The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains

 

Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373
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HikerBald River Falls

 

Cherokee Hiking Club Calendar

2021

 

 

Hike Difficulty Rating Scale (per Chattanooga Hiking Club)


Archive of past calendars
2005
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

 

CHC Hike Calendar for 2020 - good for printing

 

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


Benton MacKaye Trail Assn Hike Schedule

 

January

JANUARY 2, 2021 SATURDAY 9 AM BRADY MOUNTAIN SECTION OF THE CUMBERLAND TRAIL Approximately five miles round trip, out and back to a scenic view (with the option to hike an additional approximate half mile to arch if the trail is clear), moderately strenuous with steep rocky areas. Bring lunch and water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. Meet at Brady Mountain trailhead on Highway 68 in Grassy Cove (Black Mountain/Brady Mountain Trailhead Crossville, TN 38555 – from Spring City the parking pull-off is on the left) at 9 am. The kiosk is off the parking lot. If you plan to attend, you must contact Hike Leader Judy Price jprice.bird@yahoo.com for a spot on the roster and to arrange a caravan if applicable. Hike sizes are limited due to COVID-19. Social distancing is observed. More information: Brady Mountain Section – Cumberland Trails Conference. Trip Report: Seven hikers (Margaret and Jack Callahan, Bob Dornfeld, Karen and Fritz Kocher, Jennifer Schroll and Hike Leader Judy Price) and one canine (Smoky) met on a beautiful day at Brady Mountain Trailhead in Grassy Cove to hike part of that section of the Cumberland Trail. We quickly headed uphill and got our heart rates up. After a short reprieve at Low Gap, we headed up once again and it pretty much stayed that way for a couple of miles. We had views on either side of the ridge including northerly toward Crossville. We passed through many rocky areas covered in mosses, ferns, and lichens and paused to sit at one section and take in the views. Once we'd had snacks and shed layers, we continued on until we came to the side trail to the Overlook. We decided to keep going about half a mile to Brady Arch. We meandered in and out through the boulders before heading back to the Overlook trail. Everyone ooh'd and ahh'd when we reached Brady Bluff Overlook with its magnificent views of Grassy Cove, mountains and smokestacks in the distance, and Black Mountain nearby. Of course we ate lunch there so we could bask in the beauty. Unfortunately, our time soon ended and we headed carefully back down the mountain for a hike that was just over six miles.

JANUARY 5, 2021 TUESDAY 9 AM BRUSH CREEK TRAIL IN CHEROKEE NATIONAL FOREST The trail is approximately seven miles one way, but we will meet at the Brush Creek Trailhead (Brush Creek Trailhead US-74, Turtletown, TN 37391 https://goo.gl/maps/X6bdKtUA99JMVaLN7 NOT Boyd Gap) at 9 am and hike in as many miles as we decide to (maybe three miles or so?) then hike back out (since we cannot currently shuttle). The kiosk is in the parking lot. Moderate bike trail with good tread. Bridges may be slippery. Bring lunch and water and wear sturdy hiking shoes. If you plan to attend, you must contact Hike Leader Judy Price jprice.bird@yahoo.com for a spot on the roster and to arrange a caravan if applicable. Hike sizes are limited due to COVID-19. Social distancing is observed. Trip Report: It was double doggo day as three hikers (Bob Dornfeld, Sue Robinson, and Hike Leader Judy Price) and two canines (Smoky and Zoe) hiked part of Brush Creek Trail from Brush Creek Trailhead near the Ocoee Whitewater Center. It was a cloudy and chilly day when we started; Smoky and Zoe soon became fast friends and did zoomies up the trail. We made a side trip to the site of the previous Brush Creek bridge before heading along the trail and passing under the current bridge. We occasionally had views of Ocoee No. 3 Lake and stopped to have lunch by one of the views. The skies had started to look ominous, but as we ate the sun came out and warmed us and the dark clouds skirted on by. After lunch, we headed back to the trailhead where we saw hikers and cyclists starting the trail, the first people we'd seen all day! Approximately eight and a half miles.

