The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Rhododendron Trail Dayhike
Sunday, June 26, 2011


Brief Description:    This hike was originally scheduled for June 12. This is a lovely, newly built trail which extends from the Thunder Rock/Ocoee Powerhouse #3 and follows the Ocoee River coming out at the picnic area just below the Ocoee Whitewater Center on Hwy 64.  It is a very easy, (handicap accessible) walk with a beautiful section of board walk that juts out over the river where you can halt and gander at rafters and kayakers floating by.

Remember to bring drinking water, since it can be quite hot at this time of the year.  Also bring or wear shoes that you don't mind getting wet if you desire to play in the Ocoee River water on our way back to the cars.  Please bring some money if you think you might want to purchase something at the Ocoee Visitor Center.

Length 2.5 miles

Difficulty Rating: Easy

Elevation Gain: minimal

        Hike Leader Please call no later than 9:00 a.m. Sunday if you plan to go.   Contact Jane Bohannon at 423-745-9534 (home)
        or 423-381-8388 (cell)

Directions to the Trailhead 

Carpooling directions: I will meet Athens and Etowah area hikers in the Bi-Lo parking lot in Etowah at 1:30 p.m.  Hikers from the Cleveland area please meet at the Ocoee Hardee’s at 1:45 p.m. and car pool from there.  Please organize your own carpool and leader from the Ocoee Hardee’s.  I will not be coming to the Ocoee Hardee’s to meet hikers there.  Everyone please be at the trailhead at 2:30 p.m.   

Directions to the trailhead:  From Highway 411 in Ocoee, to east on Highway 64.  Your turn off of Highway 64 will be at the Thunder Rock Campground sign, which directs you across a bridge.  After crossing the bridge you will see the trailhead sign on the left.  A large trailhead parking lot is across the gravel road near the Thunder Rock Campground entrance.

Post Trip Report: The scattered thunderstorms missed us, as nine hikers enjoyed the trail and visited the Ocoee Whitewater Center, where we browsed around and had ice cream and cold drinks.  We missed seeing purple Rhododendron because I (Jane Bohannon) had to change the hike date; we did this trail two weeks later than usual.  We did see some white Rhododendron and some Mountain Laurel.  There were many rafters and kayakers on the river and several people picnicking along the river.  Jane and Joanne made happy feet by wading in the Ocoee River on the latter part of the hike. Hikers were:  Jane Bohannon (leader), Joanne Jackson, Effaleda and Bob Lee, Gail and Edmond Gray, Aggie Scott and her granddaughters Jennifer and Samantha Boling.

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