The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Spring Wildflower Hikes
Friday-Sunday, April 9-11, 2010


Brief Description:  

The Alabama Wildflower Society, to which CHC members Leon and Pat Bates also belong, is hosting an early wildflower adventure, to be led by Leon & Pat.  CHC members are welcome.  The following blurb about this event is from the Spring newsletter of the AWS (Vol 40, Issue 1).  (Emphases are mine)

This trip to the southern Blue Ridge will provide AWS members with a glimpse of familiar plants and animals in a mountainous region.   

Event headquarters will be at the Whitewater Inn (,located at the intersection of US 64 and US 411 at Ocoee.  Contact the Whitewater Inn for reservations

(1-888-716-2633). Rates for nonsmoking rooms with two queen beds are $85.99 plus tax ($10 each additional person). Make reservations for this meeting one month prior to the date if possible; however April is a relatively slow month, so reservations may be available later.  A continental breakfast is available at the Whitewater, plus other restaurants are nearby. 

An alternate lodging site is the Black Bear Cove Resort (, phone 866-438-2633.  Accommodations are more upscale, but they do not serve breakfast, and no eating establishments are nearby.  There is camping at the resort. 

Registration for members begins at 4PM Friday in the motel conference room.  Members who arrive on Friday are welcomed to Pat and Leon’s house in Laurelwood for heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Directions to the Bates house:

·         See the March Newsletter


·         The site for the dinner and program is the Black Bear Cove Resort, located approximately 11.2 miles north of the Whitewater on US 411.

·         Turn right onto TN 30 just past the start of the four-lane US 411.

·         Turn left in approximately 0.3 miles.

Dinner includes one meat, three sides, and dessert with salad, rolls, and drink. The cost is $18 (Editor’s note: this is a corrected amount) and should be sent to Margie Anderton, 271 County Road 68, Killen, AL 35645 as soon as possible (there is a deadline of one month ahead).  NOTE: If you send monies to Margie for both trips at once, please designate what amounts apply to each trip.


On Saturday, we will trek along the banks of the scenic Hiwassee River and view wildflowers in adjacent cove hardwood forests.  We will begin our trip at the Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park nature trail, and then we will travel to a nearby USFS picnic area for lunch. (Be sure to bring a lunch).  After lunch, we will travel upstream to the Childer’s Creek Trailhead of the John Muir Trail.  Here we will walk in the footsteps John Muir made in 1867 when he explored this area and described the Hiwassee as having “forest walls vine-draped and flowery as Eden”. This riparian habitat also supports colonies of the threatened and endangered Ruth’s Golden Aster.  Note: these trail sections are relatively level and were designed to accommodate senior citizens. 

After returning to the Trailhead, wildflower members and friends will have the option of returning to the Inn or taking a scenic side-trip upriver via auto to the upper Hiwassee.  We will return to the Black Bear Cove Resort in time for the dinner and program at 6PM. 

On Sunday, we will travel east on Hwy 64 along the Ocoee River and Parksville Lake to the Cherokee National Forest and turn left on FS 77 just past the Ocoee District Ranger Station on the way to the Chilhowee Recreation Area at McCamy Lake. The “CCC” Boys built this small lake in the 30’s and added several connecting trails.  A round trip of approximately 3 miles to Benton Falls will provide a chance to view a 65-foot waterfall plus wildflowers within numerous forest habitats.  Alternative short trails will be available. Bring lunch and a $3 user fee per car for this USFS recreation site.  

For those interested a Sunday afternoon trip is available.  

Editor’s note: if anyone is interested in finding out more about the Alabama Wildlife Society, you can visit their website at  The chapter to which Leon and Pat Bates belong is the Shoals Chapter.  You can also contact Leon or Pat at 256-710-5508 (Leon’s cell) or 256-710-6509 (Pat’s cell).  Above is a picture of a Yellow Trillium, one of the many beautiful flowers you may see on this excursion:


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