JANUARY 9-17, 2021 GRAND CANYON BACKPACKING TRIP Six club members will strike out for Arizona on January 9, 2021, meeting up in Flagstaff, and drive to the South Rim. We'll overnight in a motel and get up the next morning to catch the shuttle to the South Kaibab trail. We'll hike down to Bright Angel campground for the first night on the trail. Day two, the group will hike to Cottonwood Campground, for two nights. The "off day" will consist of a day hike from Cottonwood to the North Rim and back, about 13 miles and 4000-foot elevation gain. Snow (and stamina) may slow us down on this interesting day hike. After the second night at Cottonwood, we'll hike back down to Bright Angel for night number four. A supper and breakfast at the Phantom Ranch the next morning will begin our hike back up to Indian Garden campground. If there is sufficient time an afternoon hike out to an overlook is a possibility. Day six, we break camp at Indian Garden and hike the rest of the way back to the South Rim. Total elevation gain for the trip will be slightly more than 10,000 feet. Reaching the top, we'll drive back to Flagstaff for two nights, with the in-between day possibly visiting Wupatki, NM; Sunset Crater, NM; and Walnut Canyon, NM, near Flagstaff. On Sunday January 17, we'll fly back to our respective hometowns. Hikers include Michelle Ritter, Jennifer Schroll, Megan Callahan, Al Johnson, Darrell Morgan, and Hike Leader Jack Callahan. Trip Report: The Spectacular Six met in Dallas-Fort Worth and flew on to Flagstaff where vehicles were rented for the drive to the South Rim. After an overnight at the Bright Angel Lodge, we got an early start on January 10 and caught the bus to the South Kiabab trailhead to begin our hike to Bright Angel Campground. This seven and half mile section of the trail is steep downhill, and before we reached the Black Bridge, some of our legs were Jell-o. Arriving at the campground, we set up camp and enjoyed the luxury of picnic tables, flush toilets and running tap water. Day Two, we hit the trail at 9 am and made the fairly easy hike to Cottonwood Campground which had vault toilets, stream water and picnic tables. Along the way, we talked with a fisheries biologist who explained their work of removing non-native trout from Bright Angel Creek. We also talked about using multiple campsites with a Park Ranger who was very accommodating and said we could use multiple sites to spread out to prevent overcrowding, which we did. Day Three, Megan, Jennifer and Jack left before 7 am using headlamps to try to make the hike to the North Rim with daypacks. Al, Michelle and Darrell took a more leisurely approach and by midmorning hiked up to Roaring Spring. Each group shared notes on the blackboard at Manzanita Ranger Station. The North Rimmers made it as far as the Supai Tunnel, two miles from the top, before deciding to forgo the additional miles and return to Cottonwood. The estimate was we would arrive back at camp at between 8 and 9 pm if we went to the top. With spots of ice and narrow and rocky sections of trail, this was probably the correct decision. As it was, the three got back by 3:30 pm, with lots of time to have a leisurely supper. We did encounter a trail maintenance crew about halfway to Supai and thanked them for their work. Day Four, the entire group was on the trail by 9 am, and hiked back to Bright Angel Campground. Along the way Al, Megan and Jennifer took the side trail to Ribbon Falls which was quite a sight. Checking in with the Ranger at Bright Angel, we were able to utilize the group campsite which gave us lots of room to spread out. At 7 pm, we went back to Phantom Ranch to consume our stew supper, which was great except that we had to eat outside on a picnic table due to Covid restrictions. Food was hot and quickly consumed. Day Five, we headed back to Phantom Ranch from the campsite for our breakfast, also on the picnic table; and with temps in the 30's it cooled quickly. Everyone got more than their fill, and we broke camp and began the hike up the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Gardens for night five. We crossed the Silver Bridge and made the climb in good time, reaching the campground by very early afternoon. Again, we were able to spread out onto two sites to reduce crowding. After lunch, several of us hiked out to Plateau Point for some late afternoon shots. Mule deer were also plentiful around Indian Gardens and were quite tame. Day Six, we began the serious climb of 4.5 miles to the South Rim, where we saw more people than anywhere else along the trail. The vast majority were day hikers who gave us the right of way as we looked pretty rough and possibly had some minor odor! We made it to the top by 1:30 pm and all were in great spirits. We went back to Flagstaff for two nights to clean up, see the local sights, and eat a hot meal. Saturday, January 16, several of us drove to Wupatki and Walnut Canyon National Monuments. January 17, we all flew back to DFW, where we split up and continued on home. Backpackers of the Spectacular Six were Al Johnson, Jennifer Schroll, Megan Callahan, Michelle Ritter, Darrell Morgan, and Taskmaster Jack Callahan. It was a great trip and many memories were made. But it is a difficult hike!

JANUARY 24, 2021 SUNDAY TIME TBD CLUB MEETING AND PLANNING FOR THE 2021 CALENDAR YEAR, WESLEY MEMORIAL CHURCH, ETOWAH, TN Details to come. Please see Note from the President at the top of this newsletter.

WEDNESDAY WALKS ON THE CLEVELAND GREENWAY Every Wednesday Jack Callahan leads a 3.75-mile walk on the Cleveland Greenway while social distancing, meeting at the lower end of the parking lot across from Perkits and the Gondolier restaurant adjacent to Keith Street. Meet time is currently 4:30 pm. A note on the walk is sent out the beginning of each week on Messenger. Contact Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885 if you want to be included in the messages.

THIRD THURSDAY OF THE MONTH BREAKFAST
Canceled until further notice.

February 

February 5  Laurel Falls in Laurel-Snow SNA - Approximately 6.5 miles round trip and rated moderately strenuous.  Bring a lunch and water.  Wear sturdy hiking shoes.  We will start on the Cumberland Trail and hike through a former mining area to the foot of Laurel Falls.  Meet at Richland Creek Trailhead (N35 31.566W85 01.310) at 10 am.  If you plan to attend you MUST contact the Hike Leader Judy Price at jprice.bird@yahoo.com for a spot on the roster and to arrange a caravan from Cleveland or Dayton if applicable.  Hiker numbers are limited due to COVID-19 and social distancing is observed.  More information about this area can be found at Laurel-Snow SNA Section-Cumberland Trails Conference. Trip Report: It was a chilly morning in Laurel-Snow SNA in Dayton, TN, when six hikers started off to hike to Laurel Falls. We headed off on the Cumberland Trail along Richland Creek. We were hiking in a former coal mining area, and when we stopped at the entrance to what was Richland Mine, a gentleman stopped with us and told us about the history of the place. Right before Dayton Reservoir, which used to supply water to Dayton, we started heading uphill. We crossed the new-ish bridge across Laurel Creek and took the spur trail through a rock squeeze. We gained in elevation and had great views of the area. Eventually we arrived at the base of breathtaking Laurel Falls, where we sat and ate lunch and felt the spray from the falls. Soon it was time to head back downhill and walk beside Richland Creek to the trailhead. It was a wonderful 6.6-mile hike with hikers Jack Callahan, Kristin Coates, Karen Kocher, Clare and Ed Sullivan, and Hike Leader Judy Price.

