Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Chickamauga Creek Gorge Dayhike
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Brief Description: This hike of the North Chickamauga Creek segment of the Cumberland Trail is one that was postponed from 2008 due to heat and water shortage. The views during the winter should be a lot better without the foliage. We should have some nice views of the gorge as we ascend to the top of the plateau. The hike is an in and out hike of about 8 miles in length and is just a few miles north of Northgate Mall in Chattanooga. If enough water is flowing we should enjoy a waterfall near the end as well as some remnants of previous coal mining operations. I would rate this as a moderate hike as there is probably about a thousand feet of elevation change and the trail is rocky in some places. Please call me by 8:00 pm on Friday January 23rd if you intend to go.
Leader: James Anderson, 715-8824
Difficulty: Moderate, 8.0 miles
Directions to the Trailhead: Contact James Anderson for information
Post Trip Report: As it turned out the weatherman was correct that the showers would move out and the rest of Saturday would be nice. So, by the time we actually got on the trail at about 11:30, we had sunshine to start our hike. All total we had 13 hikers and 3 dogs on the hike. Besides the hike leader James Anderson, those participating were: Randy Morris, Don Bennett, Kathy Seymour, David Flower, Debbie Flower, Esther Nunley, Phyllis Anderson, Verna Townsend, Rebecca Levings, Dee Harwell, and Denise Brodnett.
The views of the creek, which included large boulders, clear cascades, and deep pools were stunning. We also explored the entrance to an old coal mine, saw a number of interesting rock formations, and viewed several waterfalls, one of which included climbing a wooden ladder to get down to it. The hike included several small creek crossings and quite a bit of up and down along the face of the ridge. Several of the hikers said it was some of the prettiest scenery they had ever seen on a hike.
Since it had been cold the first part of the week, we found evidence of, and in fact had to cross, part of a great, great, great, great expansive ice sheet known world-wide in high adventure circles as the Great Soddy Glacier!!!!! The Great Soddy Glacier though was experiencing just a bit of melt due to global, no local, warming. That was kind of cool--pun intended!! (Translated, there was some ice on the trail in the shade in places where water was dripping off the cliff face.)
After the hike, there were six of us who felt we had earned the right to ingest about a million calories of delicious carbohydrates, so we visited a local Italian Restaurant there in Soddy Daisy for some truly fine Italian cuisine and conversation. - James Anderson, Chief Executive Officer
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