream crossings and on steep pitch grade. Meet at 10 am at the trailhead which is on Hwy TN 30 just off of US Hwy 64. The trailhead is signed and is on the left just after you turn off of US 64. Bring snacks, water and be prepared to perhaps wade the creek. Hike Leaders Ruth and Clayton Pannell, 423-263-9730 or 423-435-1848 or

JUNE 13, 2019  THURSDAY  MONTHLY CLUB MEETING  We will meet again at the Charleston City Park Pavilion, at 6 pm. Pot Luck supper. We will have some great stories to share about the past month's events. Event Report: We met again at the Charleston City Park Pavilion, at 6 pm. An outstanding Pot Luck supper, with delicious deserts were provided by the members.

26 mile, strenuous backpacking hike from Clingmans Dome to Cades Cove. Trails include the AT and Bote Mountain and Anthony Creek trails. Will need car shuttle from Cades Cove to Clingmans Dome. Buddy has permits for 5 hikers and there is one slot available if someone wants to join. First night will stay at Double Springs shelter, second night at Derrick Knob shelter, third night at Spence Field shelter, and day four, hike out to Cades Cove. Cannot tent camp, must stay in shelters. Must contact Hike Leader Buddy Arnold, 601-415-3551 or if you want to be included in this hike. Trip Report: Four members of the Cherokee Hiking Club, Buddy Arnold, Bruce Lee, Rick Harris and Liz Levine completed the trip. Three of the group met at Cades Cove and shuttled to Clingmans Dome on June 14. Rick Harris met us at the first AT shelter where we stayed the first night at Double Springs Gap. Three of the group hiked to Andrews Bald before hiking to the shelter. It was a beautiful clear day and the blaze azaleas on the Bald were in full bloom. The first night at Double Springs Gap was very cool at 42 degrees. There was an interesting group of hikers staying there, some doing partial hikes of the AT and others doing through hikes. On June 15 we hiked about 8 miles to the Derrick Knob Shelter. We passed some small balds along the way with more beautiful azaleas in several spots. On June 16 we started the not so long but very strenuous hike up to Thunderhead, over Rocktop and to the next shelter at Spence Field. There was a lot of up and down but the total elevation gain was about 2000 feet that day. We encountered a couple of families on Rockytop that had come up about 6 miles from Cades Cove with a first grader among them. It is good to see young folks into hiking. Below is our group on Rockytop. We had a little excitement when one of the hikers from another group encountered a bear at the water source. We were also able to see some synchronized fireflies in the woods nearby. The shelter was one of the nicer ones with a new, clean privy! On June 17 we made the about 5.5 mile hike down to Cades Cove and had ice cream cones at the camp store. It was a great hike but challenging hike covering about 28 miles total with an ascent of over 6900 feet and a descent of about 11,300 feet.

Hike out and back to Andrews Bald, approximately 3.6 miles with approximately 600 foot elevation gain on way back to trailhead from the bald, moderately strenuous. Pack a lunch, water and wear sturdy footwear. Hike leader is car camping at Smokemont campground the night before to save drive time on Thursday morning. Hike Leader Jack Callahan, 423-284-7885 or to arrange details on car pool and camping options. We will meet at the trailhead which is at the upper end of large parking lot at Clingman's Dome at 10 am to begin hike. Look for the hikers wearing orange baseball caps.

Jack Callahan led a field study group to identify common lichens typically found on hikes in our area. The group walked about 1.5 miles on the Cleveland State Community College trail and found numerous specimens to study. There are also a great display of mushrooms finally beginning to emerge. The lichens identified were Powerhorn lichen, Beard Lichen, Pixie Cup lichen, and Smoky-eye boulder lichen, all common and easy to find in our area. Joining in the group were Judy Price and Sandra Corn.


