Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 37307
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Work Trips in 2008 or 2009
Ranger District Worktrips
Benton MacKaye Trail Worktrips
Videos of Work on Horse Trails (click on this link)
Thursday, Jan. 7th SABCH Work Trip Mill Branch Trail - We will be continuing our work on bringing Mill Branch Trail up to Forest Service Standards. We have already completed most of the tread widening work, but trees are down from recent storms and brush out work needs to be done. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 9 am.
Thursday, Jan 14th - Mill Branch Trail. We will be continuing our work on this trail, focusing on logging out blowdowns and brushing out the upper end of this trail. We believe that our digging work is complete to widen the tread. The first blowdown is 1.5 miles in from the trailhead. If the logging out goes well, we may continue on Fodderstack Trail and come out down the Crowder Branch Trail. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 am.
Tuesday, Jan 19th - BMT Section 18a - Fodderstack Trail. We plan to log out the downfalls along the road section from Beech Gap to Cold Springs Gap. Based on pictures from a thru-hiker, we understand there are 18 trees across the road.
Tuesday, Jan 19th - BMT Section 19b - Topoca Trailhead to Slickrock Creek - Ernie Engman plans to clear a huge blowdown close to the Slickrock Creek crossing.
Thursday, Jan 22nd - Log out Fodderstack Trail - BMT Section 18a-b - Winter Crosscut Saw-A-Thon. We plan to work on logging out blowdowns on the Fodderstack / BMT. Plans are to have at least two crosscut saw teams, with one team starting at Farr Gap and the other team starting at Cold Springs Gap. We will plan to have the road from Beech Gap to Cold Springs Gap logged out prior to Thursday. With this approach we may be able to complete clearing all of Fodderstack Trail on Thursday. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am.
Saturday, Jan 23 - Benton MacKaye Trail TN/NC Maintenance Trip - Winter Saw-a-thon - Day 1. We plan to saw out as many downfalls as possible along the higher ridgetop sections of the trail. The wind storms and heavy snows over the Christmas holidays brought down many, many trees across our trail. We need lots of certified sawyers for this trip and others to go with each sawyer. This trip we will stick to using chain saws, thus we will not go into wilderness areas. February will probably be crosscut Saw-a-thon. Meet at 8AM at Tellico Grains in Tellico Plains for great pastries and coffee or behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center at 9AM to arrange carpools and to get your assignment. Tellico Grains is near the old town square. Turn right by the Exxon station then right at the next road. Tellico Grains is on the right behind the Citizens Bank Building. Afterwards we may all go out to dinner somewhere close. Contact Rick Harris, HarrisRi@aol.com or 423-253-6358.
Sunday, Jan 24 - Benton MacKaye Trail TN/NC Maintenance Trip - Winter Saw-a-thon - Day 2. By popular demand, we are having a second day of the same. I have been contacted by a few people who say they are available Sunday but not Saturday. So we will work both days. Same info as above, just different day and that breakfast at 8AM will be at the Little Red Barn on Sunday. The Little Red Barn is to the left of the little strip mall with CVS and Save-A-Lot on the road toward the Tellico Plains High School.
Wednesday, Jan.27th Benton MacKaye Trail, Upper Bald River - BMT Sections 16c/16d/16e Rick Harris has scheduled this work trip on his section of the BMT to clear recent blowdowns. This section is inside the Wilderness Study Area, so the clearing will be done with crosscut saws and axe. Meet at Tellico Ranger Station at 8 am. If we have enough workers, we may also finish up other areas we did not get to this past weekend due to the rain and high winds on Sunday. We may work on the section from Mud Gap to Beech Gap, the rest of the way of Sugar Mtn from the Tellico River, and the section from Sledrunner Gap to Sandy Gap. Please let Rick Harris know if you plan to come at HarrisRi@aol.com or 423-253-6358 home, 513-260-1184 cell.
Thursday, Jan. 28th SABCH Work Trip BMT Sections 18a/18b BMT Section 17d - We will be continuing our work on logging out recent blowdowns on the Fodderstack / BMT and hope to have enough workers to also log out the section from Mud Gap to Beech Gap. The Fodderstack Trail is a wilderness trail, so crosscut saws will be used. Mud Gap to Beech Gap is not in the wilderness, no chain saws will be used on this section.There are also a lot of small limbs and tops that can be dragged off the trail. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 am.
Thursday, Feb. 4th SABCH Work Trip We plan to work with the chainsaws to log out the Little Citico Horse Trails. We probably will not be able to get all of the trails done, but should get a good start. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 am for breakfast or 8:30 am for the safety meeting.
Wednesday, Feb. 10th We plan to complete logging out the lower portion of Brookshire Creek Trail. We will go in from Campsite 11 on the Bald River Road and hike 2.3 miles up the Bald River to the Brookshire Creek confluence. We will be clearing these trees with crosscut saw since it is inside the Upper Bald River Wilderness Study Area. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 am for this trip. CANCELLED. BALD RIVER ROAD GATE LOCK FROZEN. COULD NOT GET IT OPEN.
Thursday, Feb. 11th SABCH Work Trip We will be continuing our work on logging out the Fodderstack / BMT Trail. We will be working out a shuttle to Wardens Fields and may split into two crosscut saw crews to complete the trail. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 am.
Wednesday, Feb 17th - BMT Section 14c - Unicoi Gap to Buck Bald River - Mike Dozier plans to run a chain saw trip along this section of the BMT which is a shared motorcycle trail. Mike is with the Tellico Motorcycle Club.