February 12 Eureka Trail in Englewood, TN  -Easy Rails to Trails walkway with flat, wide and good surface.  New section of the trail starts off Hwy 39 or New Englewood Hwy heading into Englewood from Hwy 30 (White Street in Athens).  Meet in the parking area where the current Eureka Trail ends and the new section crosses Hwy 39.  We will hike the new section that is 1 mile and then head up the older section that is 4 miles.  Each person can decide however far he/she wishes to walk.  We will meet at the parking area at 10 am weather permitting.  Hike leader is Ruth Pannell 423-506-9623 or 263-9730 or email crpannell@comcast.net. Trip Report: Six hikers and a canine met at the Englewood, TN, trailhead of Rails-to-Trails Eureka Trail. The rain let up as we started to walk on the easy track, but it was a cold and dreary day. But the weather didn't dampen spirits! This was a new section of trail that includes a bridge across a creek. We all walked on to the older section toward Athens where three hikers turned around and three continued on to Mashburn Station, a stop on the former railway. We all met up back at the trailhead before heading home after an enjoyable hike. Hikers included Kristin Coates, Bob Dornfeld and Smoky, Judy Price, Yvonne Rittenhouse, and Hike Leaders Ruth and Clayton Pannell.

February 15 Chickamauga Battlefield Hike  -Hike is a 7-8 mile loop on the Red Trail with a lunch stop at Wilder Tower.  Lots of options to shorten the hike if you want to.  Meet at the Cleveland Park N Ride near intersection of I-75/Hwy 60 at 8:15 am or at the Battlefield Visitor Center at 9:00 am.  Afterward we can spend a little time touring the great rifle collection if it is open.  Jennifer Schroll is the hike leader.  She can be contacted at 423-284-1256. Trip Report: On a misty, drizzly President's Day, four members hiked the muddy Red Trail Loop. We had the place to ourselves. In total, we hiked about 8 miles in a counter-clockwise direction stopping to explore battlefield markers and monuments. We saw lots of mushrooms, lichens, and moss. We even saw daffodils starting to bloom. We saw a large herd of deer that we crossed paths with a few times. After the hike, we checked out the excellent rifle collection at the Visitors Center. We hit the highway before rush hour and arrived back in Cleveland just before the skies opened up. Those attending were Jack Callahan, Judy Price, Kristin Coates, and Hike Leader Jennifer Schroll.

February 22 Thunder Rock Loop Hike   -Hike is a loop of about 6 miles and begins at the Thunder Rock Campground parking area which is near the Ocoee Whitewater Center.  Meet at 9:30 am.  It will include parts of the BMT, West Fork, 1330 By-pass, Chestnut Mtn. Loop, Bear Paw, and Rhododendron Trails before returning to the Parking lot.  The hike leader is Clare Sullivan.  You may contact her at clare7982@gmail.com should you need to. Trip Report: On a beautiful "warming day" after a week of frigid temperatures, eight hikers and a canine enjoyed an 8.5-mile loop (BMT>Quartz Loop>Quartz Loop Spur>1330 Bypass>Chestnut Mtn.>Bear Paw>Rhododendron Trail) on the Tanasi Trail System at the Ocoee Whitewater Center. The winter skies allowed us many long-range views of Lowry Peak, Oswald Dome, Big Frog Mountain and others. We were captivated by the deep blue waters of Blue Hole and the emerald green water in the pools on the Ocoee. We met Cherokee Hiking Club member Letha Kelly as we reached the Whitewater Center area. The picnic area made a lovely spot to sit and rest. Hikers included: Mary Alton, Jack and Margaret Callahan, Teresa Greene, Judy Price, Sue Robinson and Zoe, and Hike Leaders Clare and Ed Sullivan.

March 

March 7 Bushwhack From Kimsey Hwy to Hwy 64 Via Goforth Creek drainage  - Before the hike begins we will visit the Jenkins grave site along Kimsey Highway.  The hike will require a volunteer to take the hikers up Kimsey Hwy and drop them off after visiting the grave site.  Hikers will leave a vehicle at the mouth of Goforth Creek on Hwy 64.  Hike is approximately 7 miles with several miles of bushwhacking through the woods with no trail.  Hike is almost all downhill but is considered strenuous.  Meet at 8 am at Thunder Rock trailhead just below Powerhouse #3 to organize vehicle shuttle.  Hike leader is Jack Callahan and all hikers MUST contact Jack prior to the hike as numbers will be limited.  Jack can be contacted at jackn1945@bellsouth.net. Trip Report: Seven club members made the hike from Kimsey Highway to the mouth of Goforth Creek. It was a crisp cool day, just right for this type of hike which included starting out on a gated FS road, with a side trip to an individual gravesite, then continuing on to the end of the open portion of the road. The grave was that of a Mister John Headen, who lived from 1812 to 1905 and owned a large tract of land there. Then we traveled down a well overgrown skid trail, with trees of 12-inch diameter or more growing in the roadbed. There was a lot of wild hog evidence, and there were large sections of the ground well-tilled as the animals looked for food. At the end of this section of the hike, we took off bushwhacking down the slope to intersect with Goforth Creek, which we found in about 1/8 of a mile. There was evidence of the former railroad bed from many years ago, which we followed downstream, sometimes in the stream, until we reached the upper end of the maintained section of Goforth Trail. From there, we hiked down along the maintained trail to the mouth of the stream. Total distance hiked was close to 8 miles, and all in all it was a fairly easy hike with the exception of several blowdowns. Hikers were Mary Alton, James Anderson, Judy Norton, Judy Price, Clare and Ed Sullivan, and Hike Leader Jack Callahan.