Tour the infamous Brushy Mountain prison, which is now in private ownership ( Drive through Petros, TN, where many of the scenes form the move "October Sky" were filmed. Recommend watching the movie before the trip. Meet a t the Home Depot parking lot in Cleveland off Paul Huff Parkway at 8:30 am to carpool to the prison, drive time about one hour and forty five minutes. Event Leader Jack Callahan  423-284-7885 or Trip Report: Twenty eight club members and family toured the infamous Brushy Mountain prison, which is now in private ownership ( The prison was in service for almost 100 years, and in the early years inmates mined coal at mines accessed through the prison wall in back of the unit. They grew their own food and butchered their own cattle. This prison was called the "end of the line" and many of the worst convicts in Tennessee spent time there. Although we did not sign up for the guided tour, we were taken through the prison by a former guard/prison officer, with 30+ years service at the prison. He shared events that occurred over the years, including the prison escape by seven inmates, including James Earl Ray, numerous other inmate on inmate murders and other chilling evens. After the tour, we had lunch at the restaurant on site, and enjoyed a nice lunch. There is a distillery on site and Spirits are available as well as a tasting bar. After lunch, several of us drove through Petros and Oliver Springs to see some of the filming locations for the move "October Sky". The prison tour is an interesting event and well worth the two hour drive to experience the inside of such a facility. (Although several members got separated, no one was left behind bars) Event Leader Jack Callahan.

IMPROMPTU EVENTS ONLY LISTED ON FACEBOOK - These included another Lichen Study Walk at Gee Creek, with several Park Service employees joining us, a Tube Float and a Kayak Float on the Hiwassee, a 13 mile, 3200 foot elevation gain day hike to Mt Cammerer Tower from Cosby campground, and an evening at Gee Creek for Picking in the Park, which had 10 members in attendance. Club member CH Wilson was performing with the Pickers. These events sometimes are short notice, based on weather, so keep an eye on the club Facebook site. Also the Wednesday Cleveland Greenway Walk is still going strong, meeting at 6 pm at the lower end of parking lot across from Perkits yogurt shop.



Mount Mitchell and Pisgah National Forest, utilizing trails no 191,179,128 and 190. Difficulty strenuous, approximately 11 miles. Day One, meet at Carolina Hemlocks campground and camp for the night and possible loop hike to Crabtree Falls , approximately 2.5 miles, strenuous. Day Two shuttle to Mt Mitchell parking area and do an out and back 2.5 mile hike to Mt. Craig and Big Tom Mountain. Upon return, we will get our backpacks and hike down to Commissary Hill campsite, 1.5 miles. Day Three, we backpack to Maple Bald Primitive campsite via Trail 191, 3 miles and 5600 foot elevation. Day Four, 5.5 miles back to Carolina Hemlocks Campground and return to Cleveland. Will need two vehicles for each 6 backpackers minimum. Limited to 12 hikers. This hike is currently full, but if you want to be on the alternate list, contact Hike Leader Buddy Arnold , 601-415-3551 or Trip Report: This was a great trip with 13 members of the Cherokee Hiking Club participating: Buddy Arnold, James Anderson, Bruce Lee, Rick Harris, Jennifer Schroll, Megan Callahan, Jack Callahan, Liz Levine, Sue Robinson, Darrell Morgan, Emily Morgan, Jerry Schneider, and James Drummond. We met at the Carolina Hemlocks Campground on August 9 and camped there the first night. This is a very nice campground at about elevation 2800 with showers and a nice stream running through it that is used for tubing. This would be a great place to take kids. That afternoon we drove to beautiful Crabtree Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a very nice out and back of about 3 miles to the falls. This is one of the highest waterfalls in NC at about 70 feet. Everyone pitched in with watermelon and hot dogs that night back at the campsite. On the morning of August 10, we drove to the parking area near the summit of Mount Mitchell that has an elevation of 6684 feet, highest mountain in the Eastern US. The weather was nice and cool at about 60 degrees, a nice relief from the heat of August. Unfortunately, fog has set in on the mountain and the views were not as hoped. We first went to the summit and observation area and viewed the grave site of Dr. Elisah Mitchell who died exploring the area. We then had a very nice out and back hike of about 3 miles along the Deep Gap Trail to Mount Craig, the 2nd highest peak in the Eastern US and another nearby peak, Big Tom. We had our lunch in the picnic area near the peak of Mount Mitchell. We then got our packs and started the fairly short (about 2 miles) but rugged hike to our campsite that night at Commissary Hill dropping in elevation to about 5600 feet. This was a very nice site with beautiful wildflowers, good camping sites, and nearby water. We enjoyed a campfire after Jennifer had to call on all her Scouting skills to get it going! We woke to a nice cool 56 degrees and packed up for the trip to Maple Bald, about 3 miles away, our next campsite. This was a nice trail, but muddy trail in spots, along an old railroad bed (we think) with little elevation change. Along the trail we were treated to some beautiful wildflowers with the most spectacular being the Turk's Cap Lilly. As we approached one area of perfuse flowers, there were hundreds of butterflies feeding there that formed a cloud above us. We camped the last night at Maple Bald with spectacular views of Mount Mitchell and several mountain ranges. Three in the group (Rick, Bruce and Liz) decided to do the very strenuous optional hike up Big Tom Spur Trail with an elevation gain of about 500 feet in 0.4 miles and then out to Potato Hill for an out and back of over 4 miles. The rest of us stayed at the Camp and just enjoyed the view! That night a few got out after the moon set at about 3:00 AM and were able to see a few meteors. The next morning we woke to a cool and windy morning in the 50's and started the 7.0 mile hike trip down Buncombe Horse Trail back to Carolina Hemlocks Campground. This was mostly downhill, dropping in elevation about 3000 with over 50 switch backs (yes we counted them!). This is a very nice area to visit during our hot summer months. I recommend we consider exploring others options around Mount Mitchell and the Blue Ridge Parkway for future trips. Buddy Arnold Hike Leader