SABCH Work Trip We will probably end up trying to log out
Rocky Flats Trail again based on
the current weather forecast. The highest point on this trail is the same
elevation as the Skyway at the Indian Boundary turnoff. Greg and I plan to look
at trail conditions on Wednesday afternoon so that we can cancel the trip if
necessary before everyone drives out to Tellico. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8
Meet at 8AM for Breakfast as the Littl' Red Barn (to the left of CVS and Save-A-Lot, on the road which goes to the highschool. You can see it from Hwy 68.Meet at 9AM in the back parking lot of the Cherohala Visitor Center to get assignments and arrange car shuttles.We plan to log out the Heart of Darkness as the primary objective with chain saws. If we have enough people sign up, we may also log out from Sandy Gap to Tate Gap or maybe even on down to Unicoi Gap. This is another Saw-A-Thon event. We do not plan on doing any significant brushing out. We need people with chain saws and chain saw certification, then people to go with the sawyer to help throw logs off the trail and to be a safety backup for the sawyer (the "swamper"). Each team will consist of at least 2 people (a sawyer and a swamper, and we would prefer 3 people for greater safety.Mark your calendar now and please let me know if you plan to come. I especially would like each of you with chain saw certification to tell me whether or not you plan to come so I can be sure to have enough swampers.After our day of hard work we plan to meet for dinner somewhere closeby. A possible location is Walt's Bar-B-Q on TN68 about a mile south of Tellico Plains. The restaurant is in the Tellico Lodge complex.Rick Harris423-253-6358 home513-260-1184 cell
Thursday, Feb. 25th SABCH Work Trip Bald River Trail. Plans are to continue working on logging out the Bald River Trail. Ken worked with a Smoke Jumper Crew today starting at Bald River Falls. They completed logging out the trail for about 2 Ύ miles in and past the half way point. Plans are to continue working on the upper end of this trail for tomorrow.
Thursday, Mar. 4th SABCH Work Trip It looks like snow for the higher elevations again, so the priority for the day will be to complete logging out the Bald River Trail. The portion remaining is the first 2 miles of trail coming in from the Bald River Road. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station for a covered dish breakfast at 8 am with the safety meeting to follow.
March 5-7, 2010 - BMT Sections 19A & 19B - Farr Gap to the Little T - Ernie Engman and his son plan to work on their section as part of a backpacking trip.
Friday, Mar. 12th We will be brushing out the Bald River Trail. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8:30 AM.
Friday, Mar. 19th Pine Ridge Trail. There are reports of one new tree down on Mill Branch, only a few trees on Fodderstack, and 4-5 trees as we come down Pine Ridge Trail. There will probably be a lot of small stuff to clear along the way. The total walking distance will be 9 miles with 2700 of elevation gain. Meet at Tellico Ranger Station at 8 am for this trip. The extended weather reports are for sunshine and 60 degree temperatures in the valley for next Friday. This should be a great work trip to get rid of some cabin fever and stretch your legs out!
Friday, Mar. 26th - Fodderstack Trail, BMT Sections 18a/18b - crosscut saw logout We will be going up the Mill Branch Trail to Fodderstack, from there south to Harrison Gap, then turning around and coming down the Pine Ridge Trail. There are reports of one new tree down on Mill Branch and only a few trees on Fodderstack. There will probably be a lot of small stuff to clear along the way. The total walking distance will be 9 miles with 2700 of elevation gain. Meet at Tellico Ranger Station at 8 am for this trip.
Mar 27 Sat TN/NC BMTA Work Trip - Saw-A-Thon. We will continue to clear logs off the trail with chain saw and crosscut saw. We will meet for breakfast at the Prospectors Dining Company in Tellico Plains at 8AM or behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center at 9AM. We will leave from the visitor center to various segments of the trail. If Prospectors is closed, then meet at Tellico Grains for breakfast at 8AM. Contact Rick Harris at 423-253-6358 (home), 513-260-1184 (cell) or HarrisRi@aol.com to let him know if you are coming.
Mar 31 Wed TN/NC BMTA Work Trip - BMT section 16a - Sandy Gap to Round Top - Eric Eades and Rick Harris plan to return to the Heart of Darkness to finish off the sawing out of the winter log accumulation. Meet at the trailhead at 9AM.
Apr 3 Sat - Kirkland Creek Trail - Bob Ruby and Sandi Still plan to hike from Waucheesi Bald down to Sandy Gap, then down the Kirkland Creek Trail and the Bald River Trail to Bald River Falls. During the hike they plan to do light trail maintenance and to see how many logs need to be removed from the trails.
Apr 4 Sun - Warriors Passage Trail - Bob Ruby, Sandi Still and Rick Harris plan to hike down the Warriors Passage Trail and will be doing light trails maintenance and count how many logs need to be removed from the trail.
Apr 4 Sun - Brookshire Creek Trail - Bill Hodge plans to clear blowdowns from this trail on Sunday.
Apr 5 Mon - BMT Reroutes and BMT Section 18a - Plans are to meet at Beech Gap at 10 AM to look at possible reroutes of the BMT around the "Grand Canyon" between Beech Gap and Unicoi Crest Overlook as well as possible reroutes to get the trail off the Whigg Meadow Road south of Whigg Meadow. Additionally, we plan to relog-out the trail from Beech Gap north to Cold Springs Gap.
Apr 5 Mon - BMT Section 12b - Dry Pond Lead Trail to Kimsey Highway - Darcy Douglas and section maintainer Sul Sullivan repainted the blazes outside of the wilderness stretches and placed more blazes at all intersections to clarify the route.
Apr 7 Wed - Coker Creek Falls Trail - Marc Bernatti and others plan to brush out the Coker Creek Trail.
Apr 9 Fri - BMT Section 12b - Drypond Lead Trail to Kimsey Highway. KB Sullivan, section maintainer, will work on his section, mainly in the Wilderness Study Area, using bowsaw.
Apr 13 Tue - Brookshire Creek Trail - Greg Kirkland and Bill Hodge plan to log out this trail from top to bottom. Contact Bill Hodge.
