The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains

 

Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373
07

 

 

 


Trail Maintenance
Bald River Trail

Trail Guide and Map

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monday, January 19, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011
Jan 9-13, 2012

Wilderness of the Cherokee National Forest in the Tellico Ranger District. This is a beautiful trail which starts at Bald River Falls where the Bald River empties into the Tellico River and parallels the river to the Bald River Road, FS Road 126. The river plunges about 500 feet along its 5 mile or so course through the rocky steep-walled gorge. There are several falls along the route and several nice campsites. Hikers, backpackers, trout fishermen and plunge pool swimmers frequent this trail, especially in the warm summer months.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Robert Thomas and Ken Jones worked on logging out blowdowns on the Bald River Trail. They went in the Cowcamp Trail, and then turned upstream to the first blowdown near PaPaw Branch. They sawed and chopped a total of 9 blowdowns for the day. Two of these were large pines that were down across the trail. They left the big hemlock that they previously cut steps in to allow people to cross. The root ball of this tree will probably block the trail when cut, so they need to carefully plan any removal. With the exception of this one tree that is easy to cross, the entire length of the Bald River Trail is clear of any blowdowns. 

Volunteer Hours = 6

Monday, January 19, 2009: The SABCH volunteers worked on logging out blowdowns on the Bald River Trail yesterday. They cleared 19 trees and completed logging out the entire trail. They left the one tree thatTazz and a mighty big tree Robert and I left on the trail from last year. It has some footholds chopped in the top so that hikers can get over it. We are all convinced that it has so much twisting force on the tree portion over the trail that the large root ball would certainly fall in the trail if anyone chopped it out. We started to cut it with the crosscut saw last year and could not get the teeth buried in the tree before the saw was bound. We plan to let nature take its course with this tree and then deal with the consequences. 

Here is the volunteer time for the trip: 

Name

Travel Hours

Work Hours

Totals

Tazz Reid

1

7.5

8.5

Ed Ley

2.5

7.5

10

Bobby Mitchell

1.5

7.5

9

Totals

5

22.5

27.5

 

Saturday, March 14, 2009: In case you do not know, the Annual Tellico River Clean Up Day is Saturday, March 14.  Volunteers need to register at the Tellico Ranger Station in the CNF beginning at 0800 AM.  T-shirts will be given to the first 100 participants.
 
Bring gloves, wear sturdy shoes and long sleeves are suggested.  Also, participants need to bring a lunch and water.  Garbage bags will be provided.  For more information, contact Mary Jane Burnette at 423/253-8413.
 
We may want to arrange a car pool from the Bi Lo parking lot in Etowah.  Meet at 0715, depart at 0730.  I can be the POC for this event, if no one else has volunteered.  

Monday, March 2, 2009: Robert Thomas and I got to work with a great group of college students from Lehigh University on Monday. They were a part of the Spring Breakaway groups sponsored by Ed and Arleen Decker. We started the day with Leslie giving the group an orientation on the Tellico District and introduction of personnel. The group enjoyed it so much that they want to bring all of the future groups by the Ranger Station prior to work trips. We certainly appreciate their contribution to the District and the service attitude of the students. We drove up to Bald River Falls for a tailgate safety meeting prior to beginning brush out work on the trail. There was about an inch of snow on the ground and the temperature stayed below freezing for the entire day. We brushed out 1.8 miles of the trail up to Pawpaw Branch. We turned around at this point and decided to take Cowcamp Trail back to the River Road. We also brushed out all 0.8 miles of this trail on our way back out. There was only one tree down on this trail that needs clearing and one new tree down on the Bald River Trail segment that we worked. 

Here are the volunteer hours for the group: 