Gee Creek to Patty Bridge. Meet at the put in at Gee Creek day use area at 1.00 pm to organize shuttle and begin float. Event Leader Sue Robinson, 423-519-9751 or keyster162@GMAIL.COM


Six day, Five night, 40 mile backpacking trip in the Wind River Wilderness in Wyoming. Fly into and out of Jackson Hole , Wyoming and spend time in Pinedale prior to the backpacking trip to acclimate to elevation. After the hike, spend two nights in Jackson. Permits have been acquired for the 12 persons signed up. The twelve members making the backpacking trip are: Al Johnson, Rick Harris, Jerry Schneider, Buddy Arnold, Otis Pannell, Teresa Pannell, Sue Robinson, James Anderson, Bruce Willis, James Drummond, Megan Callahan, and Jack Callahan. THIS EVENT IS FULL. If you wish to be placed on the alternate list in case someone drops out, contact Event Leader Jack Callahan, 423-284-7885 or Trip Report: Arriving in Jackson Hole, the flying portion of the team traveled to Pinedale and spend two days acclimating to the elevation (7200 ft) and touring the Mountain Man Museum, spent time with the Forest Service contact Ms. Meredith Makick, and experimented with several different restaurants. On September 5th, Robinsons and Harris's shuttled the entire group to the trailhead, and we struck out on our trip. Brenda accompanied us to Photographers Point before returning back. Night One was spent at Mary's Lake, a nice place to camp, with lots of tent sites. Day Two we hiked east , forded Pole Creek and camped at Upper Cook Lake. A strong rainstorm kept us in tents for a while before we could prepare supper. Day Three we joined the Continental Divide Trail and proceeded across Lester Pass, (elevation 11500+-) and camped at Island Lake with beautiful weather. Day Four we had free time till noon, which allowed some to hike into Titcomb Basin, fish, or bathe?. Striking out at noon, we headed to Lost Lake, and were later accompanied with a cold rain which turned to heavy wet snow. Everyone scattered to find a tent site and only the brave fixed supper. Day Five saw us gather up and make the decision to come out one day early rather than spend another night in damp sleeping conditions. We were fortunate enough to make early cell contact with Brenda which set into motion the shuttle pickup by she and John. After another night in Pinedale the flying group headed to Jackson Hole, where we again tried several restaurants, including the Gun Barrel Streak and Game House. The last full day we visited Old Faithful and the Inn. On the 12th, we scattered in several directions for home. The members who made the backpacking trip are: Al Johnson, Rick Harris, Jerry Schneider, Otis Pannell, Teresa Pannell, Sue Robinson, James Anderson, Bruce Lee, James Drummond, Megan Callahan, and Jack Callahan. Sue and John Robinson and Brenda and Rick Harris drove out and assisted greatly in shuttling folks around town and to the trailhead from Pinedale and back.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 THURSDAY MONTHLY CLUB MEETING NOTE This meeting was moved to the third Thursday of the month to allow for backpackers returning from Wyoming to attend. We will meet at the Etowah Senior Center in Etowah, TN. Jack Callahan plans to give a slide presentation on the club backpacking trip to the Wind River Range, with photographic proof of a grizzly wandering through the campsite. Mtg Report: We met at the Etowah Senior Center in Etowah, TN. Jack Callahan give a slide presentation on the club backpacking trip to the Wind River Range.