Apr 16 Fri - BMT Section 18a - Fodderstack Trail - We will be finishing work on clearing trees from the Fodderstack Trail on Friday April 16th. We will be going in from Cold Spring Gap and working our way to the top of the Pine Ridge Trail. We will then hike out the Pine Ridge Trail. We will logging out about 5 miles of trail and the day will involve hiking about 11 miles. We will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station on Friday morning at 8am.
Apr 18 Sun - BMT Section 12a - Drypond Lead Trail - We plan to log out this wilderness section of trail and the regularly schedule BMTA TN/NC Work trip. Contact Rick Harris, 423-253-6358, HarrisRi@aol.com. Meet at Thunder Rock Campground Overflow lot at 9AM.
Apr 22 Thu - Rocky Flats Trail - We had planned to finish the Bald River Gorge Trail this week, but thanks to a visiting fire crew from Boise that project was completed today. This Thursday we will tackle clearing the Rocky Flats Trail with cross-cut saws, and if time allows catch any remaining work needed on the Little Citico Horse Trail system. We will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am.
Apr 22 Thu - Coker Creek Falls Trail - Marc Bernatti and a group of several of his friends will work on this trail looking for a linkup with the BMT from the falls.
Apr 27 Tue - Kirkland Creek Trail - Jeff Hunter and Bill Hodge plan to log out this trail with crosscut. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8AM. There are 11 creek crossings on this trail. We will take the downhill route from Sandy Gap to Bald River Road so it won't be too strenuous. Contact Bill at 261-2815 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you can attend.
Apr 29 Wed - We will work the Bob Stratton Bald Trails. We work up to the bald from Cold Springs Gap, and after lunch on the bald we will work down to Cherry Log Gap and then hike out via the Fodderstack Trail back to Cold Spring Gap. We will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am. This trip will involve crosscut work and lopping rhododendron back.
May 5 Wed - Coker Creek Falls Trail - Marc Bernatti and his Coker Creek Ruritan crew plan to brush out this trail to get it ready for the sping and early summer hikers.
May 6 Thu - We will finish the work on the Bob Stratton Bald Trails. There will be a significant amount of crosscut saw work and lopping to do from the Trail 54/59A intersection down to Cherry Log Gap. We will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am.
May 13 Thu - Warriors Passage - This week there will be a trip to work on Warrior's Passage Trail. This will involve clearing trees with chain saws and brushing back the trail, and will be on Thursday the 13th. There will be two meeting points. You can meet the group at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am, or if you are coming from Coker Creek or points south the group will be meeting at the intersection of Wildcat and Bald River Roads at 8:30.
May 20 Thu - Weekly Work Trip - South Fork Citico Creek Trail - The work trip on Thursday will involve logging out the South Fork Citico Trail from Cold Spring Gap to Jeffrey Hell Trail and then we will hike out the Jeffrey Hell Trail. Besides cross-cut work we will also need to do some brushing with swing-blades and loppers. The plan is to meet at 8am at the Tellico Ranger Station.
May 21 Fri - BMT Section 12e - Lost Creek Section - Tom Smith and Larry Dunn, Section Maintainers, plans to log and brush out this section.
May 26 Wed - Warriors Passage Trail - A chainsaw crew will finish Warrior's Passage Trail from Bald River Road to Old Furnace Road. We will will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am Wednesday and Thursday.
May 27 Thu - South Fork Citico Creek Trail - We will work on the South Fork Citico Trail with cross-cut work, lopping work and swing-blade work. A large crew will start at Cold Spring Gap and work all the way to Warden Fields, while a smaller crew may start in from Warden Fields. We will will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am Wednesday and Thursday.
May 31 Mon - TN/NC BMTA Work Trip -
BMT Section 17a-b
- Sycamore Creek Trail
- There is an opportunity to spend Memorial Day in the heart of the
mountains along a beautiful creek and good camaraderie. Pam and Kent Mathews
will be leading a work trip to brush out the Sycamore Creek Trail (BMT Section
17a/17b) on Memorial Day, May 31, 2010. Meet a Prospectors for breakfast at 7:45
a.m. or behind the Charles Hall Museum (beside the Visitor's Center) at 8:30
a.m. We will then caravan to either end of the trail (Pheasant Branch Picnic
Area or below Whigg Meadow). Please e-mail or call Pam at
email@example.com and 865-567-0657 or Rick Harris at 423-253-6358 and HarrisRi@aol.com.
We plan to meet afterwards to eat at a local restaurant.
Jun 3 Thu - Benton MacKaye Trail Section 15a - Unicoi Gap out to Doc Rogers Place. We will brush out the trail from Unicoi Gap to Doc Rogers Place at Tate Gap, and then we will turn down the horse trail leading to Doc Rogers Fields. We will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am on Thursday. Contact Bill Hodge at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jun 5-6 Sat-Sun - South Fork Citico Creek Trail - Saturday June 5, 2010 is National Trails Day. This annual event coordinated by American Hiking Society is a one day celebration of trails across America. Tennessee Wild is planning a fun project that we're calling "Lopping and Loafing in the Citco Creek Wilderness." We are looking for up to 8 volunteers & fun seekers to backpack into the Citico Creek Wilderness along the South Fork of Citico Creek. There, we will setup a base camp next to a swimming hole and hike several more miles to a section of overgrown trail. We will spend the afternoon lopping, and the evening loafing, or splashing in the cool refreshing waters. The swimming hole near our campsite is over-your-head deep! The next day, we'll head back to our cars after a night in the woods. We're looking at approximately 7-8 miles of hiking - total. Half of that is backpacking . Tools will be provided. Long pants and boots are required. Tennessee Wild will also provide dinner on Saturday night for all attendees. To join us, please email Bill Hodge or call him at 865-617-4804.
