The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
1295 Crown Street NW, Cleveland, TN 37312




HikerBald River Falls


Cherokee Hiking Club Calendar




Hike Difficulty Rating Scale (per Chattanooga Hiking Club)

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CHC Hike Calendar for 2021 - good for printing


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Benton MacKaye Trail Assn Hike Schedule



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 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 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 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.

Canceled until further notice.


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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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  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. CANCELLED


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. Trip Report: On a cold Friday morning of Easter Weekend, five hikers made the journey to Benton Falls via the Clemmer Trail. We saw peaks of several waterfalls in Rattlesnake Hollow. Benton Falls was really flowing with water from earlier rains. On the way back we looped over to the Clemmer Spur Trail to look for mushrooms. Alas, no mushrooms were found. Hikers were Jack Callahan, Judy Price, Buddy Arnold, Randy Morris, and Hike Leader Jennifer Schroll.

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. Trip Report: On a beautiful Saturday of Easter Weekend, eight hikers made the hike. After a quick car shuttle, we set off from the Estelle Mine Trailhead along an unimproved roadway and then to the old mine railbed. We traveled through 4 of the 6 old railway tunnels – very exciting. It was easier to hike thorough than go UP and around. Several places along this section of trail had washouts. There used to be more railbed elevated crossings. We ended the hike at the Pocket Wilderness area, ate lunch, and explored the beautiful boardwalk among wildflowers. Most people traveled up from the boardwalk to a gorgeous waterfall. Hikers were Judy Price, Jack Callahan, Margaret Callahan, Mary Alton, Fritz Kocher, Karen Kocher, Doug Lynch, and Hike Leader Jennifer Schroll.

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 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. Trip Report: After the hike up LeConte on April 6, Buddy Arnold and Bruce Lee joined club member Darrell Morgan and guest Stuart Johnson for an AT backpack hike. We started at Newfound Gap after leaving a vehicle at Elkmont. The first afternoon we hiked about 6 miles to the Mount Collins Shelter and were joined by a number of thru-hikers and others there. The next day we made the strenuous hike up Clingmans Dome and on over to the Silers Bald Shelter, about 9 miles total. There were a large number of thru-hikers and others either staying in the shelter or camping, probably around 30 altogether. We learned that hiking during a spring break weekend and when the early part of the AT thru-hiker starts, you can probably expect a crowded AT.

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 Trip Report: Hiking club members met at the Hiwassee/Ocoee Rivers State Park parking and carpooled to the trailhead at Iron Gap. This was an 8-mile hike, with the first three miles on a nice grade with good tread. At three miles, we arrived at a really nice overlook with great views to the east and a view of the Hiwassee River just south of Reliance. There is a decent location with water (possibly year-round) just beyond the lookout. The next five miles of the trail becomes more difficult as the tread has a lot of cobbles. There are not many good views in this later section. We finished the hike back at the state park and Doug Lynch shuttled us back to Iron Gap. We had great weather and enjoyed the hike. Hikers included Doug Lynch, Judy Price, Margaret Callahan, Anne Anderson, Mary Alton, Jennifer Schroll, and Hike Leader Jack Callahan.

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 or Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885.  Please contact one of them if you plan to participate. CANCELLED DUE TO BAD WEATHER

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 for a spot on the roster. Hike sizes are limited due to COVID-19 and social distancing is observed. Hike Report: The hike to the unique little village of Caney Creek sparked lots of interest. Thus, Clare Sullivan led three hikes (including April 12 co-led by Judy Price) in conjunction with the Benton MacKaye Trail Association to explore the artifacts. A total of 29 hikers had an exciting time walking through a recently controlled burn area down a steep descent into a community that ended in 1941.The village was built by the Eastern Tennessee Power Company in 1918 for the employees who built the flume between Dam No. 2 and Power House No. 2 on Highway 64 along the Ocoee River. The only way in and out of the community was by boat or by a 150' suspended bridge. The village was featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not for being the only village in the United States that had never had an automobile or horse-drawn vehicle. Being very modern for its day, the community had concrete sidewalks, electric street lights, telephones, fire hydrants, city water, and a lighted tennis court. Concrete used in the construction was the same grade as the concrete for the dam. Residents used the "Toonerville Trolly" to travel to work. The trolley ran on storage batteries. More information about Caney Creek can be found online and at the Ducktown Basin Museum. The forest service road to the trailhead is only open March 15-31 and September 1 – December 31.

April 15 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 10 am eastern time to consolidate and/or caravan to the trailhead as there is limited parking at the trailhead. Trip Report: Four hikers made the rescheduled Black Mountain hike in beautiful Grassy Cove near Crab Orchard. It was a perfect day to see wildflowers, a cave, breathtaking views, and massive, unusual rock formations, along with remnants of a researcher's home and springhouse at the top. A fantastic day!