Four and a half miles out and back, with an option to go through a section of cave. Hike is easy to moderate, with exception of one short very steep section. If you chose to go through the cave, it is very strenuous, and require special gear. There will be rock scrambling and crawling. We will hike to the Peter entrance, then either enter cave or hike around to the main entrance. Everyone will meet at the main entrance and hike back to vehicles. Meet to Carpool at Cleveland Park and Ride at I-75 exit 20 at 8 am. Bring lunch, water. If you plan to adventure into the cave you must have a helmet, and two flashlights. Bike helmet is ok, and helmet mounted light is the best. Jennifer has two helmets she will loan if you need one. Gloves and knee pads recommended. If you plan to do the cave portion, bring a trash bag for wet clothes and shoes, and a towel to leave at car. Hike Leader Jennifer Schroll, 423-284-1256 or Trip Report: On a hot September Saturday 8 members headed up the trail to Buggy Top Cave. The first part of the trail is a short section of steep interesting limestone rocks. At the top of this section we took a picture in front of the kiosk, then headed out the 1.6 miles to the cave entrance. No one wanted to go through the cave, so we proceeded to the big entrance. There is a steep scramble down to the entrance where we enjoyed a snack and a cool breeze coming from the cave. The big entrance, called the "Buggy Top" entrance has a large curved rock face. After our visit we retraced our path back to the trailhead. Thank you to members of the Sewanee Police Department and Grundy County EMS for a helping hand.

Easy 4.5 mile hike, with one short pitch grade. Hike will parallel the river along the John Muir and BMT . Pack a lunch, water, rain gear and insect repellant. Wear good hiking shoes. Meet at the vacant lot across from the Hiwassee Corner Market on the corner of US 411 and Hwy 30 at 9:00 am to carpool to the trailhead. Hike Leaders Ruth and Clayton Pannell, 423-263-9730 or 423-506-9623.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2019  SATURDAY  THUNDER ROCK EXPRESS - Approximately 4 miles moderately difficult hike. Bring lunch and water. Meet at the Thunder Rock Trailhead parking lot behind Powerhouse No. Three at the entrance to the Thunder Rock campground at 10 am to carpool to the trailhead. Hike Leader Judy Price Trip Report: Six hikers made the 5.2 mile hike from/to Thunder Rock Trailhead in Cherokee National Forest. We had a short road walk to the start at Thunder Rock Express Trail. We hiked uphill to the junction with Chestnut Mountain Trail, which we took to Poplar Hollow Trail/Benton MacKaye Trail. On Poplar Hollow/BMT, we picked up two hikers—Clare and Ed Sullivan were doing Benton MacKaye Trail Association (BMTA) trail maintenance on their section, and they joined us for the end of the hike. We stopped for lunch by the creek, then pressed on across the road to Thunder Rock Trail/BMT, heading downhill to walk along the Ocoee River through the campground back to parking. We looked for the famous rock in the tree, but Ed informed us that the tree, sadly, is no longer standing. Hikers included Sue Robinson, Linda Kryssing, Mike Friedman, Joanne Jackson and guest Teresa Wyatt. Judy Price, leader.


