The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Oswald Dome Dayhike
Sunday, May 4, 2008


Brief Description:   This will be a wildflower hike featuring pink ladyslippers.  Starting at the top of Oswald Dome, we will stroll along the almost level trail until it starts its steep descent to Quinn Springs.  We will not hike down to Quinn Springs, but will return to our cars on the top of the mountain. This is an in and out hike and does not require a shuttle.  Some years the leaders have observed as many as 74 blooming plants along this part of the trail; other years as few as 20.
    The most difficult part of the trip will be the drive up to Oswald Dome.  Although passable by automobiles, the unpaved mountain road has its rough spots.  Parking is limited to five or six vehicles at the gate but hikers can be shuttled the last mile from a larger parking spot if necessary.

Length 3 miles

Difficulty Rating: Easy

Elevation Gain: About 500 feet

        Hike Leader Effaleda & Bob Lee, (423) 568-2501,

        Trail Map

        Elevation Profile of the Trail

        Trailhead Access Map

        Other Useful Links:      

Directions to the Trailhead

From Athens: Meet at Comcast at 1:15 PM to carpool or meet at FS 77 (at the Chilhowee Campground sign) at 2:15. 

From Benton & Cleveland: Take Hwy 64 East to Chilhowee campground sign (FS Road 77). Turn left on FS Road 77 and ascend the mountain 7.5 miles to another Chilhowee Campground sign.  Instead of turning right and going downhill about 1/2 mile to Lake McKamy, continue straight ahead on FS Road 77 which becomes an unpaved road at the sign.  This road eventually ends at the gate and parking space for Oswald Dome.

Trail Description: This will be an easy in and out hike from the end of the road on the top of Chilhowee Mountain, past Oswald Dome and all the towers then back to our cars.

Post Trip Report: Nine Hiwassee and Cherokee Hiking Club members had a great afternoon to observe wildflowers near Oswald Dome.  Although the number of pink ladyslippers were less than expected, 11 in bloom were counted.  Lily of the Valley, chickweed, wild geranium, and others were observed.  Clayton Pannell hiked up from Quinn Springs and met the group near the top.  Boyd Firestone and Al Rymer walked back down with Clayton.  Other hikers included new member Patricia Cornell, Jane Bohannon, Martha Firestone, Mickey Walls, and Effaleda and Bob Lee.  Clayton reported three large trees were down across the trail further down the trail.

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