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 or 423-284-3818.  Please meet at the parking lot beside the pavilion at 10 am.Trip Report: Walking in the Footsteps of Ancestors. On Saturday morning, April 17, ten of us met in Charleston (TN, of course) for what was to be a fine day of shoes-on-the-ground walking, listening, learning, and deepening our understanding of significant historical events, people, and places in our own back yard. Beginning at the Hiwassee River Heritage Center, a certified interpretive site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, our guide Darlene brought the past alive as she wove a captivating narrative which showcased both Native American history and the Civil War period. We visited 13 sites in Charleston before moving across the river for a picnic at Calhoun's Meadowlands Park. Then we were oriented to the second part of our tour, led and taught by Calhoun/Charleston Historical Society guides Laura and Joe. Calhoun is the oldest town in McMinn County, the first county seat, the site of 1838's Removal Route of North Carolina Cherokees, and one of the places occupied and partially destroyed in the Civil War. Prior to township status in 1819, the area was known as Walker's Ferry Trading Post. From our three excellent guides' combined trove of knowledge, experience, and dedicated hard work, we received gifts of time, generosity, hospitality, and inspiration. Each of us was also given two written and pictorial booklets to carry home, ponder, and appreciate. Oh, and we walked about 4.5 miles!

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. Trip Report: It was a wonderful Sunday afternoon for six hikers to visit Mushroom Rock atop Signal Mountain. The six were Lettie and Jim Whisman, Karen and Fritz Kocher, and Phyllis and James Anderson (Hike Leader). (Apparently it was a couples hike!) It was a great afternoon for a stroll with the flowers blooming, the birds singing and the sun shining. Lots of laughs and conversation were had by all. Also, I must report that Phyllis was able to try out her new iPhone mini-tripod which she purchased at 5 Below and was able to take the official photos with her actually being in the picture too. What progress!!!

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. Trip Report: Four club members met in Cleveland and drove to the trailhead to meet up with the rest of our group at 10 am. After a brief discussion on the area, we began our walk which was led by Dr. Kim Sadler of MTSU. Dr. Sadler and Marrie Lasater had pre-walked the section of trail and had pre-identified the rare and unusual plants we were going to see. They had nice handouts and plant lists and were very well organized. We saw many plants that are only found in barrens, and a few which are specific to this area only. These included Pyne's ground plum, Tennessee milk vetch, and Nashville breadroot to name a few. It was a very informative walk and both Marrie and Dr. Sadler are very familiar with the area and made excellent guides. After a two-plus-mile walk, we stopped by the geographic center of Tennessee, then on to Stones River National Historic Site for lunch on the grounds. We had beautiful weather and saw some amazing plant life. A special thanks to Dr. Sadler and Marrie for their organization and to Clare Sullivan, Karen Kocher, Anne Anderson, and Margaret Callahan for attending. Hike Leader Jack Callahan would like to do this event again in the fall and camp at Cedars of Lebanon State Park for two nights to do the full four-plus-mile walk in the glades.

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 Trip Report: Three hikers started off on an overcast and chilly morning at Stinging Fork Falls trailhead after shuttling from Piney River trailhead north of Spring City. The first thing we noticed was that the forest next to the kiosk had been felled. It was shocking, but did open up the views. We took Stinging Fork Falls Trail down rocky, slick-from-the-rain switchbacks and were excited to get glimpses of the falls on the way. Finally, the magnificent falls appeared before us. We made plans to come back in the future before heading back to the junction and hiking Soak Creek Trail. The creek was recently named a Scenic River. This is where our hike slowed down as we stopped to admire all the blooming wildflowers, not only right along the trail, but covering every inch of the forest: jack-in-the-pulpit; almost every color of trillium, dwarf crested iris and violet; phlox; chickweed; fire pink; lady's slipper; mayapple; geranium; partridgeberry; gaywings; fairybell; waterleaf; and many more. We also had to marvel at the beautiful creek cascades and drainage streams and dripping, mossy rock bluffs and rockhouses as the trail led us next to the creek one moment, then up and down the mountain, and back to the creek over and over. The sun came out by the end and we were warmed up as we ended our hike road-walking past the confluence of Soak Creek and Piney River to trailhead parking. Mary Alton, Doug Lynch, and Hike Leader Judy Price made the eight-and-a-half-mile hike. Thanks to Mary for carrying out two bags of trash she picked up along the way!