We will meet at 6 pm at the home of Ann and Bill Gray to have our annual pizza meeting, meal furnished by the club. Their address is 2349 Varnell Road, Cleveland, TN. Mtg Report: This was the rescheduled Pizza Night with the club furnishing pizza and drinks.  We enjoyed lots of pizza and great desserts.

Meet in the parking lot at Childers Creek parking lot trailhead at 9:00 am. We will work out a car shuttle to return workers from Big Bend. The section of the trail that was mowed and is in good shape and needs some lopping and blow down removal. The rocky part of the trail near the center of the trail needs a lot of work. We need a chain saw crew to clear large blow down, and it would be good to have 2 are more gas powered weed eaters (with blades or string), also sling blades may be used, There is a lot of looping to do in this section. Tools needed include chain saw, weed eater, sing blades, loppers, and hand saw. Trip leader Clayton Pannell: email, phone 423 263 9730, cell 435 1848.Trip Report: Seven workers meet in the Childers Creek trail parking lot to maintenance on our section of the John Muir/BMTA, from Childers Creek to Big Bend. After sign in and a short safety, meeting we did a shuttle to bring workers back from Big Bend. Two worker had gas powered weed eaters to mow the rocky part of the trail, other did looping and removing small blow down from the trail, there was very little trash on the trail. Workers were Clayton Pannell Leader, Jack Callahan, Judy Price, Otis Pannell, Leatha Kelly, James Drummond, and Gayle Drummond. Travel time total 11 Hrs. work time total 25 hours. I thank everyone who came out on a cool Saturday Morning to do trail work on our section of trail. Event leader: Clayton Pannell

The Club has group site E-1 reserved for the club. There are 18 campsites available (no power), as well as the screened in pavilion with fireplace, picnic tables and electricity, and bath house with hot showers and flush toilets for use only by our club. We will compute the cost based on the total number of nights spent by each member and split the cost. You may stay all week or any part of the week. Typically this is about $8 to $10 per person per night. This includes all the firewood. We will do day hikes and other trips depending on your preference. You may bring your own meals or chip in with items for the evening meals as you wish. The current menu is shaping up like this: Sunday evening...Cincinnati Chili (meat and veggie) Brenda and Rick Monday evening...Fire Roasted Hot Dogs Jack and Margaret Tuesday evening...Pulled Pork Jennifer Wednesday Thursday These days may change....and breakfasts may be added based on what members want to do...we will discuss more at October 10 meeting and firm the schedule up. For more information contact Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885..Trip Report: A total of twenty three club members attended the campout. Sunday began with setup of campers, tents and the traditional firewood acquisition by Otis Pannell. A nice fire was begun in the shelter fireplace, and never went out. Monday began with breakfast and a 5 mile hike on a combination of the Sheltowee and Hidden Passage trails. Around six pm it began a steady rain that lasted until around six am Tuesday.  From that time on there was nothing but Montana blue skies, with great hiking temperatures.  Tuesday's hike was a five mile loop hike on Slave Falls Loop trail, with a nice slender rock arch and a high but very small flow waterfall. Wednesday was another 5-6 mile hike which utilized Maudes Crack, John Muir and Longfield Branch trails.  This is a great trail and has some amazing rock features.  Thursday there were two hikes, one to Honey Creek, and the other to the Twin Arches loop trail. Twin Arches is a must for first time visitors to BSF. Honey Creek is rated by the park as the most challenging, and it has spectacular rock formations all along the route. While some folks hiked, others made a few day trips including a trip to Rugby, TN.  Food.....we ate very, very well. Thanks to all the superb cooks who made such great meals. These included Cincinnati Chili, Gumbo, Brunswick Stew, Pulled Pork with slaw and Pinto Beans, Fajitas, Burritos and Tacos, Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, with breakfasts of Blueberry Pancakes, Country ham, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage Casserole, Cinnamon Casserole, with complements of salads, chips, cheese, caramel popcorn, corn bread,  wonderful cakes and Dutch Oven chocolate cake and Somores washed down with a variety of beverages. (and much more). This is a great event and there is something for everyone, from strenuous hikes, to sitting by the fire to Mexican Train or cards. Reservations have been made for next year at the same group site E-1, beginning on Sunday October 25th, through Friday morning October 30th. 