Jun 5 Sat - Bullet Creek Horse Trail - The Southern Appalachian Back Country Horsemen have the following tip planned: Our SABCH National Trails Day efforts this year are going to be on Bullet Creek Horse Trail on Starr Mtn. The work will consist of brushing out and a little cleanup work on the 3 bridges that are on this 3 mile trail. We will be meeting at the southern trailhead where the concrete bridge is on FS Rd 220 ( White Cliff Rd ). We also plan to have a cookout following the workday, but provide your own pack lunch for the trail. Meet at the trailhead at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, June 5th. Directions are below. On the Trails Illustrated Map the southern trailhead is found on the North Side of the map near the K6 sector. From Cleveland and Polk County areas, travel north on Hwy 411 and take a right on HWY 30 at the Hiwassee Corner Mkt (If you cross the Hiwassee River on 411 you missed it by 1 mile). On Hwy 30 travel upriver for 5.5 miles and take a left on Hwy 315. The intersection is at Webbs Texaco and the intersection is a bridge across the Hiwassee River . Head north on 315 for 7 miles, and you will come to the Monroe County sign. Apx 1 mile past that take a left on Bullet Creek Rd. After 1 mile go straight through the intersection. 1 more mile and the road becomes gravel and heads up the mountain. 1.5 miles after the road becomes gravel (at the top of the mountain) take a right on FS Rd 220. 1 more mile and you will come to a concrete bridge across Bullet Creek. The trail head is on the other side of the bridge, and is marked with a sign. For you northerners: From either Tellico or Etowah take Mecca Pike (the road between Tellico and Etowah) to 315. Head south on 315 for apx 6 mile and take a right on Maple Springs Rd (there is a pond at the intersection of 315 and Maple Springs Rd. ) 1 mile and you will see Maple Springs Baptist Church on your left. Just past the church take a right on Bullet Creek Rd (there are signs). 1 more mile and the road becomes gravel and heads up the mountain. 1.5 miles after the road becomes gravel (at the top of the mountain) take a right on FS Rd 220. 1 more mile and you will come to a concrete bridge across Bullet Creek. The trail head is on the other side of the bridge, and is marked with a sign. Need to bring: WATER or GatorAid, light pack lunch. Trail tools such as work gloves, loppers, sling blade, machete, bug spray or cream, sunscreen. One of you needs to bring a square shovel (there's mud on the bridge), a screwdriver (to open the drainage between the wood boards on the bridge). Depending on the size of the group(s) we will leap frog the work areas. Please call Bobby Mitchell at 423-337-6194 or Tazz Reid at 423-253-6403 if you plan to attend. You can e-mail Joanne Mitchell at JFGMhorse@gmail.com directly so she can plan how many hot dogs, hamburgers and fixens to purchase.
Thursday, June 10, 2010: Jeffrey Hell Trails & South Fork Citico Creek - This week's trip will involve some brushing work and some saw work on the Jeffrey Hell Trail. We will work down from Rattlesnake Rock and then hike out. If we have a large turnout some of the crew may head straight down to the South Fork Trail and tackle some of the area we could not complete on Saturday. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8AM. Contact Bill Hodge at email@example.com
Saturday, June 12, 2010: BMT Section 16b - Sledrunner Gap to Round Top - Kendall Hobson plans to brush out the BMT going in from Beaverdam Bald. Contact Kendall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meet at Beaverdam Bald at 9AM.
Thursday, June 17, 2010: Jeffrey Hell Trails - This week there will be a work trip to finish brushing out the Jeffrey Hell Trail. This trip will involve loppers, swing-blades and some cross-cut saw work. We will have about a mile of trail to open up and the total day will involve hiking about 4 miles. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8AM. Contact Bill Hodge at email@example.com
Tuesday, June 22, 2010: BMT Section 19c - Tapoco Section -
As many of you know, the Tapoco Section had a wildfire this Spring which burned out most of the underbrush, although the mature timber was spared. I have posted temporary yellow flagging tape thru the burned out area, and posted signs to that effect in the affected area. I had asked the Alcoa folks if they would let us drive in on the access road, saving 3 miles of hiking to the northern end of the section so that we could brush cut, as it is thick. Finally, their schedule came clear, so they can drive us in and help us all day the 22nd, with a bad weather date of the 23rd. They will bring a chainsaw (they like to do the chainsaw work on their own property) and a brush cutter. I also have a brush cutter, but it would be great if we could get another brush cutter and 3-5 folks to help with the project. Margaret will be painting the blazes if Darcy can't make it, so that we can get things set for the walk thru on the 27th.
Meeting time is 8 AM (Alcoa starts work at 7) and the meeting place is the upper parking lot at the Cheoah Dam on Route 129 north of Robbinsville. From there, we will car pool up to the state line and drive in to the start of the trail. For those unfamiliar with it, the "woods" portion of the Tapoco section is only about 1.7 miles, so it should be an easy work trip. Now, here is the tough part. We are leaving early tomorrow to go to Florida to see granddaughter dance in a National competition, and we will not be back until Sunday, and I probably will not be able to check email until then. So, if you are interested, please call me on the cell, 828-479-3377, so that I can let the Alcoa folks know what to expect. As an incentive, Margaret will bring Fried Chicken and Potato Salad for those who tell me they are coming-what a deal!
If you need accommodations, let us know. Monday night, we are doing Bingo at Fontana village for the Lions club, but we would be home by 9:30 PM. Again, please call me if you are interested. Probably best to call Tuesday around lunch time if that is good for you.
Sunday, June 27, 2009: TN/NC BMTA Walk-Thru - The TN/NC BMTA Walk-Thru is scheduled for Sunday, June 27.