MARCH 11, 2021 THURSDAY 6:00 PM MONTHLY CLUB MEETING WESTERN SIZZLIN ATHENS, TN We will meet at Western Sizzlin, 1804 Decatur Pike, Athens, TN. Directions to Western Sizzlin: exit 49 off I-75 (second exit); or north on Hwy 11 to intersection of Decatur Pike (McDonald's on corner right side) turn left, Western Sizzlin on right just past Buddy's BBQ. From 411 north or south, (Tellico, Etowah, Benton,) take Hwy 30 all the way through Athens.

MARCH 12, 2021 ROCK CREEK/DRY POND LEAD (BENTON MACKAYE TRAIL) - Trip Report: Four hikers met at Thunder Rock trailhead parking on what may have been the first warm day of the year to hike Rock Creek Trail and Dry Pond Lead Trail (Benton MacKaye Trail) back to Thunder Rock. We shuttled up to Rock Creek trailhead and began hiking in the Little Frog Wilderness. There were several stream crossings before we began to head steadily uphill. Along the way, we saw views of Big Frog Mountain and the Olympic Bridge at the Ocoee Whitewater Center. Eventually, we hiked downhill to the creek. Trail maintainers did a great job clearing blowdowns on this section. After crossing Rock Creek, we sat and ate lunch while watching the water cascade. We hiked along the creek until the trail headed back uphill to the junction of Dry Pond Lead Trail (BMT), which we followed back to Thunder Rock, stopping occasionally to look at newly-emerged spring wildflowers. Hikers were Buddy Arnold, Doug Lynch, Clare Sullivan, and Hike Leader Judy Price.

March 15 Hike up Mount LeConte and back   -The hike is about 10.6 miles with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain so it is considered very strenuous.  The hike will begin at the Alum Cave trailhead which is on Newfound Gap Rd. 8.7 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg.  Hikers should meet at 8:30 am in the parking lot at Alum Cave Trailhead.  Views will include Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, Little Duck Hawk Ridge and the Eye of the Needle, as well as Myrtle Point, and the Mt. LeConte Lodge.  This one is weather permitting.  It is possible that Yaktrax or spikes may be needed due to the possibility of ice on the trail.  Bring water, snack, and lunch.  The hike leader is Al Johnson.  His contact info is phone 845-283-2666 or aj13hhi@gmail.com. RESCHEDULED TO APRIL 5

March 17 Caney Creek Village Hike  -The hike is approximately 7.5 miles and is moderately strenuous.  There will be two creek crossings.  Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water and lunch.  We will have lunch at the historic Caney Creek Village site beside the Ocoee River.  The town of Caney Creek was constructed for workers who built the Ocoee flume, powerhouse, and dam.  The town was dismantled in the early 1940s after TVA took over the power production.  The trail was recently maintained by the Scouts as an Eagle Scout Project.  Meet at the Thunder Rock Campground trailhead parking area at 9:00 am to caravan to the trailhead.  Hike leaders are Clare Sullivan and Judy Price.  If you plan to attend you MUST contact Clare at 404-849-0872 or clare7982@gmail.com for a spot on the roster.  Hike sizes are limited due to COVID-19 and social distancing is observed.

March 23 Oswald Dome/Lowery Top Hike and Bushwhacking Trip  -The hike is about 8 miles and is considered strenuous with over 2000 feet in elevation gain.  It requires some bushwhacking with lots of green briars.  Bring water and lunch.  The group will have lunch at Lowery Top.  Meet at Quinn Springs Picnic area off Hwy 30 near Reliance at 9:00 am.  Hikers MUST contact the hike leader Jack Callahan before the hike to reserve a spot.  The hike leader is Jack Callahan and his contact is jackn1945@bellsouth.net. Trip Report: The Acinoyx jubatus Six made the assault on Lowry Top, an 8-mile round trip with a total elevation gain of 1900 feet, using the Oswald Dome Trail beginning at Quinn Springs picnic area for several miles, then some bushwhacking and steady walking to the lunch spot overlooking the city of Reliance. Weather was a bit overcast and the views had some haze, but, overall, it was a nice day out. On a clear day from the lunch spot Gregory Bald is visible, some 44 miles away. The bloodroot is beginning to bloom in abundance, Trillium, rue anemone, violets, and many others are beginning to bloom at the lower elevations. We also saw several varieties of antennaria plantaginifolia. (We will all remember the name next hike.) Higher up, the leaves have not begun to emerge. The hike took about 6 hours and generated some tight calf muscles a day later, but it was a great hike and a great happy group. Hikers were Mary Alton; Teresa Greene; Judy Price; Sue Robinson; a visitor, Ed Tarver; and Hike Leader Jack Callahan.