Section of the AT in North Georgia, approximately 6.2 miles, strenuous, with an elevation gain of 1500 feet over 2.3 miles. This is a difficult hike, and is for experienced hikers with recent strenuous hike abilities. Pack a lunch, water and wear sturdy boots. A steep climb, but great views and visit the Walusi-Yi Center on the AT. Hike Leader Randy Morris, 423-650-0485 or Meet at the Hardees's on Hwy 411 at the US 64 Hwy 411 intersection at 7:30 am to carpool to the trailhead.  Trip Report: Seven club members, along with Jake the super hiking canine, made the trek up Blood Mountain from the Byron Reese approach trail to the AT on a fantastic fall day. We enjoyed great vistas from the top of the highest peak on the AT in Georgia before heading down the trail where we passed hordes of hikers headed to the summit. Although the climb was somewhat challenging due to the elevation gain and rocky terrain, all agreed that it was well worth the efforts expended. On the return trip we continued down the AT to the Mountain Crossings store at Neels Gap to browse the neat offerings that it has to offer. We also figured out where all of the hikers had parked as there were many vehicles parked on both sides of the highway leading to Neels Gap. The parking lot of the approach trail definitely needs to be expanded to accommodate all of the Atlanta folks who make the trip on weekends. I envision future hikes to Blood Mountain being led on week days to avoid the huge crowds. We then returned to our cars and headed off to the McDonald's in Blairsville for ice cream while Jake slept soundly in the truck. Making the trek were James Anderson; Jack Callahan; Rick, Brenda and Jake Harris; Elizabeth Levine, Sue Robinson, and hike leader Randy Morris reporting.

NOVEMBER 14, 2019  MONTHLY CLUB MEETING We will meet at the Etowah Senior Center on Cooper Street in Etowah, TN for a pot luck supper, beginning at six pm. Mtg Report: We met at the Etowah Senior Center on Cooper Street in Etowah, and after the meal and business meeting Debbie Moore gave us a very informative slide presentation on the Caney Creek settlement.

NOVEMBER 16, 2019  SATURDAY  NARROWS HIKE ALONG THE HIWASSEE RIVER Moderate 4.5 mile hike, with one short pitch grade. Hike will parallel the river along the John Muir and BMT . Pack a lunch, water, rain gear and insect repellant. Wear good hiking shoes. Meet at the trailhead parking lot at the Hiwassee River Powerhouse footbridge above the last river put in at the end of Powerhouse Road . Hike Leader Sue Robinson, or 423-519-9751. Trip Report: Nine hikers and two canines made the 4.5 mile hike. A few blow downs and some muddy areas had to be dealt with, but still a beautiful hike along the John Muir and BMT. A few Golden Asters still in bloom on the rocks and persimmons are ripe. The group enjoyed lunch and rock hoping at the Narrows, before heading back to the vehicles. Sue Robinson led the group.

Travel to Piedmont, Alabama and bike the 17 mile section of trail from the Georgia line west to Piedmont.  Overnight at campground along the trail, or drive to Coleman Lake campground in Talladega National Forest, depending on weather and preference of the attendees. Return to Cleveland Sunday am. Final details to be worked out as we get closer to the date. Event Leader Jack Callahan, 423-284-7885. Trip Report: Five bikers made the trip to the Chief Ladiga trail, a really nice paved bike trail on the former Silver Comet rail line which ran between Atlanta and Birmingham. . After a shuttle of vehicles to leave one at Piedmont, Al, we began the ride at Esom Springs, Georgia , which had a slight downhill grade for a majority of the way. After passing through several large pastures and farmland, we entered the Terrapin Creek drainage which was primarily forested. At mile 7.5 into Alabama we stopped at the Chief Ladiga campground to utilize picnic tables and the restroom. After lunch and a break, we began the next leg of the ride to Piedmont. Following several more miles through forests along the stream, we began passing large cotton fields and finally into Piedmont, for a total of 16 miles. Several of us rode on through town and beyond to get a total of 20 miles. After loading up bikes, we drove to the beginning point and James Anderson and Rhonda Scott returned home, and Jennifer Schroll, Megan Callahan and Jack Callahan (event leader) returned to the campground to roast hot dogs, build Smores, and enjoy a nice campfire and listen to the coyotes howling. The campground was a nice place to camp, with a large stream to camp beside, clean restrooms, and in a remote location which would make for a great meteor shower watch site. Sunday we broke camp and had breakfast in Cedartown on the way back to Cleveland.

