The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Lady Slipper Hike in CNF
Sunday, April 17, 2011


Brief Description:   This hike will be in the Cherokee National Forest, just across the Georgia line. It will be off-trail, where we hope to see a profusion of Pink Lady Slippers and a couple of springs. If any one is game, I'll show you an unknown 70 ft. cascading series of waterfalls.  Any dogs must be people- and dog-friendly, as I'll be bringing my 11-year-old black female Labrador retriever.  This hike will be limited to six people and only one dog per owner. This is due to the fragility of the wildflowers and my desire to not have them tramped down now or in the future. 

Directions:  We will meet at Hardee's in Ocoee at 1:00 p.m. 

Length unknown 

Difficulty Rating: moderate

Elevation Gain: unknown

Hike Leader To reserve a spot please contact Gail Gray at 336-1070.

Post-Trip Report:  Hike leader, Jimmy Drinnon, couldnít have asked for a more beautiful day for an outing in the Cherokee National Forest. The sun was shining, but it wasnít too hot. Except for our expert wildflower professional, Leon Bates, Jimmyís followers were all female. He is definitely infringing on Edmondís female hikes. Hikers were Sheila Bailey, Shauna Gail Drinnon, Gail Gray, Aggie Scott, Karen Young and Debbie Zuidema. Pearlie Jane, Jimmyís black lab, made it every step of the way, even though sheís a very old girl 

After driving on paved and unpaved roads for miles, the hikers were transferred to a Polk County limousine (the back of a pickup truck) for the last few miles and two vehicular creek crossings. Jimmy led us to the unknown and unmarked falls first. Since they appear on no map of the area, Jimmy made the decision years ago to name them Shauna Gailís Falls. They are absolutely beautiful and very high. 

The two males in the group were extremely courteous and helpful in getting all of us across smaller creeks on many occasions. Leonís knowledge of plants, wildlife, etc. made the hike very interesting and educational. He knows every wildflower and creature in the wilderness it seems. 

After our return from the falls back up to the old service road, the men, Pearlie, Sheila and Karen went down to Jimmyís campsite and tried to find lady slippers. Evidently, it was either too early, or they have been killed by a controlled burn. But, knowing Jimmy, heíll keep searching.


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