March 25 Scenic Spur and Clemmer Spur Hike  -The hike can be around 4 miles in length but a person can hike less if he/she wants to.  It is considered easy to moderate.  The trailhead is on Hwy 30 headed toward Reliance just off Hwy 64.  Meet at the trailhead parking lot at 9:30 am.  This hike is focused upon viewing wildflowers as this is typically a good time and place for that.  This hike will not have any stream crossings but will have some elevation gain.  Hike leaders are Ruth and Clayton Pannell.  Their contact info is 423-506-9623 or 435-1848 or crpannell@comcast.net.  Bring water, insect repellant, lunch, and Field Guides on Wildflowers if you have them.  Clayton and Ruth will be camping nearby at the Parksville Lake Campground that week.

April 

April 2 Clemmer Trail to Benton Falls and Back Hike  -The hike is 8.6 miles in length and is considered strenuous due to elevation gain.  Meet at the Clemmer Trailhead which is on Hwy 30 headed toward Reliance and just off Hwy 64.  Jennifer Schroll is the hiker leader.  Her contact number is 423-284-1256.

April 3 Estelle Mine Trail and Pocket Wildflower Area in North Georgia  -The hike is 5 miles and with a car shuttle.  The hike begins at the Hwy 193 trailhead.  The trail has some optional short mine tunnels that we can go through or bypass if preferred.  The end of the trail is at the pocket wildflower area with a short boardwalk trail where we may see some early spring flowers.  Meet at the Park N Ride near the intersection of I-75/Hwy 60 in Cleveland at 9 am.  The hike leader is Jennifer Schroll.  Her contact number is 423-284-1256.

APRIL 5, 2021 MONDAY MOUNT LECONTE (RESCHEDULED DATE) - The hike is about 10.6 miles with nearly 3,000 feet of elevation gain so it is considered very strenuous. The hike will begin at the Alum Cave Trailhead which is on Newfound Gap Road 8.7 miles south of the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg. Hikers should meet at 8:30 am in the parking lot at Alum Cave Trailhead. Views will include Arch Rock, Inspiration Point, Little Duck Hawk Ridge and the Eye of the Needle, as well as Myrtle Point, and the Mt. LeConte Lodge. This one is weather permitting. It is possible that Yaktrax or spikes may be needed due to the possibility of ice on the trail. Bring water, snack, and lunch. Contact Hike Leader Al Johnson at 845-283-2666 or aj13hhi@gmail.com. His contact info is phone.

APRIL 6 – 9, 2021 TUESDAY – FRIDAY AT/SMOKIES BACKPACKING TRIP Backpacking trip on the AT. Leave a vehicle at Elkmont Campground and drive to Newfound Gap on April 6. Hike to Mt. Collins Shelter day 1, Silers Bald Shelter day 2, Campsite 26 on Miry Ridge day 3, and back to Elkmont Campground day 4. Hike Leader Buddy Arnold 601-415-3551.

April 6 Chestnut Mountain Hike  -It is approximately 8 miles on the Chestnut Mountain Trail form Iron Gap to Lost Corral Parking lot.  It is mostly downhill with some rough tread so it is considered moderate to strenuous.  One option is to have a volunteer drive the hikers up to Iron Gap and drop them off so no shuttle will be required.  Meet at the Gee Creek Ranger Station parking lot at 8 am to shuttle to trailhead.  The hike leader is Jack Callahan and anyone interested in going MUST contact Jack prior to the hike.  His contact info is jackn1945@bellsouth.net.

APRIL 8, 2021 THURSDAY 6:00 PM MONTHLY CLUB MEETING WESTERN SIZZLIN ATHENS, TN - The meeting room will be open to us beginning at 5:30 pm if you want to come early and go ahead and order and visit a bit with others. The meeting will begin at the usual 6 pm.

April 10 Big Soddy Creek Gulf Park Hike in the Jim Adams Wilderness  -The hike is 4 miles and is considered easy.  Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water.  If the virus allows we will eat lunch at the Home Folks Buffet in Soddy Daisy.  To carpool meet at the Home Depot parking lot in Cleveland on the nursery side of the building at 8:30 am.  Hike leaders are Jim and Lettie Whisman at Lettiejk@gmail.com or Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885.  Please contact one of them if you plan to participate.

APRIL 12, 2021 MONDAY CANEY CREEK VILLAGE (RESCHEDULED DATE) - With Benton MacKaye Trail Association. The hike is approximately 7.5 miles and is moderately strenuous. There will be two creek crossings. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water and lunch. We will have lunch at the historic Caney Creek Village site beside the Ocoee River. The town of Caney Creek was constructed for workers who built the Ocoee flume, powerhouse, and dam. The town was dismantled in the early 1940's after TVA took over the power production. The trail was recently maintained by the Scouts as an Eagle Scout Project. Meet at the Thunder Rock Campground trailhead parking area at 9:00 am to caravan to the trailhead. Hike Leaders are Clare Sullivan and Judy Price. If you plan to attend you MUST contact Clare at 404-849-0872 or clare7982@gmail.com for a spot on the roster. Hike sizes are limited due to COVID-19 and social distancing is observed.

April 13 Black Mountain in Crab Orchard TN toward Crossville  -The hike is about 9-10 miles and is considered strenuous with over 1600 feet in elevation gain.  On the hike see a cave, interesting rock formations, wild flowers, great views, and an old springhouse.  Sue Robinson is the hike leader.  Please contact her prior to the hike as it is limited to 12.  Please text Sue at 423-519-9751 with your name and number in case of cancellation.  Meet at the McDonald’s restaurant in Spring City, TN at 9 am eastern time to consolidate and/or caravan to the trailhead as there is limited parking at the trailhead.

