The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Trail Maintenance

Cleveland State Nature Trail

Group photo of the Opening Day crew (less the leader, who was behind the camera).
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008


July 12, 2008:

Brief Description:  

Come help us restore the nature trail at Cleveland State! Many hiking club members have used this trail for  years, until a recent land sale to developers cut off one end of the loop. We'll dig in a short connector to re-establish the circuit. Some tools are available; please bring a shovel or other implement as desired. Lunch can be at a nearby eatery, or bring if you wish to eat on the trail.
The first CSCC students to work trail, and hard workers they are, were (left-to-right) Katie Humphrys, Joseph Campbell, Alena Campbell, and Eric Richards.Cleveland State requires a signed release form from each participant. Click on the link, fill it out, print it off, and then sign the form. Or you can print it off and fill it in by hand. Please bring the form to the meeting on Thursday, or to the outing on Saturday. (Blank copies will be available at the Cleveland State campus). One form will cover a volunteer through the end of 2008.

With enough help, we can finish this project on the 12th. Thanks to Suzanne Bennett of Cleveland State for making this volunteer opportunity available. Please contact the trip leader if you plan to go

        Leader Diana Ristom, 423-476-2945

        Other Useful Links:

Directions to the TrailheadMeet at Cleveland State in the parking lot by the tennis courts at 7:00 AM. If this is too early and your coffee hasn't kicked in yet, please be there for the 8:00 shift.

Post Trip Report: Will be posted along with pictures after the trip and this page will be moved to the "Past Activities" section of this website.

As the upgraded access trail from the Career Education Building nears completion, Joanne Jackson snips off the last few trip roots by hand as Carl Hite (inset) feathers the new trail into the old only a few steps away.October 4, 2008: The nature trail at Cleveland State Community College traverses part of a state-owned mini-nature preserve on the side of Candies Creek Ridge. Fox, deer and a host of other wildlife call this little undeveloped island of mature forest home. For decades it has been a valuable community resource, used by those seeking both quiet contemplation and heart-pumping recreation.
A recent land sale broke the loop on one end of the trail, and the Cherokee Hiking Club has been assisting Cleveland State by working on a new segment to reconnect the upper and lower pathways. The restored circuit will be one mile in length (a 1.6-mile roundtrip walk from the car), with a 200-foot overall elevation gain.
On October 4th, we'll complete the connector and continue with improvements there, and possibly at other places along the trail. A short opening ceremony will take place with the unveiling of one of the new signposts. Please bring your favorite trail tool (shovel, rake, mattock, etc. Some tools will be available for use onsite.) and join us Saturday morning at Cleveland State at 8:00 AM. (Park at the tennis courts.) If it's a pretty day, work will go on as long as there are laborers willing. (Bring lunch if you like.) 
Leader: Diana Ristom, 423-476-2945
Following the rules, Suzanne compels Dr. Hite to fill out a waiver form, thus getting him, ironically, to grant a release to the college over which he presides. (A little fun was had with this.)There is potential for restoration of much more of the original trail to the north, also for improving a length of currently used treadway to the south -- a lot more than can get done in one day. Watch for more outings upcoming.

Cleveland State requires that a signed release form be on file for each participant. One form will cover a volunteer through the end of 2008. Open the file and either fill out, print, and bring it with you, or print and fill in by hand, OR just fill out a blank copy on Saturday. (Suzanne Bennett will make them available.)


A total of fifteen workers made a good turnout for the opening of the new trail connector at Cleveland State. Eight members greeted seven from CSCC, including four students, before breaking into two groups - one brushing and one digging - and heading up the ridge. The additional help allowed us to get double the planned work done, much to the delight of Suzanne Bennett, CSCC's horticulturalist who oversees the 80-acre grounds.
President Randy Morris stood with CSCC president Dr. Carl Hite at the repaired trailhead marker to get things started. Both expressed appreciation for all of the volunteers' efforts. Dr. Hite, it turns out, is a skilled and hardworking trail builder (though he may not have been aware of that before Saturday!). He, Randy and others spoke informally during this outing about extending and improving the trail as a community resource, and even connecting it to the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.
Many thanks to all who contributed to making this first project, the restoration of a trail loop, a big success. On this outing (visitors underlined) were: Chuck Barkley, Suzanne Bennett, Jane Bohannon, Alena Campbell, Joseph Campbell, David Flower, Debbie Flower, Edmond Gray, Carl Hite, Katie Humphrys, Joanne Jackson, Randy Morris, Eric Richards, Bill Ristom, and leader Diana Ristom. Special thanks also to Gary Smith, who's done a lot of work on the trail but couldn't make this event.

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