We need each of you to go with at least one other person and hike a section of the BMT between the GA state line and Deals Gap at the south end of the Smokies. Volunteer for a section, or sections, by going to the BMTA walk-thru page at http://www.bmta.org/AnnualWalk-Thru.php and sign up or email me and I will sign you up. contact me, Rick Harris, at HarrisRi@aol.com or 423-253-6358.
This is a great way to spend a nice summer Sunday. If you are unavailable on June 27, you can go any other day, but you will miss out on the before and after activities. We plan to meet at Prospectors Dining Company for all-you-can-eat pancakes at 8AM in Tellico Plains, then we will meet at Michaels Restaurant in Etowah for supper at 5PM. Michaels has great pasta. I love their carboniera dish. If we have enough for the dinner, we will reserve the back room just to ourselves.I ask that when you do your walk-thru, you do the following:1. You should not hike your own section. Let someone else evaluate your section. That is the fair and honest way to do it.2. Fill out the form which is attached and return it to me at the dinner or by mail or email later. The form is also available on the BMTA website on the walk-thru page noted above.3. If you have a GPS, please take it with you and waypoint the locations of big downfalls and sections which need a lot of brushing out or tread work and describe the work needed in your report. Then either send me your waypoint file from your GPS or put the waypoints in your report. The form is a Word document, so you can type right into it, then save it under the section name (such as: BMT-Section-13e.doc) and email or snailmail it to me. If you don't have a GPS, please describe the locations as best you can.4. Be sure to comment on the condition of the blazes. Are there too few, too many, in need of repainting, etc?5. Also note any confusing junctions which would benefit from a wooden routed sign. We have several available, thanks to Marty Dominy, to put out on the trail where needed.
Thursday, June 24, 2010: Jeffrey Hell Trails - The trail work trip this week will involve finishing the brushing out on the Jeffrey Hell Trail, and if attendance allows tackling a rough stretch of the South Fork Citico Trail. The section left to finish on Jeffrey Hell is the steep portion and is 1.5 miles in from the trail head and 6 tenths of a mile long. If there is time available after reaching the South Fork there is a stretch that is pretty rough about 0.75 miles down the South Fork Trail. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8AM. Contact Bill Hodge at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, June 26, 2010: BMT Section 11b - Big Frog Mtn - Bill & Diana Ristom plans to brush out their section from the top of Big Frog Mtn down to where the Big Frog Trail leaves the BMT.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010: BMT Section 13e - Coker Creek to Wildcat Creek - Larry Dunn and Tom Smith, section maintainers plan to brush out their section of the John Muir Trail. Contact Larry or Tom.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010: BMT Section 19b - Little T to Slickrock Creek - Dick Evans plans to work on logging out this section, following the walkthru he did on Sunday, June 27.
Thursday, July 1, 2010: Laurel Branch Trail & Big Indian Branch Trail - The trail work trip this week will involve logging out the Laurel Branch Trail. If we have enough for two saw crews, we will also log out the Big Indian Branch Trail as well. We will leave a vehicle at the lower end on the North River Road and begin work from West Rattlesnake Parking Area on the Skyway. Big Indian Branch Trail is 1.7 miles long and Laurel Branch Trail is 3 miles long. The work crew will meet at Tellico Ranger Station at 8 am. It may be Safety Meeting morning or the meeting may be delayed due to the upcoming holiday weekend. Contact Ken Jones at email@example.com.
Thursday, July 1, 2010: BMT Section 16a - Sandy Gap to Round Top - Eric Eades plans to brush out his section coming in from the Sandy Gap side. Contact Eric to offer your help at home 706-226-7791 or cell 706-313-0873, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010: BMT Section 13e - Coker Creek to Wildcat Creek - Larry Dunn and Tom Smith, section maintainers plan to finish off brushing out their section of the John Muir Trail. Contact Larry or Tom.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010: BMT Section 16c - Sledrunner Gap to Bald River - Jeff Hunter plans to brush out his section this day.
Thursday, July 8, 2010: Install Wilderness Portal Signs - This week we will be installing wilderness portal signs in the Citico Creek and Bald River Gorge Wilderness areas. If we have a large turn-out we may also tackle another trail project. Please keep in mind that this week is forecast to be very warm, and even though we should be working close to trail heads you should bring lots of water. We will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am on Thursday the 8th for this work trip.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010: BMT Section 16a - Round Top to Sandy Gap - This weeks trip will be work along the shared Benton MacKaye Trail between Round Top and Sandy Gap (actually considered a Nantahala National Forest Trail, it runs along the state line). We will be working with power trimmers to brush-out this section. If you have a trimmer bring it and fuel. If you do not have a trimmer I will bring some sling-blades and loppers for those without trimmers. We will be going in and out from Sandy Gap and probably covering almost 7 miles of total hiking for the day. IMPORTANT We will be working on Wednesday this week and will not be meeting at the Ranger Station. We will meet Wednesday morning (the 14th) at 8:45 in front of the Coker Creek Post Office and Welcome Center on Highway 68 to start our trip to Sandy Gap.
Sunday, July 18, 2010: BMT Section 19b - Little T to Slickrock Creek - Ernie Engman and Matthew plan to brush out their section of trail.
Monday, July 19, 2010: BMT Section 18a - Fodderstack Trail - Ken Jones and Tazz Reid plan to bushhog out the road section to Cold Springs Gap.
Thursday, July 22, 2010: Long Branch Trail - The trip this week returns to Thursday and will be a logging out trip along the Long Branch Trail. This is not in wilderness so we will be using chainsaws. We will need certified sawyers and those that can help the sawyers. The work trip will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am Thursday the 22nd. The trail has not been worked in some time and will involve lots of trees, so it might be a long day. The trail is 2.6 miles long. Those planning on sawing should not forget all of your PPE, including chaps.