APRIL 26 - 28, 2021 MONDAY - WEDNESDAY FROZEN HEAD STATE PARK Group Site so you don't have to make your own reservations. Hike Bird Mountain Loop on April 27. 7.5 miles, moderate to strenuous. Bring food and water for hikes and campout. Option to do a hike on April 26 if anyone interested. Checkout on April 28. Contact Hike Leader Doug Lynch at or 865-850-7243. HIKE INFORMATION! Please see the spreadsheet attached below for updated information on the May 17 - 23 Watoga State Park campout. Contact Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885 for more information. Trip Report: :Five hikers met at Frozen Head State Park to camp for two nights at Big Cove Campground group site and hike. Monday, the group hiked Emory Gap Trail to see Emory Falls. Tuesday, we hiked Bird Mountain Loop, a difficult 8.8 miles comprising Lookout Tower Trail, Cumberland Trail and Bird Mountain Trail. We had great weather, beautiful views, and the trail was lined with several different wildflowers, mostly different-colored trillium. The group got to see the famous Castle Rock! Good food and great fun were had at the campsite. The hikers: Teresa Greene, Sue Robinson, Teresa Wyatt, Judy Price and Hike Leader Doug Lynch.

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 Trip report: It was a warm, beautiful day as three hikers--Karen Kocher, Doug Lynch and Hike Leader Judy Price--set off from Upper Leggett Road trailhead in Sale Creek after shuttling from Retro Hughes trailhead near Bakewell. After rock-hopping Boiling Springs Branch, it wasn't long before we were at Rock Creek Overlook, a rock outcropping where you can see the creek in the winter. The mountain laurel had just begun to show its unique pink blooms. We were surprised to see that the bridges at Flat Branch and Rocky Branch were out, but we were able to rock-hop both creeks. Soon we were crossing Leggett Branch Cascades, a magnificent little waterfall. After hiking along rock bluffs to our right and through what we called "Fire Pink Alley," we began to head downhill past a patch of Jack-in-the-pulpit to Rock Creek Bridge. We stopped for lunch at the picturesque bridge, watching the butterflies and dragonflies playing and talking to a fellow dayhiker, before we continued up the other side of the gorge. Here along the trail was an abundance of wildflowers: dwarf crested iris, red and yellow buckeye, trillium, and the one Karen had been hoping for, pink lady's slipper. We continued to climb up and up on the pine-needle-covered trail until we were back at the trailhead. The trail is 5.4 miles one-way but we ended up hiking 7.7 miles. Quite a wonderful day.


MAY 7, 2021 Friday 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 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. Trip Report: Leaders: Richard and Brenda Harris. Length: 9.6 miles, moderate. Attendees: Hike Leaders Richard and Brenda Harris, Tom and Carolyn Sewell, Karen Kocher, Mary Alton, Reggie Jay. This hike was originally scheduled for May 3, but was rescheduled for May 7 due to the heavy day-long rains on May 3. Seven hikers met at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center at 9 AM and drove to the Bald River Falls Parking Lot. We first viewed the main falls by the road, then hiked up the perfectly maintained trail. The first mile is rocky with lots of ups and downs with some rock scrambling, but with lots of eye candy with numerous waterfalls. The next four miles were easier hiking, much of it on the old railbed. Crossing Pawpaw Creek was tricky, though. Rick spent time discussing the logging days, the route of the narrow-gauge railway used by Shay engines to bring out the logs, the old CCC rec area above the falls, the CCC itself and the location of CCC camps in the area, and the Wilderness designation and what it means for explorers and trail maintainers. Rick also conducted a quiz on the 8 Wilderness areas in the region; no one knew them all. Also, Carolyn Sewell pointed out all the numerous flowering plants along the way. We saw some of the largest blooming Solomon's seals ever, both true and false. We ate lunch at the last falls closest to Bald River Road, then returned to the parking lot. It was a gorgeous cool sunny breezy day, much different from the Monday it was scheduled for. In addition to Carolyn slowing up us hikers to look at flowers, Rick slowed up the hikers with his history talks and with documenting the location of the 11 campsites along the trail and GPS'ing the route for the upcoming revision of the Will Skelton's Cherokee National Forest Hiking Guide. But slow is good, to the enjoyment of all.

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 14, 2021 FRIDAY 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 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. Trip Report: Hike Leaders: Richard and Brenda Harris. Attendees: Richard and Brenda Harris, Tom and Carolyn Sewell, Mary Alton, Anne Anderson, Phil Strickler, Fred Woodward. Distance: 7.0 miles. Elevation Gain: 2041'. Difficulty Level: Difficult. Thirteen folks were signed up but due to gas shortages, only eight showed up. Five met at the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center at 9 AM and three met us at the Wolf Laurel Trailhead on the east flank of Stratton Ridge. The day started and stayed cool in the 50s and partly sunny with clear air. We started up the Stratton Ridge Trail and reached the BMT on Stratton Ridge at 1.3 miles. After resting at "Sit your butt down for a few minutes" Rock at the intersection with the Haoe Lead Trail/BMT at 5281' elevation, we headed down to Naked Ground, then up to Haoe (the site once of a fire tower) and on out to the Hangover at mile 3.5. We ate lunch and admired the incredible views into the Smokies and the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests and across the Tennessee River Valley to the Cumberland Plateau. The trail was in good condition except for three or so minor blowdowns, but provides always a quite challenging hike. We then returned the way we came, all very tired after this difficult but rewarding hike.