April 17 a Guided Tour of the Interpretive Center at the Hiwassee River Heritage Center in Charleston  A maximum group size is 10 and masks are required.  This will include an easy guided walk outside of the adjoining outdoor National Historic Trail Experience.  This will also possibly include a guided tour of some other historic sites in Charleston and Calhoun.  Charleston was the location of the Federal Indian Agency and eventually Fort Cass, which was the military headquarters for the entire Trail of Tears Cherokee Removal.  Across the river is Calhoun where notable Cherokees helped lay out the town of Calhoun.  There is a suggested donation of $5 or you can purchase a one year membership for $10.  Yvonne Rittenhouse is the event leader.  Her contact info is yvonne.rittenhouse@gmail.com or 423-284-3818.  Please meet at the parking lot beside the pavilion at 10 am.

April 18 Hike to Mushroom Rock on Signal Mountain   -This will be an easy 2.5 mile afternoon stroll to see a very interesting rock formation on Signal Mountain.  The trail is fairly flat and it is considered easy.  We will meet at the Home Depot parking lot in Cleveland-directly behind Outback restaurant-at 1:30 pm to caravan to Signal Mountain.  If you are interested in going please contact the hike leader James Anderson at 423-715-8824 prior to the hike.  At the meeting location he will provide written directions to the trailhead.  If the weather is bad the hike will be cancelled.

April 22 Flat Rock Cedar Glades Barrens Class II Natural Scientific State Natural Area Tour  -Tour the Barrens area with a guided tour by Dr. Sadler of MTSU.  Expect to see wildflowers and lichens.  Walk is approximately 3 miles max with very little grade.  Meet at the Park N Ride at the I-75/Hwy 60 intersection at 8:30 am to carpool to the site.  Located very near Murfreesboro, TN, the drive is approximately 2.5 hours.  Hike leaders Marrie Lasater and Jack Callahan.  Contact Jack at 423-284-7885 if you plan to attend.  Depending upon the virus situation at the time we will carry a lunch or eat in a local restaurant.  Coordinates for the Cedar Barrens Parking lot are 35deg 51min 30sec N, 86deg 17min 44sec W.  We will meet at that parking lot at 10 am CST.

APRIL 24, 2021 SATURDAY STINGING FORK FALLS SECTION OF THE CUMBERLAND TRAIL Eight-plus miles, wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring lunch/water. Hike is rated moderate to strenuous, with some long steep sections. We will take the Stinging Fork Falls Trail to the magnificent falls, then continue on the beautiful Soak Creek Trail to a rocky logging road back to Shut-in Gap Road, and road walk to Piney River Trailhead parking. To carpool from Cleveland, meet at commuter parking adjacent to the Mapco Mart (1900 Candies Ln NW, Cleveland, TN 37312) at 8:00 am. We will meet at Piney River Trailhead (N35 42.841 W84 52.837) by 9:15 am and shuttle to Stinging Fork Falls Trailhead. (We will need two cars minimum so please let me know if you volunteer to help with the shuttle.) To get on hike roster and be alerted about any changes, contact Hike Leader Judy Price at jprice.bird@yahoo.com.

APRIL 30, 2021 FRIDAY ROCK CREEK GORGE SECTION OF THE CUMBERLAND TRAIL 5.4 miles, moderate to strenuous, bring water shoes and lunch/water, and wear sturdy hiking shoes. We will hike from Upper Leggett to Rock Creek bridge, where we will have lunch; then, we will continue on to Retro Hughes. Seasonal drainage and creek crossings. To carpool from Cleveland, meet at commuter parking next to the Mapco Mart (1900 Candies Ln NW, Cleveland, TN 37312) at 8 am. We will meet at Retro Hughes Trailhead (N35 24.173, W85 11.021) by 9:15 am and shuttle to Upper Leggett Trailhead (N35 24.606, W85 07.856). (We will need two cars minimum so please let me know if you volunteer to help with the shuttle.) To get on hike roster and be alerted about any changes, contact Hike Leader Judy Price at jprice.bird@yahoo.com.

May 

MAY 3, 2021 MONDAY 9 AM BALD RIVER FALLS TRAIL OUT AND BACK 9.8 miles round trip - moderate. We will meet behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains at 9 am and go to the Bald River Falls parking area on Tellico River Road. We will hike this incredibly beautiful trail to the last waterfall a short distance from Bald River Rd and eat lunch there, then return to our vehicles. There are numerous impressive waterfalls in the first 2 miles of the trail, then the trail flattens out somewhat with some great campsites and swimming holes. This trip is listed as moderate due to its length and the rockiness of the trail. Contact Rick Harris HarrisRi@aol.com or 423-253-6358 to sign up. You must pre-sign up since this is Wilderness with restrictions on the number of hikers allowed in a group. If you are not signed up, you cannot go.

May 8 John Muir Trail cleanup  -Clayton and Ruth Pannell will be the leaders.  More details will be provided at a later date.