Fri, July 23, 2010: Blazing of BMT Sections 11e - Darcy Douglas plans to paint blazes on theis sections.
Sat, July 24, 2010: Blazing of BMT Section 12c - Darcy Douglas plans to paint blazes on theis sections.
Saturday, July 24, 2010: BMT Section 15b - Six Mile Gap to Tate Gap - Meet at 8AM at the all you can eat pancake place in Tellico Plains, Prospectors Dining Company. Contact me if you need directions. Meet behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains at 9AM to work out our drive to the work site to minimize number of cars. We will go to Waucheesi Bald and with gas-powered brushcutters, loppers, and the like, go down the trail off the back side of the bald to the BMT at Six Mile Gap, then go south toward Tate Gap to clear the trail of the heavy growth. This is a 1.8 mile stretch of trail which gets quickly overgrown in the spring/summer. The approach trail to Six Mile Gap is about 0.4 miles long. So the total hiking distance will be about 4.4 miles for those who end up going all the way to Tate Gap. We will hike back to our cars at Waucheesi Bald at the end of the day, then return to Tellico Plains for supper at someplace there (such as Nut-N-Fancy or the Tellico Outpost) for supper. If you have never been to Waucheesi Bald, this is your chance to see a great 360 degree view of the surrounding mountains. It is expected to be hot, but no rain on Saturday. So bring plenty of water and lunch with you. There is no source of water on this segment of the trail except at Tate Gap itself. Please contact Rick Harris at 523-263-6358 or HarrisRi@aol.com if you plan to come. We need gas powered brush cutters for this trip in particular. This section was logged out this spring, so there will probably be no trees to cut off the trail. Just lots of heavy brush per reports from thru-hikers.
Saturday, July 24, 2010: BMT Section 14c - Unicoi Gap to TN68 - Mike Dozier and the Tellico Motorcycle Club plan to do trail work on this section.
Monday, July 26, 2010: BMT Section 18a - Fodderstack Trail - Ken Jones and Bobby Mitchell plan to mow the old FS road from Beech Gap to Cold Springs Gap.
Thursday, July 29, 2010: Long Branch Trail - We are going to work on finishing the logging-out job on Long Branch. There is a chance that the work may be completed on Long Branch before the workday on Thursday in which case we will tackle logging-out Sugar Cove and/or Hemlock Creek. This will be a chainsaw work day so remember your chaps with your other PPE. Last weeks trip took a toll on the crew, and the weather looks to be just as hot this week. Be sure to bring PLENTY of water for the day. We will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8am.
Thursday, July 29, 2010: BMT Section 15b - Six Mile Gap to Tate Gap - Phil Gooch is going with his sons to work on the section we planned to work on for the monthly BMTA worktrip last week.
Crosscut Saw Class July 30-31
The Forest Service will be holding a Crosscut Saw Certification Class for volunteers who would like to participate in Wilderness workdays. The class will be held at the Ocoee Ranger District Work Center on Friday, July 30th and Saturday July 31st, starting at 8:30 AM. If you have been previously certified, you will only be required to attend the first day for recertification. Instructors will be:
Jim Holland Back Country Horsemen
Ken Jones Benton MacKaye Trail Association
Carl Deitz - USFS
To enroll in the class or for more information contact Jim Holland:
Please provide the following information when you enroll:
Phone Number where we can reach you
Are you a new certification or a recertification?
Do you have a current CPR/First Aid Certification card?
You can attend the Crosscut Saw class without a current CPR/First Aid, but we will hold your card until you provide documentation that you are current. If you do not have a current CPR/First Aid certification, would you be interested in attending a American Heart Association CPR/First Aid class on the Sunday after the Crosscut Saw Class? The class includes Adult CPR and First Aid. (There would be a fee for this class)
Tuesday, August 3, 2010: BMT Section 18b - Fodderstack Trail - Bill Hodge and Jeff Hunter plan to brush out the BMT from Farr Gap heading south.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010: Warriors Passage NRT - Ken Jones and Tazz Reid plan to brush out a section of this trail.
Thursday, August 5, 2010: This week the work trip will be a bit different. There is a pot-luck breakfast and USFS Tellico District Safety Meeting at 8am Thursday (the 5th) that will start our day. Following the meeting will will split our time between sharpening tools that have received a bit of use lately, and scouting the Indian Boundary Lake Trail to plan for some future repair projects. The hike around Indian Boundary is level and a little under 3 miles. It will be hot so bring plenty of water (and your lunch).
Monday, August 9, 2010: BMT Section 13e - Wildcat Creek to Coker Creek - Tom Smith and Larry Dunn plan to finish brushing out this section.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010: BMT Section 14a - Coker Creek to TN68 - We plan to brush out this trail for its annual maintenance. Contact George Owen, section maintainer.
Thursday, August 12, 2010: Long Branch Trail - This week we will work on brushing out the Long Branch Trail using power trimmers. This trail is very overgrown and this day could be lengthy and hot. The trail is just under 3 miles. Bring lots of water. NOTE We are starting a hour earlier this week to try and beat the heat. We will meet at 7am on Thursday the 12th at the Tellico Ranger Station.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010: BMT Section 15b - Six Mile to Tate Gap - New section maintainers Phil Gooch and Jim Sirmans plan to return on Wednesday to finish brushing out this section. Plan to meet on Waucheesi Bald at 7:30 AM.
Friday, August 22, 2010: Brookshire Creek Trail - Bill Hodge plans to continue brushing out this trail which provides access to the BMT.
Sunday, August 29, 2010: BMT Section 19a - Stiffknee Trail - Plans are to meet at 9AM behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains, then carpool from there to Farr Gap, arriving there about 10AM. We plan to brush out the trail as far down as we can get, though the top section down to Stiffknee Gap I know is the worst. This is wilderness so we will use swingblades and loppers. We may go out for dinner afterwards in Tellico Plains. Breakfast is on your own. Contact Rick Harris at 423-253-6358 or HarrisRi@aol.com to let him know if you plan to come.