May 10-15 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  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. Ttrip Report: Buddy Arnold, Bruce Lee, and Darrell Morgan completed this backpacking trip on May 15, 2021. We started the hike on May 11, 2021, leaving a vehicle at the Kephart Prong Trailhead, and taking a commercial shuttle to the Beech Gap Trailhead north of Cherokee. The shuttle service used was "A Walk in the Woods." They provided good service and were cheaper than others contacted. The first part of the trip was very strenuous with a gain in elevation of about 2500 feet in about 5 miles. We spent the night at the Laura Gap Shelter, having the shelter all to ourselves. The shelter was nice, with the only downside being a long steep trip to the water source. We got a lot of rain during the night and waited until mid-morning to continue up the Balsam Mountain Trail to the AT. We continued on to the Tri-Corner Shelter, a total hike of about 7 miles. When we got to the shelter, there were only a couple of people there, but we were soon to be joined by close to 30 AT thru hikers. This is a nice shelter with a close water source. We continued about 6 miles the next day on the AT to the Peaks Corner Shelter, again sharing the area with a large number of thru hikers. This is a nice shelter, but the water source and latrine are considerable distance. There were great views of the mountains along the way. The next day we took the AT toward the Kephart Shelter, and then took side trails to the shelter. The distance hiked was about 10.5 miles, with a lot of downhill. This is a nice shelter located close to a stream, but no latrine. We had the shelter to ourselves. The last day we hiked out to the trailhead, only about 2 miles, with great views of the stream and several log bridges. A lesson learned from the hike is that it is probably a good thing to avoid using the AT shelters when there are so many thru hikers headed north from Georgia. This would be from April until almost 1 June based on my experience. We might want to consider sending a letter to the Park Service about this issue. There really has to be some limit placed on the number of thru hikers so that all can enjoy the experience of hiking the AT and protecting the resource. It does not seem fair that recreational hikers are limited to very small numbers with no limits on thru hikers. The crowding at and around the shelters detracted from the enjoyment of the experience. Despite this issue, it was a very good hike that we all enjoyed.

MAY 13, 2021 THURSDAY 6 PM MONTHLY CLUB MEETING CHARLESTON CITY PAVILION Due to current precautions, we will not have a potluck dinner. Bring your own meal to the Charleston (TN) City Pavilion in Hoyt Berry Municipal Park.

May 17-23 Car Camp at Watoga State Park in West Virginia  -See 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.  (  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. Trip Report: The majority of the group assembled on the evening of Monday, May 17. On the morning of Tuesday, May 18, the bikers took a shuttle from Marlinton to Cass, and rode the 24.6 miles back to Marlinton. The trail is a rails-to-trails of the former line down the Greenbrier River, a total of 78 miles of well-graded gravel path, with a minus grade of 1 percent. The portion we rode included several campsites with water, vault toilets, and shelters. We also rode through a long tunnel, and numerous bridges. Back in camp, Jennifer treated us to campfire cooking of pie filled pastries cooked in a cast iron pie iron. On Wednesday, May 19, we drove to nearby Beartown State Park, walked the boardwalk through some very interesting rock formations, and observed interesting mosses, lichens, and a large, winged creature's nest. From there we toured Droop Mountain Battlefield, hiked to a very limited cranberry bog, observed Bog Boy collecting samples, and rode to the observation tower which provides views of the Greenbrier Valley. From there we visited the Lost Creek covered bridge, a 114-foot-long structure built just after the Civil War. Several people finished the day with a meal in Marlinton. On Thursday, May 20, the group drove to Seneca Rocks, and climbed the 900-foot elevation, 1.5-mile trail to the overlook. Several more of the fleet of fools climbed beyond the skull and cross bones sign to take more exciting photos. From there we drove to near the top of Spruce Knob and hiked the last 0.2 miles to the top, the highest point in West Virginia. Then some went to Elkins for their side of beef. Others stopped briefly at Green Bank Observatory to see the huge radio telescope, the largest articulating telescope in the USA. Back in camp after supper, we were treated to more campfire cooking and James presented Jack with a souvenir of West Virginia--local maple syrup. On Friday, May 21, we drove to the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area and toured the glades with a guide provided by the Forest Service. Mr. Moose was very knowledgeable of the area and answered our questions and identified numerous plants we did not know. From there we toured the Falls of Hill Creek, a very well-maintained trail with numerous sets of steps, and viewed the second-highest waterfall in West Virginia, some 64 feet tall. Several of the group continued on and drove the Highland Scenic Byway, while others took a tour of a nearby whiskey brewery. Saturday, May 22, many took off for home while the remainder of the group drove to Cass and rode the Shay train to the top of Pine Mountain and back. We viewed the movie which gave the history of the area and saw a scale model of the town when it was in its heyday. From there the remaining folk headed home with the exception of one couple who chose to spend one more night. The early riser Sunday morning was treated to two barred owls talking to one another, then a tom turkey gobbling as it left its roost, followed by the sounds of a kingfisher darting down the river and a pileated woodpecker calling nearby. Not bad for a 20-minute span of time. There were fifteen club members who made the trip: James and Phyllis Anderson, Karen and Fritz Kocher, Doug Lynch, Joanne Jackson, Jennifer and Mitchell Schroll, Jerry Schneider, Al Johnson, Amanda Colantonia, Rick and Brenda Harris, and Margaret and Jack Callahan, Event Leader.

