Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
/ Huckleberry Knob Day Hike
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Brief Description: This hike will provide an opportunity to visit two high elevation mountain balds First, we will hike across Hooper Bald and then continue on to Huckleberry Knob from a second trailhead about one mile away. Hooper Bald’s elevation is 5,429 feet and Huckleberry Knob is 5,560 feet. Huckleberry Knob is the nearest peak exceeding 5,500 feet east of the Mississippi.
Both balds have historical significance. There is writing engraved on a rock on top of Hooper Bald thought to be of Spanish origin with a date of 1615. Also Hooper Bald was the site of a hunting lodge built about 1911. In April 1912, a shipment of European wild hogs was delivered to the lodge. A number of the hogs escaped from their pen and proliferated throughout the National Forests and the Smokies.. Huckleberry Knob is the site of a marked grave of Andy Sherman, one of two lumbermen who were walking from the mouth of Sycamore Creek across the mountain to Robbinsville on Dec. 11, 1899. Both perished near the peak due to the bitter cold, snow and fog. Their bodies were found nine months later by a hunter.
Total mileage walked is about 4 miles with approximately 500 feet elevation gain rated easy. Both balds are overgrown and we will be walking in paths that other hikers have taken. Long pants and boots are recommended. Some may want to bring a container for blueberries which are plentiful along the way.
Bring rain gear, water, and a snack. Meet at Comcast in Athens at 9 a.m. or Hardee's in Ocoee at 8:45 a.m. We will regroup at Hardee’s in Tellico Plains at 9:45. The Hooper Bald trailhead is about 8 miles inside North Carolina on the Cherohala Skyway. This is a joint hike of the Cherokee and Hiwassee Hiking Clubs.
Length: 4 miles
Difficulty Rating: Easy with about 500 feet of elevation change. Both balds are overgrown and we will be walking in paths that other hikers have taken. Long pants and boots are recommended.
Hike Leader: Effaleda & Bob Lee (423-568-2501), Cell (423-507-5582). Call leaders if additional information is needed.
Directions to the Trailhead: Meet at Comcast in Athens at 9 a.m. or Hardee's in Ocoee at 8:45 a.m. We will regroup at Hardee’s in Tellico Plains at 9:45. The Hooper Bald trailhead is about 8 miles inside North Carolina on the Cherohala Skyway.Post Trip Report: Twelve members of the Cherokee and/or Hiwassee Hiking Club hiked to the two balds on a damp overcast day. Rain was in the forecast but the hike was completed with only our feet getting wet due to the sloppy trail condition. All picked a varying amount of blueberries that the bears had not got to yet. Some wildflowers were observed and identified with jewelweed being the most common. Although views were limited due to the overcast, all seemed to enjoy the beauty of the high elevation balds and forest.
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