Monday, September 6, 2010: BMT Section 13d - Towee Creek to Wildcat Creek - Larry Dunn and Tom Smith, section maintainers plan to log out their section of the John Muir Trail. Contact Larry or Tom.
Thursday, September 9, 2010: Long Branch Trail - We will be tackling a couple of small unfinished items on the Long Branch Trail. We will be removing a huge root ball from the trail and we will saw out one tree. Should be a short day, though some may also tackle some Hemlock Study work. 8am, Tellico Ranger Station
Thursday, September 9, 2010: Unicoi Turnpike Trail - Marc Bernatti and his group plan to brush and log out this trail.
Friday, September 10, 2010: BMT Section 15c - Sandy Gap to Six Mile Gap - Rick Harris and Tom Smith plan to remove a tree blocking the trail near Sandy Gap and also brush out part of the trail.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010: Unicoi Turnpike Trail - Bill Hodge plans to remove snags from the lower end of the trail.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010: BMT Section 16a - Sandy Gap to Roundtop - Eric Eades plans to finish brushing out the BMT from the Hazelnut campsite to Round Top
Sunday, September 19, 2010: BMT Section 12d - McFarland Rd to Lost Creek CG - Bill Lundin plans to brush out his section of the trail.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010: BMT Section 19b - Little T to Slickrock Creek - Ernie Engman (section maintainer) plans to clear a blowdown near the interestion of Ike Branch and Slickrock Creek Trails.
Thursday, September 23, 2010: Kirkland Creek Trail - We will be brushing out the Kirkland Creek Trail with loppers and slingblades. Meet at 8 am at the Tellico Ranger Station.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010: BMT Sections 11b-d - Big Frog Area - The monthly TN/NC BMTA Work Trip is moved to this Tuesday due to conflicts with the planned trip on Sunday. We will clear brush and blowdowns off the BMT up the north slope of Big Frog Mountain. We will meet at 9AM at the parking area just outside the Thunder Rock Campground along US 64, then consolidate cars and drive to the trailhead up on FS 221. From there we will split into teams to clear blowdowns with a crosscut team and brush out the trail with swingblade and loppers. When Ken Jones and I checked out the trail conditions this early summer as part of the walk-through the trail was for the most part in pretty good condition. There were a few blowdowns, enough to occupy one or maybe two crosscut teams. Most of the needed brushing out was up near the top in the Big Frog section. I don't know if we will get it all done, but we will see how much we can accomplish. This is the best time of the year to be climbing up Big Frog. Come join us for a great hike and some invigorating work. We may finish off the day with an Italian meal at Gondolier's. Contact Rick Harris to sign up at HarrisRi@aol.com or 423-253-6358 (home) or 513-260-1184 (cell).
Thursday, September 30, 2010: Hemlock Creek and Sugar Cove Trails - We will be working to finish logging out the North River trails that lead to the Skyway. The remaining trails are Hemlock Creek and Sugar Cove. This is chainsaw work and we have two certified sawyers scheduled for the work trip. We can also use anyone else as a safety observer for the sawyers. Please meet us at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8 a.m.
Monday, October 4, 2010: BMT Section 12d - McFarland Rd to Lost Creek CG - Bill Lundin will continue brushing out his section of trail. Meet at the McFarland Road crossing at 9:30 AM.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010: BMT Section 17b& 17d - Sycamore Creek Trail & BMT from Mud Gap to Beech Gap - Come join Pam and Kent Mathews and Rick Harris for a mid-week work trip on Section 17b-Sycamore Creek Trail. We will be brushcutting the first 3 to 4 miles of the upper section of the trail. If time permits, on the way back down the Skyway, we will stop by Grassy Gap and brush out the first mile or two. Remember to bring your work gloves, hard hat, sling blade or weedeater, along with lunch and water. Meet at 9:00 a.m. behind the Visitor's Center or at 9:30 a.m. at the Turkey Creek Overlook off the Cherohala Skyway. We will continue on the Skyway and make the right turn onto North River Road FS217 after passing the Unicoi Crest Overlook, then turn left onto FS 61B and drive to the upper end of the Sycamore Creek Trail. Call or email Rick Harris to sign-up: e-mail Harrisri@aol.com home-423-253-6358; cell-513-260-1184.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010: BMT Section 17d - Mud Gap to Beech Gap - Rick Harris plans to finish brushing this section which he started October 5. The previous maintainer has decided not to be responsible for the section anymore and the trail is in pretty bad shape with a lot of seasonal growth.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010: Warriors Passage Trail - Phil Gooch plans to brush out this trail from the top to near his house near Hogpen Gap.
Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010: We will concentrate on brushing out the Hemlock Trail, so bring a weedeater if you have one. We can also use people that can run a slingblade and loppers. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 a.m. for this work trip.
Thursday, October 7, 2010: BMT Section 17d - Mud Gap to Beech Gap - Rick Harris plans to finish brushing this section between the North River Road and Beech Gap.
Friday, October 8, 2010: BMT Section 17c - Mud Gap to Whigg Meadow - Rick & Brenda Harris plan to brush out the trail from Mud Gap to Whigg Meadow. This section is not too bad, but does need brushing out and a couple small trees cut out of the trail. This is a popular trail with local hikers, so it is important to keep it in tip-top shape.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010: BMT Section 12c - Kimsey Highway to McFarland Road - Sul Sullivan plans to brush out his section of the Benton MacKaye Trail.
Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010: Hemlock Trail - We will be continuing our work on the Hemlock Creek Trail. I think that we will need 2 sawyers and one weedeater to come in from the top. Others above that number can start brushing out the trail from the North River Road. This will also be the date for the monthly safety meeting, so come for breakfast at 8 a.m. and the safety meeting will follow.
