Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Creek Gorge Dayhike
Sunday, November 13, 2010
Brief Description: We will hike the Possum Gorge Segment of the Cumberland Trail (CT) from North to South—beginning at the Retro-Hughes Road trailhead above Bakewell, TN and hiking to the section end at Heiss Mountain Road for a total distance of 10.0 miles. Although the two major stream crossings (Little Possum and Big Possum Creeks) now have nice bridges, there is one stream crossing over Little Possum Creek. This is normally easily “rock-hopped” unless there has been significant recent rain. There is approximately 1,000 feet of elevation gain and 1,000 feet of elevation loss along the trail—with the vast majority being during the descent/ascent of the two major gorges. These sections are quite steep in places. This section of trail features some old growth hemlock stands, Imodium Falls and interesting rock formations—including “Stack” Rock. We will place a car at the end of the hike off Hwy. 111 before beginning the hike from Retro-Hughes Road. Good information on the hike can be accessed on the CT website at www.cumberlandtrail.org.
Leader: Randy Morris, 338-9464
Length: 9.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Directions to the Trailhead: We will meet in Cleveland at 8:00 a.m. for the trip over to Bakewell to begin the hike. We will eat dinner in Dayton after the hike. If interested in attending, please call Randy by Friday evening, November 12 at 423-650-0485 for meeting place and other details.
Post Trip Report: Five hikers enjoyed a beautiful day along the Possum Gorge Segment of the Cumberland Trail. We were joined by approximately 60 trail runners competing in a 50 km race of the Rock, Possum and Soddy Gorge segments. Actually we were passed by them early in our hike. It is amazing that the winner of the race completed the approximate 30 mile race in less time than it took us to hike 10 miles! Although the drought had taken its toll on Immodium Falls and the Possum Creeks (Little and Big) so that they were only a fraction of their normal flows, the interesting rock formations, large hemlocks and white pines, as well as a few places of late autumn color, treated us to some spectacular scenery. We also enjoyed a long distance view of the mountains in the Cherokee and Cohutta forest ranges from a short spur trail on top of one of the gorges. Everyone agreed that by the end of our hike we had definitely gotten a “workout” from the ups and downs of the trail and the extremely numerous rock steps. To celebrate we enjoyed a nice dinner at the Heartland Grill in Dayton. Hikers were James and Phyllis Anderson, Sheila Bailey, Sunni Campbell and leader Randy Morris.
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