The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Athens Regional Park Dayhike
Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hiking along the edge of North Mouse Creek

Brief Description:   This trail has it’s ups and downs and scenic views in woodland, an open field, and paved area around the lake.  It is a hike around the perimeter of the 165 acre park and along North Mouse Creek where beavers are sometimes seen.  I am leading this hike for both the Cherokee and Hiwassee Hiking Clubs.  Children accompanied  by an adult and dogs on a leash are welcome.  We will start at the area around the lake, then hike along North Mouse Creek, then wooded areas, and back to the trailhead.  This is a nice gentle hike to get us out after the holidays and snow. THIS IS A JOINT HIKE WITH THE HIWASSEE HIKING CLUB.

Length 3.1 miles

Difficulty Rating: Easy

Elevation Gain: Minimal, 250 feet

Hike Leader Jane Bohannon, 745-9534 or 381-8388(c). Please call Saturday night if you plan to attend.

        Trail Map   

        GPS Route of Our Hike       

        Elevation Profile of the Trail

        Trailhead Access Map

Other Useful Links:   

North Mouse CreekDirections to the TrailheadSee Google map link above. Click the Trailhead Access Map button.  
From Cleveland
The park is located on Hwy 30 West (Decatur Pike).  From Cleveland:  Take I-75 North to first Athens Exit, then turn right onto Hwy 30 toward Athens.  The park is approximately 1 mile on the right. 

From Etowah take Hwy 30 through Athens all the way to the park. The park is approximately 1 mile on the left from the Hwy 11(Congress Parkway) and Hwy 30(Decatur Pike) intersection.

Plan to meet at the trailhead at 2PM. The mountain bike/hiking parking lot is the first turn to the left after entering the park.  This trail has its ups and downs and scenic views in woodland, an open field, and paved area around the lake.  It is a hike around the perimeter of the park and along North Mouse Creek where beaver are sometimes seen. 

Trail Description: This trail was created for mountain biking, but is open to hikers. We will start by hiking on a trail by the pond. Then we will hike the trail itself. What follows is our route in reverse. This description is North Mouse Creekfrom a mountain biking site. The start of the trail is a short steep section with a couple of switch backs. The trail splits at the top, both ways are about the same distance and they come back together shortly. The trail the follows the ridge until it gets to a radio tower, then starts back down toward the creek. Here it splits again. You can either choose downhill (better for hikers) or Roller Coaster (great for bikers). At the bottom, you follow the creek. This is the highlight of the trail. You follow the creek all the way back close to the parking lot. This is the most scenic part. The park has restrooms. The trailhead is on the left as you enter the park. (Description from the Chattanooga Area Singletrack Alliance website)

Post Trip Report: Twelve hikers came out for treatment of cabin fever to hike around the perimeter of the park.  The trailhead parking lot was still closed because of an undisturbed layer of snow and ice.  Our alternate parking site was the lot near the picnic shelter.  There were varying depths of snow and ice scattered throughout the park.  Fishermen and some mallards were at the lake which TWRA restocked with trout this past week.  Beavers had cut some small saplings along North Mouse Creek and there were a couple of trails where they had been sliding back into the creek.  Cattle tracks were on the trail and we finally saw a couple of holsteins.  They broke through a fence from their field and “added interest” to the trail. Deteriorated osage oranges(hedge apples) were reminders of the lovely green ones during the summer.

Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the beauty of nature and for taking safety precautions so that no one fell in the winter wonderland.  Also thanks to Bob, Clayton, and Austin Fesmire(Parks and Recreation Director) who kept me posted on the closing and reopening of the park which was related to weather.  Hikers were as follows: Jennifer Schroll, Sheila Bailey, Clayton Pannell, Sheri Stewart, Bob Lee, Rhonda, Darrell, Nathan, and Emily Morgan, Randy Morris, and Ruth Gafford. 


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