Friday, October 13, 2010: BMT Section 12b-c - Dry Pond Lead to McFarland Road - Sul Sullivan plans to finish brushing out his section of the Benton MacKaye Trail.
Saturday, Oct 16, 2010: BMT Section 19a - Stiffknee Trail Section - We will meet at the back of the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains, TN, at 9AM on Saturday, Oct 16 (not our usual work weekend) and then will carpool to Farr Gap. We will send down a couple of crosscut saw crews as well as wrokers armed with loppers and swingblades to clear the section of the trail from Stiffknee Gap to the Slickrock Creek crossing. We have already cleared the trail from Farr Gap to Stiffknee Gap on a previous trip this summer. Then we will hike either out to the Little T crossing (if we can get a vehicle or two down there in advance) or hike back up to Farr Gap (a difficult hike to say the least). Call or e-mail Rick Harris to sign-up: e-mail Harrisri@aol.com home-423-253-6358; cell-513-260-1184.
Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010: We plan to remove the old concrete picnic tables from Young Branch Horse Camp and install the new wooden tables. The new picnic tables weigh about 400 lbs. so it takes a work crew to move them around. We also hope to have access to heavy equipment to help with this project. We will meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8 a.m. or you may go to the Indian Boundary Beach Area and meet at 8:30 a.m.
Thursday, October 21, 2010: BMT Section 16e - Tellico River to Sugar Mtn - Betty Petty plans to clear her section today.
Thursday, Oct. 28th - We will be helping Jim Herrig with a project to move fish between the Fish Hatchery and Sycamore Creek with horses and mules. We also need help from other volunteers that don't have pack stock during this project.
Thursday, Nov. 4th - Hemlock Creek Trail - To finish our work on this trail, we need to brush out the lower 1.5 miles of trail along the creek and log out about 8 - 10 trees in the middle of the trail up on the ridge and the steep grade. This Thursday is also the monthly safety meeting for the District. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 a.m. for breakfast and the safety meeting will follow.
Monday, Nov 8, 2010 - Hemlock Creek Trail - Ken and Greg plan to go out and finish logging out the trail and paint some blazes.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 - Coker Creek Falls Trail - Marc Bernatti plans to log out the recent blowdowns on this trail.
Thursday, Nov. 11th - Veterans Day - We will be taking the holiday off. Please take a few minutes to remember the veterans of the Armed Forces. They have sacrificed much to secure the freedoms that we all enjoy.
Friday, November 12, 2010: BMT Section 12b - Ken Jones and Bill Hodge plan to log out the trees which fell during the recent storm from the powerline west to Kimsey Highway.
Thursday, Nov. 18th - We plan to brush out the lower portion of the Hemlock Creek Trail. If we have enough people we may also finish the logout of the lower mile of the Sugar Cove Trail. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 a.m. for this work trip.
Monday, Nov 22, 2010 - BMT Section 12e - Lost Creek Campground to Hiwassee River - Larry Dunn, who recently became the maintainer of this section along with Tom Smith, plans to check out his new section and brush it out.
Wednesday, Dec. 1st - We will be working to finish the Sugar Cove Trail maintenance. This trip will involve brushing out and chainsaw work. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 am.
Thursday, Dec. 2nd - A joint safety meeting for the Tellico and Ocoee Districts will be held at 10 am at the Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Etowah. There will be a covered dish lunch following the safety meeting. The church has a program to feed the needy, so we are also asked to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the church.
Friday, Dec. 3rd - The Tellico District Christmas Party will be held at the Community Center in Tellico Plains from 6 - 9 pm. Please bring a covered dish and notify the Ranger Station if you are bringing a child under 13 years old by no later than Nov. 26th.
Saturday, Dec 4th - Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 797 from Atlanta are coming up to do trail maintenance for the 50 Miler Award. Plans are to split their group into one group which will work on the Unicoi Turnpike Trail, and one group to work on the BMT from Sandy Gap to Six Mile Gap, BMT Section 15c. Local volunteers will help out. They will be spending the night Saturday night at the Smoky Mtn Christian Camp, courtesy of local Scout Troop 116.
Thursday, Dec. 9th - will be working on the Little Citico Creek Horse Trails. This trip will involve brushing out and chainsaw work. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 am.
Sat, Dec 11 - TN/NC BMTA Worktrip - Tapoco BMT Section 19c - We plan to log and brush out this section which was damaged by fire this past year. Also, we will flag a possible reroute to create switchbacks to get rid of the very steep section near the top. Since this is not NF property, no NEPA is required. Once our flagged route is approved by Tapoco, then we can plan future trips to build the switchbacks. We will meet at the parking area above Cheoah Dam on US 129 at 9AM. Contact Rick Harris for further information and to sign up: HarrisRi@aol.com, 423-253-6358 home, 513-260-1184 home.
Thursday, Dec 16 - Warriors Passage NRT - It certainly looks like snow and very cold weather between now and next Thursday. We will plan to try and work on the lower elevation Warriors Passage Trail, inspecting the trail and logging out any blow downs that we can find. Right now the forecast for Thursday is for rain. Everyone should make your own decision based on the weather that morning in deciding whether or not to come on the work trip. We will plan to meet at the Ranger Station at 8 a.m., weather permitting.
Monday, Dec 20 - BMT Section 13d - Towee Creek to Wildcat Creek - Bill Lundin and Larry Dunn plan to work on their section clearing especially a large blowdown near Wildcat Creek.
Thursday, Dec. 30th - Warriors Passage National Recreation Trail - We plan to do chainsaw work in logging out any blowdowns that have fallen recently on the trail. Meet at the Ranger Station at 8 a.m. for this work trip.