Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Brief Description: The Falls Branch Trail is a short but beautiful trail to an 80 foot waterfall. This trail is rated moderate because it is steep and slippery in the vicinity of the falls. Located just off the Cherohala Skyway, this trail features some of the best old-growth forest in the Citico area near the 1-mile point including one of the largest maples I have ever witnessed. We may “hit it lucky” and catch some wildflowers in this old-growth forest area. We will eat a snack at the base of the falls and enjoy the view for a while and then hike back up for an afternoon meal and club meeting at the home of Rick and Brenda Harris. We will “take our time on this hike” and enjoy nature.
Leader: Randy Morris – 338-9464 by Friday evening May 15
Difficulty: Moderate, 2.6 miles roundtrip
Directions to the Trailhead: We will have meeting places in Etowah and Tellico Plains—leaving from Tellico at 10:15 a.m.
Post Trip Report: The sun broke through the clouds and the weather was nice for the hike down to view the 80 foot waterfall. With the sun shining through the treetops and all of the recent rainfall, the falls were quite spectacular. We enjoyed a few late spring wildflowers such as jack-in-the-pulpit along the way and enjoyed viewing some old-growth trees while walking on the trail “littered” with silverbell blossoms. Unfortunately the nice stand of hemlocks in the area has already succumbed to the hemlock wooly adelgid that is literally wiping them out in the area. After eating a snack at the base of the falls (which was quite slippery) we hiked back up the trail and went down to the Harris’ for the club meeting and a nice meal of burgers, hotdogs and delicious side dishes prepared by club members. Making the hike were club members Jane Bohannon, Sunni Campbell, Rick Harris (and Jake the golden retriever), Kenneth and Jolynn Johnson, Sandra Hostetter, Bill and Carol Kamm, Ruth Gafford and Sheri Stewart of the Hiwassee Hiking Club and hike leader Randy Morris.
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