Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Turnpike Trail Dayhike
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Brief Description: With leaves on the trail, footing may be a bit tricky, especially in one segment where the trail is rocky. Those ambitious enough can warm up or cool down on the 'loop trail' (an easy hour's stroll) alongside Coker Creek and around Doc Rodgers Field, 1/2 mile from the Gift Shop/Welcome Center/PO.
Leader: Marc Bernatti
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Elevation Gain: minimal, mostly downhill
Length: about 3 miles
Directions to the Trailhead: Plan to meet at the Coker Creek Gift Shop/Welcome Center/Post Office at 2 PM. We'll drop off at least one car at the lower trail head on Joe Brown Highway, then drive up to the top one and hike 'down'. The CC Gift Shop & Welcome Center are on TN Hwy 68 at mile marker 34 on the left, 10 miles south from Tellico Plains. If coming north from Ducktown it is about 22 miles on the right. To carpool from Etowah, meet at 1 PM at the BiLo. POC is Al Rymer.
Post Trip Report: Six hikers braved the bitter cold on Sunday, December 7, '08 to enjoy the Unicoi Turnpike Trail segment up in Coker Creek. Al, Boyd, Jane, Marc, and our two new members, the Calaways, met up at the Coker Creek Post Office. We convoyed up to the lower trailhead, parked a couple of the vehicles and took Boyd's limo service up to the Gap to hike back down. Everyone came bundled up for the weather, but once on the forest trail and out of the wind, the temperature was perfect for a comfortable and enjoyable stroll in the Forest. One fresh blow-down across the trail needed a brushy detour and two bare dead falls offered an opportunity to practice log straddling techniques. All three wet crossings were easy rock hops. We diverted a bit off the main trail to pay our respects to the late Mr. Dotson at his grave up near the site of the old Turnpike Toll Both. No one was inclined to explore the gold mine. Everyone was back on the road heading home a bit after 4 PM.
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