The Unicoi Crest above Tellico Plains


Cherokee Hiking Club
198 Crews Drive, Benton, TN 373




Bald River Falls


Using a crosscut saw in the Citico Wilderness



Trail Maintenance


Jan     Feb    Mar    Apr    May    Jun    Jul    Aug    Sep    Oct    Nov    Dec

Work Trips in 2008 or 2009 or 2010 or 2011

Tellico Ranger District Worktrips
Benton MacKaye Trail Worktrips
Other Worktrips



Thursday, January 5, 2012 - Happy New Year. We will be working this Thursday on the Tellico District (Cold Springs Gap Trail weather permitting). We will meet at 8am on Thursday. This trip was changed into a scouting trip for a new route for the Little Citico Horse Trails.

Jan 9-13, 2012 - Bald River Trail - SAWS and the University of Illinois students worked the whole week on the Bald River Trail to bring it up to standards.

Thursday, January 12, 2012 - Conasauga Falls Trail - This week we will have our regular workday on Thursday. We will be working on the Conasauga Falls Trails, building a new section of trail to improve conditions. We will meet at 8am Thursday at the Tellico Ranger Station and will be joined by a group of 13 students from the University of Illinois. If anyone is interested in joining SAWS this week leading these university kids on some other projects, please contact me. We will be working everyday, starting with the Bald River Gorge Trail tomorrow.

Thursday, Jan 19th - Little Citico Horse Trails - We will have our regularly scheduled work day this Thursday. Depending on weather, and those that can attend, we will work on flagging the new alternative horse trail system, or we will work on logging and brushing the Cold Spring Gap Trail.

Friday, Jan 20th - Coker Creek Falls Trail - Marc Bernatti and the Ruritans plans to work on the Coker Creek Falls Trail today.

Thursday, Jan 25th - Little Citico Horse Trails - We plan to continue to flag new horse trail. Meet at 8 AM at the Tellico Ranger Station

Sunday, Jan 29th - TN/NC BMTA Work Trip - Saw-A-Thon - Sections 11cd, 12a, 13de, 13e, 16b, 17a - There are several individual trees which need to be cut out at various locations. Thus of those who sign up, we will send you all out in pairs with crosscut or chainsaw, depending on whether you are going to wilderness or not, to clear trees on sections of the BMT. I will be in contact with each person who signs up to tell that person who his partner is and where your trees are. There are not that many trees down on the trail, but they are in various diverse areas. So we are looking for sawyers and non-sawyers to join the sawyers for this month's trip. Please let me know if you are available to work this Sunday by contacting Rick Harris at or call me at 423-253-6358 home or 513-260-1184.

Tuesday, Jan 31st - Warriors Passage NRT - Rick Harris scouted the section from Wildcat Road down to Wildcat Creek and found many many logs across the trail and threw dozens to small trees and branches off the trail.


Thursday, Feb 2nd - Rocky Flats Trail - We plan to log out this trail. The Hiking Buds, a local Facebook hiking group, recently hiked this trail and reported several trees across the trail. Meet at 8 AM at the Tellico Ranger Station

Thursday, Feb 2nd - Starr Mtn Horse Trails - Ken Jones and Tazz Reid continue to flag out new possible horse trail routes on Starr Mountain.

Friday, Feb 3rd - BMT Section 11e - FS 221 to US 64 - We plan to log and brush out this section. Meet at Thunder Rock Campground at 9 AM.

Tues, Feb 7th - Rocky Flats Trail - Rick Harris is going out to flag the section where people are getting lost

Thurs, Feb 9th - Rocky Flats Trail - We plan to finish up logging and brushing out this trail. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8 AM.

Thurs, Feb 9th - Starr Mtn Horse Trails - Ken and Tazz plan to continue flagging new horse trails on Starr Mtn.

Wed, Feb 15th - Conasauga Falls Trail - Gary Long and Mark Bernatti cleaned trash off the road to Conasauga Falls.

Thurs, Feb 16 - Tellico Ranger District Weekly Work Trip - Due to the potential of bad weather on Thursday, we are going to hold a tool cleaning and "intro" to trails refresher class. This will work well for SABCH folks also since it will be a shorter day on the district so they can get to their meeting. I look forward so seeing you all here at 0800. Have a fine week and be careful tomorrow as the winter weather mix is supposed to hit us tonight!

Thurs, Feb 16th - Starr Mtn Horse Trails - Ken and Tazz plan to continue flagging new horse trails on Starr Mtn.

Sat, Feb 18 - Chris Beck's Eagle Service Project - Please consider helping Chris out on his project, which is to do trail work in the Cherokee National Forest down by Lake Ocoee. Contact Rick Harris, to volunteer to help. 45 people helped 6 hours each = 270 hours, incluiding 7 BMTA/CHC members and 6 SABCH members.

