The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Old Copper Road Dayhike
Sunday, May 20, 2012


Brief Description:   This is a 4.6 mile hike along the Old Copper Road which parallels US64 and the Ocoee River going upstream from The bridge across the river at the Ocoee Whitewater Centerthe Ocoee Whitewater Center. This hike is easy and fairly level with great views of the Ocoee River. The hike is an out and back affair, 2.3 miles each way.

Hiking in the snow along the Old Copper RoadLength:  4.6 miles

Difficulty Rating: Easy due to shortness and little elevation gain

Elevation Gain: <100 feet

Hike LeaderBelinda Mantooth             

Directions to the TrailheadMeet at the Ocoee Hardee's at 1:30 PM or at the Ocoee Whitewater Center along US64 at 2:00 PM. There is a fee for parking at the Whitewater Center, $3.00 or if you have a Golden Age Passport, it will only cost you $1.50.  Drive into the short term parking area by the visitor center, then drive past this into the main big parking lot and pay you fee and find the rest of us. You can only park for 30 minutes in the parking lot at the Visitor Center, so you must go into the long term parking area for the hike.

Trail Description: The Old Copper Road is what is left of the old 33-mile road between Copperhill and Cleveland. This road was used to transport the copper ore by wagon from the copper mines at Copperhill to Cleveland. From there, the copper ore was transported to other sites by train for processing. The Old Copper Road was eventually replaced by the L&N train which was built between Etowah and Copperhill, going up through the Hiwassee River gorge, passing through Farner.

Post Trip Report: This old historic wagon road which linked the mines at Copperhill, TN to the rail yard in Cleveland, TN is part of the 30-mile Tanasi Trail System, which is located at the Ocoee Whitewater Center.  The hike is approximately 5 miles from the Whitewater Center to the Upper Ocoee, up in and back.Six hikers met at 2:00 p.m. for a great, warm Sunday afternoon hike.  These included Jennifer Schroll, Gail & Edmond Gray, Jane Bohannon, new club member Joe Robison and hike leader Belinda Mantooth.   Our group is shown at right. A wide variety of wild flowers were in bloom.  Due to the very humid year, ferns were much larger and more widespread.  Jane ran across a baby copperhead and encouraged Joe Robison to photograph it, if he was able to move the stone.  The great variety of wildflowers and ferns were so beautiful, we had to take several pictures.  There were many swimmers in blue hole which is along the trail.  The trail was full of shade, which made the hike very enjoyable on a hot day.  Thanks to all who came.


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