MAY 8 – 16, 2021 VIRTUAL SPRING WILDFLOWER PILGRIMAGE (GSMNP AND BEYOND!) "LET'S HOLD ANOTHER ONLINE EVENT! It is hard not to really miss the fellowship with each other and with nature that our annual spring pilgrimage gives us! With the uncertainty of COVID-19 still an issue, we've decided to make the Spring event virtual this year. This version of our event will once again be held through the iNaturalist app. We will not limit this year's event to the confines of the GSMNP, nor is it ever limited to just wildflowers as the 70-year-old name suggests, but instead we will expand it throughout the entire country, Canada, and anywhere else our pilgrims happen to be. So, no matter where you live or what organisms you have in your backyards, neighborhoods, parks or outdoor areas you may safely visit, you can share them with all of us!"

MAY 10, 2021 MONDAY 9 AM NAKED GROUND, HAOE, AND HANGOVER VIA THE BENTON MACKAYE TRAIL AND BACK WITH POSSIBLE SIDE TRIP TO BOB BALD 7 to 9 miles. Difficult. We will meet at 9 am behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center then drive to the Wolf Laurel Trailhead, about an hour drive. We will hike up the Stratton Ridge Trail 2 miles to the intersection with the BMT, then go north to Naked Ground, Haoe, and the Hangover with its 360 degree views of the Smokies and the surrounding mountains in TN and NC national forests. After eating lunch at the Hangover, we will return with a possible 2 mile side round trip to Bob Bald. Contact Rick Harris HarrisRi@aol.com or 423-253-6358 to sign up. You must pre-sign up since this is Wilderness with restrictions on the number of hikers allowed in a group. If you are not signed up, you cannot go.

May 11-15 Backpack in the Smokies  -This will include parts of the Balsam Mountain, AT, and Kephart Trails.  The total distance hiked will be around 30 miles and is considered moderate to strenuous.  There is a limit of 6 hikers and Buddy Arnold is the hike leader.  His contact info is 601-415-3551 or email at we_arnold@bellsouth.net.  The backpack will go from Pin Oak Gap to Laurel Gap Shelter, from Tri Corner Shelter to Pecks Corner Shelter, to Kephart Shelter and then out via the Kephart Trail.  Some of the specifics may vary as Buddy talks with those interested in going as there are some other options.  Also, since the number is limited, it is highly recommended that anyone interested contact Buddy sooner rather than later to discuss other costs and considerations.  These include a nightly fee to camp in the Park and whether or not a shuttle will be involved that costs and what that amount may be.

May 17-23 Car Camp at Watoga State Park in West Virginia  -See Watoga.com for more info.  It is located on the Greenbrier River near Marlinton, WVA.  We are camping in the Riverside Campground near the upper Bath House around the loop.  (www.wvdnr.gov/Parks/Maps/RiversideMap.pdf)  A tentative schedule of activities during the week is as follows:  Monday travel approximately 6.5 hours from Cleveland.  Tuesday bike ride on the Greenway 20-30 miles.  Wednesday visit the Cranberry Glades and museum with short hikes to see waterfalls in the immediate area.  Thursday drive to Cass State Park (about an hour) and ride the Shay steam engine to the top of the mountain, eat lunch, and return.  Cost of the steam engine ride is approximately $62 pp based upon 2020 rates.  Friday drive to Spruce Knob which is highest point in WVA and visit Seneca Rocks nearby.  Saturday is rest day.  Sunday pack up and return home.  For those not interested in the activities planned, there are lots of other things to do which include visiting the New River Gorge or fishing.  Everyone is responsible for their own reservations for the campsite and for the train ride.  Event leader is Jack Callahan and his contact info is 423-284-7885 if you have any questions.

May 27 Old Copper Road from Boyd Gap to Ocoee Whitewater Center  -This is an easy 3.5 mile hike.  The hike leaders are Ruth and Clayton Pannell.  Their contact info is 423-506-9623 or 435-1848 or crpannell@comcast.net.

June

June 5 Coke Ovens Museum and Tour   -Tour this complex near Dunlap, TN which includes a reproduction of the original country store and short walks to the 100 year old coke ovens in the Coke Ovens Park.  Bring a lunch or we will possibly eat in a local restaurant depending upon the virus situation.  Drive time from Cleveland is approximate 1.25 hours.  Meet at the Park N Ride at the intersection of I-75/Hwy 60 in Cleveland at 8:45 am to carpool to the park.  Event leader is Jack Callahan 423-284-7885.

June 8-10 Backpacking in the Smokies  -This hike will include parts of the AT, Dry Sluice Gap, Grass Branch, and Kephart Prong Trails.  The rating is moderate with about 11.5 miles being covered by the hike.  The hike will start at New Found Gap to Ice Water Springs, then to Kephart Shelter and out the Kephart Prong Trail.  There is a limit of 6 hikers.  The hike leader is Buddy Arnold and his contact info is 601-415-3551 or email we_arnold@bellsouth.net.   The hike will include a cost to camp in the Park.  There will be several stream crossings involving a foot log or bridge.  Anyone who isn’t comfortable doing that could bring water shoes and wade the streams.  Since there is a limit on the number of spots available anyone interested should contact Buddy as soon as possible.

June 22 Mud Gap to Whigg Meadow Hike  -This is an easy to moderate hike off the Cherohala Skyway covering about 4 miles.  Anyone interested should contact Sue Robinson to sign up.  It is limited to 12 hikers.  Her contact info is 423-519-9751.  She asks that you text and leave your name and contact info.  Those attending will meet at the Tellico Welcome Center at 9:00 am to carpool and/or caravan to the trailhead as parking is limited.

