Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Mountain Trail Dayhike
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Brief Description: This is a hike starting at the parking lot for the Coker Creek Falls Trail. We will hike down to the Hiwassee River to the junction with the Unicoi Mountain trail, then will follow it up to where it crosses Highway TN68. The trail is well groomed and easy to follow.
Length: 8 miles
Difficulty Rating: Moderate, due to length
Elevation Gain: 800 feet or so, depending on final route agreed upon by those hiking
Hike Leader: Randy Morris, 338-9464 (h)
Other Useful Links: The Benton MacKaye Trail Association, www.bmta.org
Directions to the Trailhead: The meeting point is along TN68 2.6 miles north of where the road leaves the old riverbed of the Hiwassee River and is 5.2 miles south of the Coker Creek Retreat Center. The trail crosses the road at the top of the ridge. Look for the signs along the highway and the white BMT diamonds on the trees going each direction. From there we will carpool down to the parking lot for the Coker Creek Falls Trail.
We will leave from the parking lot of Ocoee Hardees at 8:30 AM. We will leave vehicles at both trailheads and do a car shuttle of 7.5 miles. We will hike from the Coker Creek Falls Trailhead beside the creek down the length of the trail (3 miles) to the junction with the John Muir Trail. We will then follow the John Muir Trail a short distance and pick up the Unicoi Mountain Trail back to Hwy. 68. Coker Creek Falls is a nice cascading waterfall (especially if there have been recent rains), and the trail never leaves creek far enough to lose the soothing sounds of the water. At the bottom of the Coker Creek Falls Trail we will cross the creek on a nice bridge and continue to the intersection with the Unicoi Mountain Trail. The Unicoi Mountain Trail has good views of the surrounding mountains along its length. This shuttle gives participants a chance to hike two interesting trails without retracing your steps. If interested in attending, please call Randy by Friday evening, March 21 at 338-9464.
Post Trip Report:
On a beautiful early spring day six club members and one guest made the trek to the Coker Creek area off of Hwy. 68 on a great day for a hike in the forest. After setting up our car shuttle, we began the hike from the trailhead at the top of the Coker Creek Falls. We then hiked the three miles down the trail enjoying the sights and sounds of Coker Creek as it rushed down the gorge. Recent rains filled the creek to one of the highest levels I have experienced and added to our enjoyment of the beautiful area. We ate lunch beside the stream at the end of the 3 mile trail and then crossed over the creek on the John Muir Trail--following it until our intersection with the Unicoi Mountain Trail. We enjoyed great views of the surrounding mountains from the Unicoi Mountain Trail. Part of the group also experienced the thrill of seeing wild turkeys before we made our way back to our vehicle. We also saw signs of wild boar activity and a few early spring wild flower blossoms. A special thanks goes out to James Anderson for assisting with the car shuttle. Hikers completing the 8-mile trek were guest Sheila Bailey and club members Belinda Mantooth, Della Miles, Jim Runyan, James and Phyllis Anderson, and hike leader Randy Morris.
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