Thurs, Feb 23 - Tellico Ranger District Weekly Work Trip - Good morning, we have several projects that need to be completed by March 1st. The proposed trails from Doublecamp to Gold Cabin need to have the flagging completed and it needs to be GPS'd. The proposed trail connecting Miller's Ridge to Tavern Branch needs to be flagged and GPS'd. AND we need to conduct some brushing work down by the Young Branch Horse Camp and some closing of an unofficial trail on one of the horse trails. SO bring you GPS and hiking shoes! See you then…..Have a GREAT week. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8 AM.

Sat-Sun, Feb 25-26 - TN/NC BMTA Maintenance Trip - BMT Section 12d & 18b - This coming weekend looks pretty with highs in the 40s and 50s with sun both days. So it looks like a great Saturday and Sunday for our monthly work trip. So here are the plans:

On Saturday, we will enter via the Beech Gap Road (I have the key to the gate) and start at Cold Springs Gap on the Fodderstack Trail. We will exit via the Pine Ridge Trail. On Sunday, we will enter via Farr Gap and again exit via the Pine Ridge Trail at Warden Fields down along Citico Creek. We will emphasize cutting trees off the trail but those with loppers or swing blades can lop or swing along the way. Each day we will have to set up our shuttle, leaving vehicles at Warden Fields. This is all wilderness so we must plan on primitive tools only. Since this is a long trip coming in from either direction, we will meet in the parking lot behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains at 8 AM rather than our usual 9 AM. Please let me know if you are coming and also let me know which day(s) you are joining us. It is about 6 miles from either direction, then the ~4 miles down the Pine Ridge Horse Trail to get back to our cars. Contact Rick Harris at or 423-253-6358 (home) or 513-260-1184 (cell). Afterwards each day we can eat in Tellico Plains for those with enough energy left to lift a fork to their mouths.

On Saturday, we tried to get in the Beech Gap gate with the key provided by the USFS, but it would not unlock the lock. So we gave up and then decided to go work on BMT Section 12d down between McFarland Road and the Lost Creek Campgound.


Thurs, March 8 - Tellico Ranger District Weekly Work Trip - We will be assisting with the Conasauga Falls Trail clean up-trash pick-up going up to the falls trail. There is a possibility that we may "re-organize" and help clean up storm damage.

Sat, March 10 - BMTA Maintainer Course - 9AM to 5 PM at Ocoee Whitewater Center. Here is my presentation for those who missed the conference.

Thurs, March 15th - Pine Ridge Trail - We will be working on the Pine Ridge trail this week. I hiked it today and there are 7 areas where trees are down. This is from a complex grouping of trees to one tree across the trail. The upper part of the trail is also in need of brushing as it is growing over the trail in several places. Thank you and have a great week!

Thurs, March 22nd - We will be working up the Tellico River Corridor and primarily on the new Checking Station/Service Center. It is scheduled to open on April 4th. We will be putting the final touches on it and the host campsites to prepare them for opening. I realize this is the regularly scheduled work day for the Tellico trail crew but we would like for you all to join us as well. Sure could use your help!

Wed, March 28th - Little Citico Horse Trails - Thursday we will be working on Horse Trail #2. A tree is down in the water so waders will be needed for a portion of the work. There are other trees down along trail 2 so we will be getting those also. Thanks and have a great week. Also, I need the hours worked by each of the volunteers over the past few work days. Meet at Tellico Ranger Station at 8 AM.

Saturday, March 31 - Licklog Ridge Trail - The Cherokee Hiking Club and the Chattanooga Hiking Club plan to join forces and work on this long neglected trail up Big Frog Mountain.


Thurs, April 5th - Will be the Indian Boundary work day. It is scheduled for opening on April 17. This is also the district safety meeting day and we will not have the regularly schedule breakfast at the office, but will have lunch (hot dogs and fixens) at IB instead. The safety meeting will be at 0845 at the Beach Pavilion and work will begin immediately after the safety meeting.

Thurs, April 5th - BMT Section 13c-d and Oswald Dome Trail Special Logging Project - On this Thursday, Steve Biatowas (trails tech, Ocoee-Hiwassee Ranger District) is going to join Rick Harris and Steve Cartwright on clearing some complicated, big logs off the BMT and other trails. We plan to meet at 8:30 AM in the Quinn Springs campground along TN30 and the Hiwassee River. We plan to go up the Oswald Dome Trail a ways to log out a big log, then to a section of the BMT along the Hiwassee River between Big Bend and Towee Creek to clear another big log. If there is time left in the day, there are some other logs near Towee Creek we need to clear off the trail. We could use a few other people to help out. Please consider joining us at 8:30 AM on Thursday at the Quinn Springs Campground near the trailhead to the Oswald Dome Trail. Let me know, if possible, if you plan to join us ( If you can't make it at 8:30, you can probably catch us later over on the BMT at the Towee Creek Trailhead. If certified, bring your chainsaw, chaps, etc. But we could use the help on non-certified people as well. Both big logs are quite heavy duty projects.