June 27-29 Car Campout at Elkmont Campground in the Smokies  -This will include hiking the Sugarland Mountain Trail, to Rough Creek Trail, to Little River Trail which is 12 miles.  The hike begins on Clingman’s Dome road near Mt. Collins shelter and terminates at Elkmont Campground.  Those participating would drive to the campground on the 27th and camp two nights with the hike being on June 28.  If there is interest, possibly another night of camping and hiking other trails or doing a bike ride in Cades Cove could be added.  If you are interested in attending contact Jack Callahan the hike leader at jackn1945@bellsouth.net.  Individuals are responsible for their own campground reservations.  The hike is long and will require an early start on the 28th to get to the trailhead.

July 

July 13 Falls Branch Falls Hike off the Cherohala Skyway  -This is a 3 mile hike with an option to add the Jeffrey Hell Trail which would bump the distance up to about 7 miles.  It would be considered moderate to strenuous due to steep terrain and poor footing.  Trekking poles are definitely recommended.  On this hike will be an 80 foot waterfall and wildflowers.  Sue Robinson is the hike leader.  Her contact info is 423-519-9751.  She asks that anyone interested text her to sign up as the hike is limited to 12.  Hikers will meet at the trailhead at 9:30 am.

August    

September

September 18 Little River Trail in Elkmont area of Smokies  -This is an easy trail that parallels the picturesque Little River.  The trail is 5.1 miles and is an out and back so hikers can turn around at any point.  There are a variety of other trails that could be tacked on or done instead.  These include the Cucumber Trail, Jakes Creek Trail, or Huskey Gap Trail.  If anyone wants to carpool or follow the hike leaders then meet at 8:30 am in Etowah at the Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church one block off Hwy 411 and with the side entrance on 10th street.  The hike leaders are Ruth and Clayton Pannell.  Their contact info is 423-506-9623 or 263-9730 or crpannell@comcast.net.  The drive time is approximately 2 hours and they recommend bringing rain gear, water, snacks, and lunch.  Possibly they will eat an early dinner or late lunch in Townsend on the way home.

September 26-27 Hike up Mount LeConte and stay in the LeConte Shelter  -This is a difficult hike with an elevation gain around 3,000 feet and a distance of over 5 miles each day.  The hike leader is Jack Callahan.  Anyone interested should text Jack at 423-284-7885.  It is very limited in the number who can participate and there is a cost to stay in the Park.

October 

October 9 John Muir Trail Worktrip and Cleanup  -Clayton Pannell will be leading this.  Additional details will be released later.

October 19-24 Big South Fork Annual Club Campout  -This is located at the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.  It is located a few miles east of Oneida, TN and is about a 3 hour drive from Cleveland.  We will again be camping at the Bandy Creek Campground in group site E-1.  There are 18 campsites available on a first come basis.  There is a large covered and screened shelter with picnic tables, electricity, cooking space and a large stone fireplace.   A nice restroom and bathhouse is also nearby that is heated and has hot/cold water as well as a place to wash dishes.  The individual campsites are paved but do not have electricity.  Around September we will be asking folks to let us know who all is planning to attend.  There is a group reservation in place and paid for so there is no need to make an individual reservation.  The actual cost will vary depending upon how many people end up attending.  Besides the cost of the campsite, we also typically split the cost of the wood to keep the fire going in the group pavilion.  Typically the cost ends up being somewhere in the ballpark of $8 per person per night.  This is a great opportunity to fellowship in a beautiful place.  We always have a lot of different hikes and activities available to folks of all hiking levels and anywhere from a slow stroll to a difficult all day hike.  The event leader this year is James Anderson.  You may call or text 423-715-8824 or email jeandersonishere@gmail.com for more info.

November 

November 12-14 Big Frog Area Backpack  -The specific details will be released later and will depend upon trail cleanup efforts that will have taken place by then.  It will be a 2 night backpack and will cover probably around 12-18 miles.  The hike leader is James Anderson.  His contact info is 423-715-8824 or jeandersonishere@gmail.com.

November 18-21 Smokey Mountains Backpack Trip  -This trip will begin at Big Creek Campground and hike 5.7 miles to Walnut Bottoms campsite #37.  Day 2 will be a 6.0 mile hike up Gunter Fork and Balsam Mtn trails to Laurel Gap Shelter.  Day 3 will be a 6.0 mile hike along Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail to Mt. Sterling campsite #38.  Day 4 hike down Baxter Creek trail about 6.1 miles to Big Creek Campground where the hike started.  It is approximately 24 and will be a strenuous hike.  There will be a dry campsite at Mt. Sterling.  Anyone participating needs to be in good condition and have the appropriate gear for cold temps and frozen precipitation, as well as for ice on the trail.  Final dates may change based upon long range weather forecasts and permit availability.  Attendance is limited to 6 with a maximum of 8.  The hike leader is Jack Callahan.  You can text him at 423-284-7885.

November 27 Linda Davis Memorial Greenway Hike  -This is a walk on the Cleveland Greenway of up to 8 miles.  It is typically arranged so participants may walk less of a distance if they so desire.  The hike leader is Randy Morris and his contact number is 423-650-0485.

December

December 11 Annual Club Christmas Party  -With God and government permitting,we hope to be able to return to having an annual Christmas Party this year!!!!!