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


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   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.CANCELLED

June 10 Thursday Monthly Meeting - 6PM - Charleston Park Pavillion. Bring your own food, due to COVID. Meeting will begin after we all eat.

June 22 Mud Gap to Whigg Meadow Hike  -This is an easy-to-moderate hike off the Cherohala Skyway covering about 4 miles. 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. It is limited to 12 hikers. Anyone interested should contact Hike Leader Sue Robinson at 423-519-9751 to sign up. She asks that you text and leave your name and contact info.

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 Clingmans Dome road near Mt. Collins shelter and terminates at Elkmont Campground. Those participating would drive to the campground on the June 27 and camp two nights with the hike being on June 28. Individuals are responsible for their own campground reservations. The hike is long and will require an early start on the June 28 to get to the trailhead. 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 Hike Leader Jack Callahan at Trip Report: Members of the club met at Elkmont Campground and Townsend in the GSMNP in preparation for the hikes. The Slick Six, Jerry Schneider, Anne Anderson, Al Johnson, Doug Lynch, Otis Pannell and Hike Leader Jack Callahan took a shuttle to the trailhead near the Mt. Collins Shelter on the access road to Clingmans Dome and began the (mostly downhill) hike. The first couple of miles of the Sugarland trail winds through relics of the ice age, boreal type forest. As the elevation declines, we began to get some great views of Mt. LeConte, and as we entered the burn area of the Chimney Top fire we had great views from both sides of the trail. The next couple of miles through the burn area were quite difficult hiking, as the sunlight had encouraged a thick growth of fire cherry and blackberry. In several sections, the trail was almost indistinguishable, causing some unsteady walking. Also, as we entered the burn area we were met by Jerry's son and daughter-in-law, Mat and Jess, who had run UP the trail some nine miles from Elkmont Campground to join us for lunch. From Sugarland Trail we took Rough Creek Trail and walked out of the burn area to more mature forest, where the trail was better maintained. From Rough Creek we joined Little River Trail, which took us back to the campground, for a total of 13 miles. After hiking with us for a while Mat and Jess ran back to camp. Back in camp we cleaned up a bit and enjoyed a nice campfire at Jerry's campsite. The club members in Townsend, Ruth and Clayton Pannell, Carin Taber, Joanne Jackson and Sheri Stewart, took another hike in the park along the Little River rather than the Sugarland hike. All in all, it was a great couple of days with nice temps and no rain.


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. Trip Report: Eight of us enjoyed all the wildflowers blooming and waterfall today. Weather was perfect with temps in the 70's. Great friends, waterfall and, most importantly, no injuries on the steep slippery terrain. Topped off with lunch afterwards at Tellico Grains Bakery.


AUGUST 9, 2021 MONDAY COKER CREEK FALLS PARKING LOT TO TN68 With Benton MacKaye Trail Association. About 7 miles moderate. First three miles downhill through the Coker Creek Gorge with impressive waterfalls. Then cross bridge over Coker Creek on BMT and hike 4 miles mild-moderate uphill to TN 68. Meet at TN68 crossing of BMT at 9 AM, xx miles north of where TN68 leaves Hiwassee River. We will leave some cars there, then drive to the Coker Creek Falls parking lot. Contact Hike Leaders Rick & Brenda Harris at 423-253-6358 or Hike Report: Hike Leaders: Richard and Brenda Harris. Attendees: Richard and Brenda Harris, Jack Callahan, Patrick and Judy Iverson, Penny Strickland, Teresa Greene, Teresa Wyatt, Doug Lynch, and Mary Alton. Distance: 6.8 miles Elevation Gain: 1522'. On this hot and humid day, the ten of us met at 9 am at the TN 68 crossing of the BMT for this joint Cherokee Hiking Club and Benton MacKaye Trail Association hike. We carpooled to the Coker Creek Falls parking lot to begin our hike. We hiked past the iconic water cascades of Coker Creek and were tempted to jump in, but instead we just took a bunch of pictures. We hiked mostly downhill along the valley of Coker Creek to the Coker Creek primitive campsite at the junction of this trail with the BMT by the bridge over the creek. The hike down was strenuous due to many rocky, root-y, and brushy areas, but the trees had been cleared off the trail recently by the Tellico/Ocoee Volunteer Trail Crew, making the hike a pleasure - mostly. It was at least tolerable. At the primitive campsite we ate lunch and chatted and some went rock hopping out into the creek bed. We found a dead snake, but thankfully no live venomous ones. We then crossed the BMT bridge over Coker Creek and headed uphill about 1500 feet elevation rise over 2.5 miles to the crest of Unicoi Mountain, then level and downhill back to our cars at the gap in the mountain where TN 68 crosses the BMT. In the parking area we all enjoyed cold watermelon before the rains came. While retrieving our shuttle vehicles, the heavens opened up for a good soaking.


