Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
/ Huckleberry Knob Day Hike
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Brief Description: This hike will provide an opportunity to visit two high elevation mountain balds First, we will hike across Hooper Bald and then continue on to Huckleberry Knob from a second trailhead about one mile away. Hooper Bald’s elevation is 5,429 feet and Huckleberry Knob is 5,560 feet. Huckleberry Knob is the nearest peak exceeding 5,500 feet east of the Mississippi.
Both balds have historical significance. There is writing engraved on a rock on top of Hooper Bald thought to be of Spanish origin with a date of 1615. Also Hooper Bald was the site of a hunting lodge built about 1911. In April 1912, a shipment of European wild hogs was delivered to the lodge. A number of the hogs escaped from their pen and proliferated throughout the National Forests and the Smokies.. Huckleberry Knob is the site of a marked grave of Andy Sherman, one of two lumbermen who were walking from the mouth of Sycamore Creek across the mountain to Robbinsville on Dec. 11, 1899. Both perished near the peak due to the bitter cold, snow and fog. Their bodies were found nine months later by a hunter.
Total mileage walked is about 4 miles with approximately 500 feet elevation gain rated easy. Both balds are overgrown and we will be walking in paths that other hikers have taken. Long pants and boots are recommended. Some may want to bring a container for blueberries which are plentiful along the way.
Bring rain gear, water, and a snack. Meet at Comcast in Athens at 9 a.m. or Hardee's in Ocoee at 8:45 a.m. We will regroup at Hardee’s in Tellico Plains at 9:45. The Hooper Bald trailhead is about 8 miles inside North Carolina on the Cherohala Skyway. This is a joint hike of the Cherokee and Hiwassee Hiking Clubs.
Length: 3.5 miles
Difficulty Rating: Easy with about 400 feet of elevation change. Both balds are overgrown and we will be walking in paths that other hikers have taken. Long pants and boots are recommended.
Hike Leader: Effaleda & Bob Lee (423-568-2501), Cell (423-507-5582). Call leaders if additional information is needed.
Directions to the Trailhead: Meet at Comcast in Athens at 9 a.m. or Hardee's in Ocoee at 8:45 a.m. We will regroup at Hardee’s in Tellico Plains at 9:45. The Hooper Bald trailhead is about 8 miles inside North Carolina on the Cherohala Skyway.Post Trip Report:Seven members of the Cherokee & Hiwassee Hiking Clubs first hiked up to Hooper Bald. A church service was taking place at the historic rock having the 1615 date engraved so we moved on without interrupting the service. Next we came to the blueberry bushes and found other people or animals had all ready found most of the berries. We descended off Hooper Bald and walked the highway a short distance to the Huckleberry Knob trail.The grave site of Andy Sherman, one of two lumbermen who perished near the peak of Huckleberry Knob on Dec. 11, 1899 was observed. It was marked by a cross and a plaque. We stopped on top for a snack and to observe the views and then descended back to the cars that had been shuttled to the Huckleberry Knob trail head.Although we missed seeing the historic rock and picking blueberries there was no rain and the temperature was much more comfortable than down below. Everyone seemed to enjoy the short hike and it was great to hike with one of the Hiwassee members who we had not hiked with for a long time.Effaleda & Bob Lee, Leaders
Contact the Webmaster