Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Rhododendrum Trail Dayhike
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Brief Description: This is a lovely, newly built trail which extends from the Thunder Rock/Ocoee Powerhouse#3 and follows the Ocoee coming out at the picnic area just below the Ocoee Whitewater Center. It is a very easy, (handicap accessible) walk with a beautiful section of board walk that juts out over the river where you can halt and gander at rafters and kayakers floating by.
Length: 2.5 miles
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Elevation Gain: minimal
Hike Leader: Jane Bohannon, 745-9534 or cell 381-8388; firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions to the Trailhead: I will meet Athens and Etowah area hikers in Bi-Lo parking lot at Etowah @ 1:30 PM. Hikers in the Cleveland area meet at Ocoee Hardee’s @ 1:45 PM and car pool from there. I will not be meeting this group until I see you at the trail head. Everyone meet at the trailhead @ 2:30 PM. Directions: Your turn off of Hwy 64 will be at the Thunder Rock Campground sign which directs you across a bridge. After crossing the bridge you will see the trail head sign on the left. A large trail head parking lot is across the gravel road near the Thunder Rock Campground entrance.
Trail Description: This is a lovely, newly built 1.2 mile trail extending from the Thunder Rock/Ocoee Powerhouse #3 and follows the Ocoee coming out at the picnic area just below the Ocoee Whitewater Center. It is a very easy, (handicap accessible) walk with a beautiful section of board walk that juts out over the river where you can halt and gander at rafters and kayakers floating by.
Post Trip Report: Twelve hikers and one dog set out at 2:45 p.m. for the Ocoee Whitewater Center via the Rhododendron Trail. Sheri Stewart is training little Sophie to be a hiker dog and she is doing very well. We did a total of 3.5 miles watching rafters enjoy the whitewater as we walked. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, there were many fun seekers on the river, several people just relaxing along the river, others playing in the river, and some picnickers. We bought treats from Mayfield’s cooler and checked out the new café in the Whitewater Center. We also checked out the golf cart which Mickey Walls uses while doing volunteer work there. We want to thank Mickey for clearing the trail last week to make our hiking easier. There was a lot of Mountain Laurel blooming, but it was too early for the Rhododendron.
We saw a garter snake about two feet long beside the trail. I think we caused the little snake to “pffff” since when startled they often secrete a foul smelling liquid from the anal glands.
There was no rain until driving home. Then there was scattered heavy rain.
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