Name

Travel Hours

Work Hours

Totals

Rachel Bochner

2

4

6

Italo Mendonca

2

4

6

Nora Diehl

2

4

6

Alexandra Warren

2

4

6

Faith Roncoroni

2

4

6

Kathryn Burke

2

4

6

Michael Chu

2

4

6

Michael Hodsdon

2

4

6

Corey Luthringer

2

4

6

Lisa Kobyashi

2

4

6

Seth Goren

2

4

6

Ed Decker

2

4

6

Arleen Decker

2

4

6

Ken Jones

1.5

5

6.5

Totals

27.5

57

84.5

Friday, August 7, 2009: We had a large work crew of 8 volunteers to work on logging out the Bald River Trail. We also had a reporter from the Coop along to document our work in pictures for an article. This trail was logged out this past January 19th and 19 trees were cleared on that trip. We started at the Bald River Road trailhead and worked downstream, clearing a total of 20 trees for the day. The workers not involved in clearing the blowdowns worked on brushing out the bad spots on the trail. We hiked out the Cowcamp Trail, but were unable to clear the blowdowns on this trail. One of these blowdowns was a huge chestnut oak tree that was too large for our 5 crosscut saw. I would estimate the diameter at the saw points to be over 36. We will need at least a 7 crosscut saw to clear this tree from the trail. There were 2 smaller blowdowns on Cowcamp that we did not clear due to lack of time. 

We all really enjoyed working with you on this trip, and look forward to many more in the future. Here are the volunteer hours for the work trip: 

Name

Travel Hours

Work Hours

Totals

Ken Jones

1.5

9

10.5

Tazz Reid

1

9

10

Bobby Mitchell

1.5

9

10.5

Jim Holland

2

9

11

Linda Pringel

2

9

11

Ed Ley

3

9

12

Rick Harris

1

9

10

John Kalabus

2

9

11

Totals

14

72

86

August 31, 2009: We had a large work crew of 12 people to clear the big chestnut oak tree from the Cow Camp Trail. After a safety briefing at the Ranger Station, we drove to the trailhead and started our hike of about 1/3 mile in to the big tree. Along the way in we 36 inch chestnut oak on the Cow Camp Trail, 280 years oldcleared 2 smaller trees from the trail. We spent a lot of time scoping the tree and figuring out how to cut it safely. We had multiple saw crews who swapped out the saw work. Each of the two cuts took about 40 minutes to complete, and each cut measured exactly 36 across. I believe that this was the largest tree that any of us had ever cut with a crosscut saw. One of our workers counted the tree rings for a total age of 280 years for the tree. We also spent a lot of time trying to move the huge cut piece out of the trail with a peavey and pry poles. We finally succeeded in getting the piece turned sideways, allowing about 36 of clearance to walk through on the trail. Some of us came back out the Bald River Trail to the falls, clearing one additional small tree. All three of the routed signs and posts at the first switchback upstream of the falls were gone. I am sure that many visitors are again walking straight at this switchback and climbing the steep ridge up to the top to hit the trail, not realizing that they are off trail. 

Here are the volunteer hours for the work trip: 

Name

Travel Hours

Work Hours

Totals

Ken Jones

1.5

6

7.5

Jim Holland

2.5

6

8.5

Linda Pringle

2.5

6

8.5

Clayton Pannell

1.5

6

7.5

Leon Bates

1.5

5

6.5

Blue Goodson

1.5

6

7.5

John Kalabus

2

5

7

Rick Harris

1

5

6

Rick Foster

2

5

7

Tom Waters

1

6

7

Tazz Reid

1

6

7

Bobby Mitchell

1.5

6

7.5

Totals

19.5

68

87.5

 

Thursday, September 24, 2009: We went up the Bald River Trail yesterday to clear a problem tree just upstream from Pawpaw Branch. This was a tree that had a lot of complex bind and a large root ball just hanging above the trail. The tree had been down for over a year and several of us had decided at different times to leave the tree for a later day. Thank you for packing in a come-along and straps, even though we did not need these additional tools. We spent a lot of time looking at the root ball and the tree and planning the safest way to cut the tree. We ended up chopping the tree first with the axe, then using the crosscut saw for the final cut, then sliding the big log off the trail. On the way out we cleared 5 other smaller trees from the trail, making a total of 6 trees cleared for the work day. This work trip should once again have the entire trail clear of any blowdowns. 

Here is our time for this trip: 

Name

Travel Hours

Work Hours

Totals

Ken Jones

1.5

5

6.5

Tazz Reid

1

5

6

Jim Holland

2

5

7

Totals

4.5

15

19.5

Thursday, July 8, 2010: As you are aware, we worked last week on installing wilderness portal signs on the Bald River Gorge Trail and the Pine Ridge Trail. The Bald River Gorge group also removed two abandoned camp sites. The hours are as follows;

Bill Hodge - 5 hours - 1 hour travel
Ken Jones - 5 hours - 1.5 hours travel
Tazz Reid - 5 hours - 1 hour travel
Bobby Mitchell - 6 hours - 1.5 hours travel
Roger Taylor - 6 hours - 1 hour travel
Jim Sirmans - 6 hours - 1 hour travel