Sue Robinson led two club members, four guests and a canine on a frosty hike to Falls Branch Falls and Jeffrey Hell Trail in Citico Creek Wilderness/Cherokee National Forest off the Cherohala Skyway. The falls were roaring, but unfortunately the hikers could only look from afar as the creek was full and the crossing rocks to the trail continuation were icy. On the way back, after lunch at the trailhead, the club hiked the adjoining Jeffrey Hell Trail almost to the end. Again, the creek there was rushing and the rhododendrons formed a frosty tunnel. Approximately six and a half miles out and back on both trails.

Approximately 7.5 miles round trip , moderately strenuous.  Bring a lunch, water, sturdy hiking boots and be prepared to ford a stream. We will eat lunch at the Historic Caney Creek settlement, which was also called the Town without Cars.  The town was constructed for workers who constructed the Ocoee flume, power house and dam. It was dismantled in the early 1940s after TVA took over the power production.  Meet at the Hardees's on Hwy 411 and US 64 at 8 am to carpool to the trailhead.  Hike Leader Jack Callahan, 423-284-7885 or Trip Report: Eleven hikers made the approximately 7.5 mile hike on FS Trail #74 to the Caney Creek Settlement. This was a somewhat difficult event, as it required 14 miles of gravel surfaced road to the trailhead, then several times backtracking as the trail has not been marked or maintained in numerous years and was somewhat difficult to follow. The hike back out was much easier as we knew the route, and the portion of trail from the settlement to the ridge top is a well located hand dug trail. After crossing Big Creek, we arrived at the lower end of the old foundations and ate a quick lunch so we could spend about an hour looking over the site and identifying different former building locations. There are many remnants of the settlement, and fragments of china, old batteries used in "farm radios" from the 1920s, and much more memorabilia around the area. Considerate visitors leave this material for the enjoyment of future hikers. The group made the hike out in fine fashion, and arrived at the Thunderrock trailhead in time to allow for the drive home in the daylight. Individuals making the hike included Rick and Brenda Harris, Clare and Ed Sullivan, Leon Bates, Jennifer Schroll, Marie Kelley, Sue Robinson, Teresa Wyatt, Judy Price, Judy Norton, and event leader, Jack Callahan. Jack proposed the next visit to the site be done by kayak to allow for more time to explore.

Cleveland Bradley County Greenway, meet at 9:am at the Raider Drive Pavilion and walk 6-8 miles depending on how much you want to do. Easy walk with paved tread and no grade. Enjoy great conversation and burn off that turkey gravy and dressing.   Hike Leader  Randy Morris, 423-650-0485 or Trip Report: The group met at the Cleveland Bradley County Greenway pavilion on Raider Drive, and walked five miles in great weather. The group added the Casteel Connector and down 20th street to the south. Those participating included Jennifer Schroll, Carol Guhne, Kathy Seymour, Yvonne Rittenhouse and Hike Leader Randy Morris. Randy is to be commended for leading this annual event. A great time was had by all and we are glad to have had the opportunity to meet our new member Yvonne.


DECEMBER 3, 2019 TUESDAY, ASSAULT UP OSWALD DOME Event leaders Clare and Ed Sullivan will lead the Oswald Dome hike, an 8 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of around 2300 is downhill all the way back on the return trip. Meet at Quinn Springs Picnic Area parking lot on Hwy 30, at 10 am. Dress in layers and bring water and perhaps something hot in a thermos, gloves, hat and wear sturdy shoes. A goal after reaching the top is to determine exactly how many towers there are on top. Hike will be cancelled if there is inclement weather. Contact Clare or Ed Sullivan at or if you plan on attending.

