Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Hollow, The Perimeter Trail
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Brief Description: This hike will primarily be on The Perimeter Trail within the Domain of the University of the South at Sewanee. Approximately 1.6 miles of the hike will be through Shakerag Hollow one of the premier spots for wildflowers in the SE TN region. Due to the exceptionally early spring this year we will unfortunately miss much of the display, but hopefully there will still be an abundance of blossoms. When I pre-hiked the trial last Sunday afternoon (March 25) I was treated to a great display of trillium, larkspur, phlox and many others of which I don’t know names. We will take whatever Mother Nature has in store for us on the 7th. The trail through the hollow is beautiful regardless of the flowers, however, as it features some old growth trees such as large tulip poplars and buckeye among many others along the route constructed by the CCC in the 30’s. The last portion of the hike will be an in and out into Thumping Dick Cove where we will visit the entrance to two caves—one of which is easy to explore with a flashlight so bring a light. The trail features the best old-growth trees that the Domain has to offer.
Length: ~8 miles
Difficulty Rating: Moderate with some strenuous sections with several ins and outs on the plateau
Hike Leader: Randy Morris, 423-650-0485. If interested in attending you must call Randy Morris no later than 8 p.m. Friday, April 6.
Directions to the Trailhead: Since we will place a car shuttle the number of hikers must match vehicle capability. That being said call early as “first come first serve” will determine who we cannot accommodate if the numbers don’t match.
Post Trip Report: Five hikers traveled to “The Domain” of Sewanee: The University of the Sewanee just outside of Monteagle, TN on an absolutely gorgeous spring day to hike part of the Perimeter Trail which surrounds the 13,000 acre campus. After setting up a short car shuttle we begin our hike just outside of the campus gates. We then entered Shakerag Hollow which is a beautiful north-facing area known for its beautiful spring wildflower displays. Due to the exceptionally early spring, we missed much of the normal display, but were still treated to stands of mayapple, trillium and wild azalea among others. We also benefited from recent rains which allowed for more water in some of the branches in the hollow. After exiting the hollow we hiked an additional 4+ miles on the Perimeter Trail with some limited views down into Roark’s Cove and the witnessed the first blooms of some mountain laurel bushes. Arriving back near our car we then hiked down an old road bed to a couple of caves—the best of which was easily the named Solomon’s Temple Cave with its impressive 2-level entrance and large sinkhole as well as a small waterfall. Outside the bottom entrance we were treated to a large stand of jack-in-the-pulpit wildflowers. Enjoying the day were Dave and Debbie Flower, Jennifer Schroll, Kathy Seymour and hike leader Randy Morris.
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