Thursday, July 7, 2011 - Bald River Trail - We worked yesterday on a couple of problems spots on the Bald River Trail. The first problem spot was the first switchback headed upstream from the top of Bald River Falls. We improved the switchback with rock cribbing and blocked off both ends of the unauthorized trail leading ahead and up a steep side slope to the top of the ridge. We managed to find two different yellow jacket nests as we started digging, resulting in some painful stings for several workers. The completed work on the first switchback is shown in the attached picture. The next problem spot was near the second switchback and was a badly eroded place due to hikers short cutting the switchback. The tread was almost gone and the shortcut had begun to look like the actual trail. We built up a rock retaining wall that was nearly 3' high in the middle. We were able to fill in behind the wall with dirt and rocks and establish a good tread width. The correct trail is now obvious and should be used by most hikers. We also blocked off the short cut and hopefully it will recover as less people slide down the steep side slope. We certainly appreciate having you and Stephen work with us on this project. Here are the volunteer hours for the work day:

Name

Travel Hours

Work Hours

Totals

Ken Jones

1.5

6

7.5

Tazz Reid

1

6

7

Roger Taylor

1

6

7

Bill Hodge

1

6

7

Bobby Mitchell

1.5

6

7.5

Ed Ley

2.5

6

8.5

Jeff Hunter

3

4.5

7.5

Caara Tereysa Fritz

3

4.5

7.5

Totals

14.5

45

59.5

July 14, 2011 - Bald River Trail - We continued our work on the Bald River Trail yesterday with a great work crew. One crosscut saw crew logged out all of the blow downs on the trail. The rest of the crew removed all of the overhanging stuff (mostly Rhododendron) in the upper part of the entire trail corridor. The entire trail is now open and easy to hike. The crosscut saw crew was caught in a heavy downpour for 10 minutes, while the rest of the crew stayed dry just a half mile away. It was great to have Stephen Eren, our Citico Wilderness Ranger, with us again for this work trip. Here are our volunteer hours for this trip:

Name

Travel Hours

Work Hours

Totals

Ken Jones

1.5

9

10.5

Jim Holland

2

9

11

Tazz Reid

1

9

10

Roger Taylor

1

9

10

Bobby Mitchell

1.5

9

10.5

Kyle Atkins

1.5

9

10.5

Totals

8.5

54

62.5

Thursday, Dec 29, 2012 - Bald River Trail - The crew cleared blowdowns off this trail today.

Name

Travel Hours

Work Hours

Totals

Bill Hodge

1

7.5

8.5

Jim Holland

2

7.5

9.5

Tazz Reid

1

7.5

8.5

Roger Taylor

1

7.5

8.5

Curtis McNeely

2

7.5

9.5

Julia (Jim's guest)

2

7.5

9.5

Totals

9

45

54

 

Week of Jan 9-13, 2012 - Bald River Trail - What a great week last week. I am very proud of the kids from the University of Illinois, and proud of the regual crew for completing that rather large project of restoring the Bald River Gorge Trail Tread, Combine last weeks work with our trip from a couple of weeks ago, and I would say we have the full length of the trail maintained to standards. I am glad SAWS could provide the Illinois crew and the leadership to complete this project. Here are the hours for the week (I am counting time spend preparing and cleaning tools, but not the time spend in the classroom learning about Wilderness);

 

Bill Hodge - 32.5 hours - 5 hours travel
Bobby Mitchell - 26 hours - 4.5 hours travel
Tazz Reid - 9 hours - 1 hour travel
Roger Taylor - 8 hours - 1 hour travel
Ed Ley - 7 hours - 2 hours travel
Curtis McNeely - 8 hours - 1.5 hours travel
Katie Starasinich - 34.5 hours
Chye Liew - 34.5 hours
Hann Lindahl - 34.5 hours
Allie Wojtowicz - 34.5 hours
Kelley Holem - 34.5 hours
Rachael Wilson - 34.5 hours
Matt Rundquist - 34.5 hours
Grace Kyung - 34.5 hours
Luke Barry - 34.5 hours
Amy Ziegler - 34.5 hours
Yueyin Huang - 34.5 hours
Tamara Riu - 34.5 hours

 

That is a total of 539 volunteer hours and 15 travel hours in one week.

 


        
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