SEPT 12 – 17, 2021 SUNDAY - FRIDAY CAMPOUT AT FALL CREEK FALLS STATE PARK With Benton MacKaye Trail Association. Hike each day Mon-Thurs. Reserve your campsite now. We will be in campsite A30. Or reserve a room in the lodge if open by then (being rebuilt), or reserve a cabin. They go quickly. Monday we will hike trails at the state park. Tuesday we will hike to Virgin Falls. Wednesday we will hike at Burgess Falls. Thursday we will hike to Cummins Falls and swim below the falls (online permit required). Contact Hike Leaders Rick & Brenda Harris at 423-253-6358 or Report: Hike Leader and Co-Leaders: Richard and Brenda Harris. Ten folks participated in this campout at Fall Creek Falls State Park on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Those camping checked in on Sunday, setting up camp all close to each other. Some of us wandered around the Mountain Folk Festival still going on from the weekend. Of special interest was watching a couple artisans carve figures with chainsaws--little tiny chainsaws. We listened to some bluegrass music on the outdoor stage as well. On Monday morning, we hiked the various trails around the park, visiting all the waterfalls and checking out the overlooks into the gorge. We hiked about six miles of fairly challenging trails, including the almost dangerous trail down to the bottom of the iconic 256-foot-high Fall Creek Falls, reportedly the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. That evening we enjoyed a campfire at the Harris's campsite. Tuesday, we hiked the entire nine-mile difficult trail to Virgin Falls. This waterfall exits a cave then drops about 100 feet, entering a large sinkhole at the bottom. The water was quite low due to recent lack of rain, the lowest we have ever seen. We checked out two other waterfalls, one of which was totally dry, and also checked out Sheep Cave. Two of us explored into the cave with headlamps a-ways. We returned to our campsites near dark and everyone ate, showered, and crashed in bed. No campfire. Wednesday, we went to Burgess Falls and Rock Island State Parks. There was plenty of water in the waterfalls since it had stormed heavily overnight. These two gorges with large waterfalls were truly spectacular. Jack Bell and his little dog JJ made for great photo ops. Such a cute little bugger who loves to pose for pictures. After returning to the campsite, we again enjoyed a campfire and Brenda's three cousins who live close by joined us. It was a very fun evening. Thursday, we went to Cummins Falls State Park with plans to swim below the falls. However, the water levels were so high after more big storms overnight that we were not allowed to enter the gorge and swim. Usually, folks can hike up the gorge in the river bed about a half mile to the base of the falls, but it was just too dangerous to do that on Thursday. The park staff had to rescue with ropes a person who illegally went into the gorge then got stuck by the high water. Can't fix stupid. Since we got back fairly early, most everyone packed up and returned home that afternoon. Rick and Brenda were the only ones staying till Friday to check out. This was a great trip in spite of low, then high water levels. We hope to repeat this joint campout in the future.

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  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.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2021 - OCTOBER 2, 2021 THURSDAY - SATURDAY CAMPOUT AND HIKE AT OLD STONE FORT STATE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK Walk at Flat Rock Cedar Glade and Barrens State Natural Area. The walk on Friday, October 1, will be about 4.5 leisurely miles led by Marrie Lasater and Dr. Kim Sadler. These ladies are very familiar with the area and plant life and are excellent guides. The campground at Old Stone Fort is located on the banks of the Duck River, with electric hookups and showers. On Thursday afternoon we will tour the historic old fort and surrounding area. (Jack has site #32). For those who just want to do the barrens walk, you may meet us at the trailhead on Friday, October 1, at a time to be determined as we get closer to the date. For addition information contact Event Leader Jack Callahan at 423-284-7885.


