The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Starr Mountain Hike
Saturday, April 20, 2013

Hike leader: James Anderson.  Rating: moderate.  Length: 6 miles.

Description: This is a moderate hike all around.  It is about 3 miles in and 3 miles out, for a total of 6 miles, with about 1200-1500 feet of elevation change.  The pace will be moderate as well.  The only place where it is steep is right at the top, and that is only for about 150 yards or so.  The trail is a bit rocky in places, so it is advised to bring hiking poles.

This hike offers some nice views off to the west.  You can clearly see the town of Etowah, and on a clear day you can see the steam from the cooling towers of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant as well as the Cumberland Plateau.  This trail and the Gee Creek Trail both begin at the same trailhead just north of the Hiawassee River, near Delano.

We will meet at the trailhead at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.  However, we will also be meeting at some place in Cleveland for anyone who wants to carpool from Cleveland.  I highly encourage anyone who plans to go to touch base with hike leader James Anderson beforehand.  His cell number is 423-715-8824.  If the weather is iffy it may be cancelled, so he will need to know how to contact you.  Bring your lunch or a snack as we hope to enjoy a lunch with a view at the top.  Who knows, we might also see some wildflowers if it warms up by then!


Post Trip Report: As Mr. Rogers used to say "it was a beautiful day in the neighborhood" and it was a perfect day for a hike.  The sun was shining, the temps were cool, and the birds were singing. Although this hike is mainly uphill going in and downhill coming out, it is a nice one because the grade is pretty gradual, except for a hundred yards or so at the very top.  Along the way we enjoyed a variety of types and colors of wild blooming flowers and a nice view of the booming metropolis known as Etowah.  There were several blow-downs along the trail that required us to either detour or gingerly slide across.  In fact there was one major blow-down near the top where we basically just had to bushwhack our way up the ridge and make a new trail to get around it. We all enjoyed a nice relaxing lunch up top as we sat in the warm mid-day sun.  The hike down was faster than the hike up.  As we drew closer to the end we could hear the roar of Gee Creek, which was quite full due to the abundant rains.  We all safely returned a little tired but having enjoyed a Saturday in the outdoors. There were six hikers including the hike leader.  From left to right in the picture below they include Boe Rudder, Geri Brown, Cathy Himes (hiding out behind the sign), Phyllis Anderson, and Randy Morris.  Not pictured for fear of ruining the camera was hike leader James Anderson.

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