Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Brief Description: This is a hike on the Benton MacKaye Trail near the Ocoee Whitewater Center on the segment of the BMT which is also for part of the way the Thunder Rock Mountain Bike Trail, a part of the Tanasi Mountain Bike System. We will hike up the BMT out of the back end of the Thunder Rock Campground then cross FS 45 and then come down the Thunder Rock Mountain Bike Trail.
Length: 5.2 miles
Difficulty Rating: Moderate due to length and elevation gain
Elevation Gain: Several hundred feet from the trail head up to the top of the ridge.
Hike Leader: Clayton Pannell, 263-9730
Directions to the Trailhead: Meet at the Bi-Lo in Etowah at 8:30 AM or at Hardee's in Ocoee at 9:00 AM
Trail Description: Saturday hike up the Benton MacKaye and then back to near Thunder Rock on bike trails, with a short road walk back to Thunder Rock trail parking area.
Post Trip Report: On a cool, sunny morning 11 people met at Hardee's in Ocoee to car shuttle to Thunder Rock Trail parking area. After sign in and pictures we started our hike, along the Ocoee River, down through the campground. The climb from the river up the first part of the Benton MacKay trail was very steep and narrow, and we warmed up very fast. From forest road #45 the route was on an old road to the junction of the Chestnut mountain trail and down the Chestnut mountain trail. We did not encounter any Dallas cheer leaders on this hike. Our biggest surprise of the hike was on the Chestnut Mt. Trail. Randy spotted a very large rock way up in a tree about 25 feet off the ground. The rock was lodged in the fork of a limb of the tree. The Jolly Green Giant must have put the rock up there; I have a picture of the rock in the tree and will change my story if someone gets the rock out of the tree. We returned to the campground on the Thunder Rock Express trail. We only encountered one bike rider on this hike, however, many bikers were coming into the parking lot as we ate lunch at the picnic tables. This was great group of hikers and I enjoyed leading the hike very much, thank to everyone who came out on this hike. Hikers were Clayton Pannell (leader), Aggie Scott, Carol Guhne, Cathy D Doss, Jerry White, Judy White, Mary White, Angela Chastain, Randy Morris, Tammy Johnson and Belinda Mantooth.
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