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 for more info. Trip Report: This year the Club once again sponsored a group camp out at the Big South Fork Recreation Area which covers parts of northern Tennessee and southern Kentucky. We had a total of 23 campers who turned out. They showed up in everything from tents, to pull-behind campers, pickup truck camper shells, to drivable RVs. The weather was pretty close to perfect with temperatures being not too hot nor too cold. The fall colors did seem to be a bit late this year, although we did notice some color change while we were there. As usual, there was lots of good food, sometimes shared by all and a nice mixture of short and longer hikes and excursions. At least one bear was seen by one group on their way to the Arches trail and the coyotes serenaded us almost nightly at the campground. A variety of hikes and activities were offered. On one day these included hikes around Blue Heron area and a visit to the discovery center which told about the mining in that area. We also visited Devil's Jump Overlook and Crack in the Rock in that same general area. Other hikes included walking to Yahoo Falls and an 8.3 mile walk on the John Muir Trail by another group. On another day there was a hike to the Twin Arches, to Charit Creek Lodge, and then a loop back to the Arches. On other days there were hikes to Angel Falls, a visit to the Burnt Mill Area, and the Oscar Blevins Farm Loop. On the final day a group of us also visited the Obed River Scenic area near Wartburg. Besides all of these wonderful hikes, we spent lots of time socializing and eating together around the big stone fireplace in the group pavilion. So, we hope you enjoy these pictures from the camp out and will consider joining us next year if you didn't this time. It's a lot of FUN!


November 8 Monday Black Mountain section of the Cumberland Trail - This 9 mile hike with 1600 feet of elevation rise takes us to a rocky overlook off of Black Mountain along the Cumberland Trail near Crossville. Contact Sue Robinson to sign up and for details at 423-519-9751 or Trip Report: Six club members and a guest hiked up to Black Mountain to the overlook of Grassy Cove. On the way, we took a short spur to Windlass Cave. Then we proceeded up to "the cubes" of massive rocks. Views at the top were spectacular on this sunny day! Afterwards, we had a cold beer and food at American Grill.

NOVEMBER 11, 2021 THURSDAY 6 PM - ETOWAH SENIOR CENTER MONTHLY CLUB MEETING - This month we will be returning to our potluck dinner format for the meetings. The Club will be furnishing drinks, cups, and plastic eating utensils. Also, we have a special program planned for the evening which includes a slide presentation from Jack and Jennifer of pictures from the backpacking trip to the Ansel Adams Wilderness in California last year.

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

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.Trip Report: A total of nine members of the Club made this ambitious hike. James Anderson led the advance group with himself, Buddy Arnold and Stuart Johnson, and they went a day early. They spent the first night at Walnut Bottom Campground and left on the 18th to hike up Gunter Fork trail to Laurel Gap shelter. Hike Leader Jack Callahan led the second group including Jerry Schneider, Rick Harris, Otis Pannell, Jennifer Schroll and Darrell Morgan, which started on the 18th. They hiked in up Big Creek Trail 5.2 miles and stayed the first night at Walnut Bottom campsite. A light rain caught the group about an hour prior to reaching the camp and with the help of wood that the advance group had left; Jennifer got a nice fire going. Overnight it dropped into the upper twenties, and we awoke to frozen condensation on our rain flies. After a group meeting, we decided to take the longer route to Laurel Gap using the Swallow Fork Trail. Concern about wading numerous stream crossings in sub-freezing weather and the reports of no maintenance on the Gunter Fork Trail led to this decision. The hike up Swallow Fork was a constant uphill climb, and we reached Pretty Hollow Gap around 1 pm, a four-mile hike. We ate lunch in the sunshine, and hiked on Mt. Sterling trail to Laurel Gap shelter, another four miles. We arrived at the shelter around 4:30 pm, to meet the advance group, who had a nice fire going in the shelter fireplace. After a round of handshakes, we had supper, and got sleeping arrangements in order. Several folks stayed up till almost 7 pm feeding the fire. It gets dark around 5:30 and the temp drops rapidly above 5000 ft. elevation. Even though we were in Hodag territory, none were heard during the night. The next morning, Otis had a nice fire going and the temps were in the mid-thirties. After breakfast, the group headed out for Pretty Hollow Gap for lunch. After lunch, James and his group headed down Swallow Fork Trail back to Walnut Bottom, and Jack's group continued up Mt. Sterling Trail to the top of Mt. Sterling, elevation 5843. Arriving at the top, the group spread out and set up camp, and some climbed the fire tower to take photos of the views. Again, Jennifer got a nice campfire going and the group enjoyed supper near a warm fire. A few hearty souls stayed up till almost 7 pm burning the wood and tending the fire. By morning the temps were in the lower forties, a nice reprieve from what we had been having. After breakfast the group headed down Baxter Creek Trail back to Big Creek trailhead to catch our shuttle at one pm. We hiked six miles in four hours, and the trail conditions were somewhat difficult. The elevation drop was about 4100 feet, and the leaf fall had the obstacles in the trail well hidden. Several long sections had a lot of cobble which made walking tentative. We reached the trailhead fifteen minutes early and our shuttle arrived at exactly one o'clock. James and his crew had already hiked out and were already headed home. We all made a safe journey home with the exception of Jerry, who had to test his Mercedes safety equipment. He hit a pool of water on the road in Kentucky, hydroplaned off into a ditch and totaled his vehicle. It was a single car accident, and Jerry had no injuries. He said the next day, he hurt from head to toe, but that was from the hike, not the car accident. Jerry, we are all glad you were unhurt. All in all, we hiked about 26 miles with a total elevation gain of 5100 feet. Everything in the Smokies is uphill.