Monday, April 9, 2012 - BMT Section 19c - Dick Evans plans to saw out his section and do some brushing out.

Thurs, April 12th - Little Citico Creek Horse Trails - We will be working on horse trails 3 & 4 next week. Bring your chain saws.

Thurs, April 19th - Little Citico Creek Horse Trails - This Thursday we will be working to complete the horse trails. Tazz Reid will be leading out on this trip. Bring a chain saw if you have one. Thanks!

Sunday April 22- Saturday April 28 - BMTA AHS Volunteer Vacation

The BMTA again sponsored an AHS Volunteer Vacation in the Cherokee National Forest, only the second we have ever done. Similar to last fall’s VV, the crew stayed at the Ranger House, located at the Tellico Ranger District Office in Tellico Plains. The work done this year was based on the reports from the 2012 BMTA Walk-Thru.  Our VV Crew for this year were: 

  • John Carmichael, Brownsburg, IN – Crew Leader (was here last fall as well)

  • Elizabeth Miller, Littleton, CO

  • Jane Greischar, Madison, WI

  • Jim Kern, Webster Groves, MO

  • Karen Stearns, Riverdale, MI

  • Mona Lloyd, Hamburg, NY

  • Patty Pikul, Hamburg, NY

  • Steve Rountree, Ridgeland, SC

The crew arrived at the Ranger House Sunday by 4PM, then had a hamburger grill out. Rick Harris gave them an orientation presentation on Sunday evening. The work trips for the week were as follows:

Monday – We worked on the BMT from the Tellico River Road for about a mile each direction. First we went south and did tread work and fixed two huge holes in the trail created by two trees which had fallen over the winter and took the trail tread with them. We also cleared several logs off this section. Then we went a ways up the Sycamore Creek section of the BMT, armoring some wet spots with rock. (BMTA helpers: Rick Harris, Bob Ruby, Tazz Reid, Bill Lundin, Betty Petty) 

Tuesday – We worked on the John Muir Trail/BMT doing tread work just east of Wildcat Creek where the trail switchbacks up the ridge then back down the other side of the ridge. (BMTA helpers were Rick Harris, Bob Ruby, and USFS employee Travis Schwarzer) 

Wednesday – This was supposed to be a day off from work, but two crew members went out with Travis Schwarzer to do work on a local Tellico Trail, the  Henderson Mountain  Trail. All the others went for a 9-mile wilderness hike down the Jeffrey Hell Trail and the South Fork Citico Creek Trail out to Warden Fields, along with its several creek crossings. This was a most enjoyable hike. 

Thursday – We worked on the section along Kimsey Highway north of the Ocoee River. We started out at the powerline crossing, brushing out this area, then redoing the tread up till the trail enters the woods. We then ate lunch, then went up to the wilderness sign from the Dry Pond Lead Trail. On the way up, we logged out this non-BMT 0.3 mile section. From the wilderness sign, we went north on the BMT doing much needed tread work to the first gap. (BMTA helpers were Rick Harris, Bob Ruby, Dick Evans, Joshua Pinson, David Blount, Bill Lundin, and USFS employee Matt Henry) 

Friday – We first installed a sign on the McFarland Road section of the BMT where the trail leaves an old logging road and enters a wildlife road. We then went to Sandy Gap and installed a sign north from the gap and did tread work near Moss Gap. We also logged out the trail going south about 0.5 miles from Sandy Gap toward Six Mile Gap. (BMTA helpers were Rick Harris and Bob Ruby) 

Total Hours by VV Crew and BMTA Volunteers:  462 hours, including travel time 

Evening Programs were somewhat similar to last fall’s. Sunday was orientation day, where they learned about the BMT and what was in store for the week. 

Monday – The Beck kids (Chris, MacKenzie, and Lucas) spoke about Eagle Service Projects on trails (Chris), 4-H Club projects (MacKenzie) and Boy Scouting and horses in general (Lucas). All three emphasized how important the trails are to them as individuals. Then Tazz Reid (former president of the Southern Appalachian Backcountry Horsemen) spoke on the importance of all user groups to cooperate on trail maintenance. 

Tuesday – Leslie Morgan (USFS – Tellico), spoke on volunteer groups working with the forest service to maintain trails, then spoke on the project she was involved with a few years ago on relocating bears from the Smokies to the Big South Fork. 

Wednesday – We returned to the Outpost in Tellico Plains for pizza and music until they closed. A big thank you goes out to owners Jim and Margaret DeBernardi and musicians Tom Cordle and Silvia Holiday. 

