The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Thunder Rock/BMT Dayhike
Saturday, February 11, 2012


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 Express Mountain Bike Trail, a part of the Tanasi Mountain Bike System. How did that rock get up in that tree???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 Express Mountain Bike Trail. Please note that the Thunder Rock Express, being a bike trail, will require hikers to be prepared to get out of the way of any bikers.  This is also a winter hike, so be prepared for the weather.  Note: we need to check on the big rock in the tree. 

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 LeaderClayton Pannell, 263-9730

Trail Map

Directions to the Trailhead

Carpooling directions from Etowah: meet in the Bi-Lo parking lot in Etowah at 8:30 a.m. 

Carpooling directions from Cleveland: meet at the Hardee's in Ocoee at 9:00 a.m.

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: Six brave hikers met in the trail parking area near Thunder Rock Campground on a cold and windy Saturday morning (29 Deg.) We hiked South on the Benton MacKaye trail, to the Thunder Rock Express trail, and down the Thunder Rock Express and back to the campground. On the way down the Thunder Rock we checked on the rock in the beech tree and all was well with the rock. On this cold day there were bikers out on the trail; they must not have know that it was cold. We only took one short break on the hike and had lunch on the picnic tables at the parking area. Hikers were James Anderson, Aggie Scott, Joyce Price, Brenda Harris, Rick Harris and Clayton Pannell leader along with Jake, the Harris's dog. Note; when we got into the van to come home it was 28 Deg.

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