November 25 Friday - The Narrows of the Hiwassee - Clare Sullivan plans to lead a hike to the Narrows from the Apalachia Powerhouse the day after Thanksgiving, to burn off some of that Turkey Orgy. This is about a 5 mile hike to the very pretty area of the Hiwassee Gorge above the powerhouse. Contact Clare for details and to sign up at Trip Repot: With Benton MacKaye Trail Association. A Hike with Adventure! The 4.5-mile hike to The Narrows, a gorge through which the old riverbed flows on the Hiwassee River, was full of adventure. It is a spur trail off the BMT's Section 13d and definitely worth seeing. Nine hikers enjoyed exploring a tiny cave, crossing logs and hugging rocks beside the river on our way to The Narrows. Once there, we hiked through the underbrush onto humongous rocky beds shaped by the river. We maneuvered under the outcrops and over boulders to view interesting potholes and colors. Hikers were Hike Leader Clare Sullivan, Gabe Strand, Tilly and Kelley Quinn, Karen Petrillo, Leah Harris and Jasper, Mimi Anderson, Ken Cissna and Artie, and Evelin and Doug Yarns. • Clare Sullivan

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. Trip Report: Three club members strolled on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway on the annual Saturday after Thanksgiving Hike conducted in memory of club member Linda Davis. This was my 10th year leading the walk and we enjoyed a beautiful, crisp, late fall morning with great conversation and only a handful of other folks on the trail. We were treated to a large amount of frost flower (thanks Leon for naming the plant for me!) along the trail and viewed a young spike buck grazing on the Cleveland High Soccer Field. Enjoying the hike were club members Carol Guhne, James Anderson, and Randy Morris, reporting.


DECEMBER 1, 2021 WEDNESDAY 9 AM WORK DAY ON CHILDERS CREEK SECTION OF BENTON MACKAYE TRAIL/JOHN MUIR NRT If you still have some of those turkey and dressing calories you need to burn off then please consider joining Rick Harris and I for a work day on the Childers Creek section of the Benton MacKaye Trail/John Muir NRT. This is the section just above Reliance that begins at the Childers Creek Trailhead and extends about 3 miles upstream to the Big Bend parking area. It is a really beautiful and relatively flat section that, for the most part, is within sight of the Hiwassee River. We will meet at 9 am at the Childers Creek Trailhead parking lot for a brief safety talk and to plan the work for the day. Depending on how many attend, we may do brushcutting, lopping, and/or cutting out some blowdowns on the trail. You need to bring plenty of water--at least two bottles of around 32 oz each--, lunch and/or snacks; wear your boots; and bring work gloves. We can provide hard hats or safety glasses if needed. However, if you have your own hard hat or safety glasses please feel free to bring them. Also, if you want to bring your own sling blade, loppers, or brushcutter you may. If you do plan to join us please let me know by texting or calling me at 715-8824 so we will have enough hard hats, etc., for all who need them. I hope you will consider participating if your schedule allows as we could definitely use your help. Also, if you want to try to carpool from Cleveland then please contact me about that as well. Thanks, James Anderson.

December 11 SATURDAY 6 PM ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY WESTERN SIZZLIN ATHENS TN The President encourages all to attend and to participate in the Dirty Santa Gift Exchange. Everyone who plans to participate should bring a $10 gift for that. Meeting Report: We were certainly glad that we were able to return to having a Club Christmas Party this year. It was great to have 23 Club Members in attendance to enjoy a dinner together, installation of new officers, and the very popular Dirty Santa Gift exchange. It certainly didn't disappoint this year with many gifts being "stolen" from others. Here are a few photos to highlight the evening's activities. • James Anderson

January 2022

ANNUAL PLANNING MEETING - JANUARY 9, 2022 SUNDAY 2 PM WESLEY MEMORIAL METHODIST CHURCH ETOWAH TN - Our annual Club Planning meeting will be held on Sunday afternoon, January 9, at 2:00 pm. We will be meeting in the fellowship hall of the Wesley Memorial United Church in Etowah, TN. It is located at 923 Ohio Ave. It's just about a block off Hwy. 411. All Club members are welcome. This is the meeting where we put together our annual calendar of activities for the upcoming year. If you would like to lead a hike or activity, please list it on a sheet of paper and bring it to the meeting. Please include the following information: Your name as Hike or Activity Leader, the specific hike/trail/activity, the date or dates you plan to offer it, and a description of the hike or activity. Include info such as how many miles to be hiked and whether it is easy, moderate or strenuous. By having this written down, it will really help us in getting the calendar typed up and put on our website. Also, please note that if you are not able to attend the meeting in person, you should email this information to James Anderson at ahead of time so it can be discussed and included. Light refreshments such as water, soft drinks, and cookies will be served. If you have any questions, please call or text me at 423-715-8824. • James Anderson