DECEMBER 14, 2019 SATURDAY  CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY to be held at Benton Station Baptist Church, 909 Benton Station Road, Benton, TN 37307. The doors will open at 5:30 pm, and we plan to eat at 6 pm. After supper, we will have a brief business meeting , followed by induction of new officers, conducted by Jennifer Schroll.              

January, 2020

JANUARY 1, 2020 WEDNESDAY 10 AM TO 12 NOON FIRST DAY HIKE OCOEE HIWASSEE STATE PARK Meet at the Gee Creek Ranger Station and the hike will involve a walk at Taylor's Island, then on to the Fisherman's Trail and Lowery Falls. Go to for information.

JANUARY 4, 2020 SATURDAY 1 PM CHIEF VANN NATURE TRAIL Meet at the Vann House, 82 Highway 225 N, Chatsworth, GA, and enjoy a guided tour of the nature trail. Included in the admission of the park $5.50-$6.50. The walk is about one mile.

JANUARY 15, 2020 WEDNESDAY 830 AM TO 3 PM CANEY CREEK SETTLEMENT WORK TRIP Rick Harris is planning a work trip on FS trail #74, the access to Caney Creek Settlement. Meet at Thunder Rock trailhead parking area just below Powerhouse #3 on the Ocoee River to carpool to the beginning of the trail. Plans are to use watercraft to ferry workers and equipment back across river to Caney Put-in. See for more information. Work will include tree removal, brushing, and blaze painting. Drivers will be needed to return vehicles to the trailhead at Thunder Rock after dropping off work crew. The trail is approximately 3 miles, and the crews will be allowed to drive in to the end of the closed road to beginning of trail to save time. If interested, contact Rick Harris at or text 513-260-1184.

Several members have attended this event over the past couple of years and it is well worth the trip. Cost is $15 per performance or $45 for the entire production. Go to for more information. Last year several of us got together for supper in downtown Chattanooga afterwards, and will plan on doing so again this year for the Saturday afternoon performance.

JANUARY 29-FEBRUARY 7, 2020 TELLICO TRAIL OF TEARS REMEDIATION PROJECT - Please consider joining us one or more days between Jan 29 and Feb 7, including the weekend days to fix issues with the Unicoi Turnpike where it travels through the 400 acre parcel of land recently acquired by the USFS near Coker Creek which includes the site of Fort Armistead. The Unicoi Turnpike was used by settlers to travel between NC, SC and TN through the low gap in the mountains, Unicoi Gap. The BMT runs right through this gap. Fort Armistead was a waypoint for the Cherokee and Creek to move them from the mountains to Oklahoma around 1838 on the Trail of Tears. Fort Armistead was also the site of a Civil War encampment. Eventually it is hoped that this stretch of the Unicoi Turnpike will be linked to the Unicoi Turnpike Historical Trail, which comes off the BMT near Unicoi Gap. Also, in the future a visitor center or placards may be built at the site of Fort Armistead. As indicated in the flyer, there is a need for about 10 volunteers each of the 10 days of this project. Personnel with the USFS will be using machinery to repair the tread of the Unicoi Turnpike. Volunteers will be smoothing and compacting the soil and will be involved in building wooden zig-zag fences and other activities. If you are available any of these days, sign up by contacting Melissa Twaroski as noted in the flyer. This
is a great opportunity to support the activities of the USFS, the Cherokee Indian Nation, and the Trail of Tears Association. Representatives from the BMTA, the Thursday Tellico Trail Crew, the Southern Appalachian Back Country Horsemen, and the Cherokee Hiking Club are meeting with Melissa in early January to work out the details for the remediation project. So, keep an eye on the BMTA and Cherokee Hiking Club Facebook pages for further information, as well as the Tellico/Ocoee Volunteer Trail Crew Facebook page. Richard Harris