Thursday – No program. The crew had their own discussions late into the night over their dinner table. 

Friday – Thorns, roses and buds. We discussed with the VV crew what they liked (roses), did not like (thorns) and what they would like to see changed or added for next year (buds). Then Dick Evans gave out certificates of appreciation and stickers and the like to the crew. Their suggestions for improvement were as follows: less time driving to and from the work site (pick one spot close to the ranger station and spend the whole week on this); shorter programs (our programs this year ran over the allotted hour routinely); one less program (they want another night to themselves). Some wanted longer and harder work hours, and some wanted about the same as this year. They all loved the Ranger House (great facilities) and the content of the talks (though they went on too long). They all learned a lot about trail maintenance and how to organize work trips and volunteer crews. They all were energized to go back home and work on their local trails. The crew really gelled well. They all were a fun group and very hard workers. 

Saturday morning the crew returned to their homes after leaving the Ranger House spotless. The rangers were impressed with how clean the place was. 

We will hopefully sponsor another crew in the Cherokee National Forest next year and there are discussions about possibly sponsoring a second crew as well, according to Dick Evans.

Saturday, April 28th - BMT Section 18a - Fodderstack - Ken and Phyllis Jones plan to work on their section.


Thurs, May 3rd - Henderson Mtn Trail - We will be embarking on a grand adventure over the next several weeks. The Henderson Mountain & Panther Branch trails have long been neglected but we will be “re-opening” these trails in order to provide a nice loop hike. There are several blow down areas that will require both chainsaw and crosscut as part of the Henderson Mt. trail is in wilderness. The upper part is not in wilderness and this is where we will start. If we have a good showing of volunteers, we will tackle it from both ends. See you all on Thursday at 8AM at the Tellico Ranger Station!

Thurs, May 10th - Henderson Mtn Trail

Thurs, May 17th - Henderson Mtn Trail

Thurs, May 24 - Henderson Mtn Trail

Friday, May 25th - BMT Section 17a - Sycamore Creek Trail Section of BMT - Pam and Kent Mathews plan to brush out their section

Thurs, May 31 - Henderson Mtn Trail

Thurs, May 31 - BMT Section 15b - Six Mile Gap to Tate Gap - Section maintainers Phillip Gooch and Jim Sirmans brushed out their section.


Thurs, June 7th - Henderson Mtn Trail - There is a safety meeting this Thursday, with breakfast…..We will continue working on Henderson Mountain. Probably be 2 more trips up there and it will be good to go. There is some sling blading as well as power saw work to tie in the upper and lower ends.

Thurs, June 14th - Henderson Mtn Trail - Continue work. Need workers to bring crosscuts and swingblades.

Thurs, June 21st - Cow Camp Trail - This Thursday most of our crew will be unavailable and I [Travis S] have some projects to complete also. If anyone is available to work, the Cow Camp trail up to the Henderson Mountain trailhead needs to be cleaned up using sling blades. Let me know if you are going to be here so I can leave some tools out for you. The starting point would be from the road by the bridge up to Henderson.

Thurs, June 28 - Panther Branch Trail - We will begin to log and brush out this trail, to make a great backpack look in combination with the Henderson Mtn Trail, Cow Camp Trail and Bald River Trail, and other trails in the area, such as the BMT, Kirkland Creek, and Brookshire Creek Trails.


Mon, July 2nd - Unicoi Turnpike Trail - Rick Pease plans to work on this section of the trail.

Thurs, July 5 - Panther Branch Trail - We will continue to log and brush out this trail.

Sat, July 7 - TN/NC BMTA Maintenance Trip - We plan to break into two groups. One group will finish off the Brookshire Creek Trail section of the BMT with crosscut and swingblades, and the other group will finish off the Fodderstack Trail from Cold Springs Gap to the Pine Ridge Trail with crosscut and swingblades. Contact Rick Harris, or 423-253-6257 to sign up.

Tues, July 17 - TN/NC Maintenance Trip - Lost Creek BMT Section 12e - We plan to log out this section. There is a report of many trees down on this section following the high winds of a few weeks ago. Meet at Lost Creek Campground by the bridge over the creek at 9 AM

Thur, July 19 - TN/NC Maintenance Trip - BMT Section 19b Slickrock Creek - Ernie Engman and his two sons are planning on working on their section.

Saturday, July 21 - TN/NC BMT Maintenance Trip - BMT Section 13b - Childers Creek to Big Bend - Clayton Pannell and Robert Owenby plan to log out their section.

Tues, July 14 - TN/NC BMTA Maintenance Trip - BMT Section 13d-e - JMT from Towee to Coker Creek - Larry Dunn plans to log out his section with the help of Steve Biatowas, USFS.

Thursday, July 26 - Citico Creek Dam Removal - This Thursday we will be meeting here at the Ranger Station at 0800. We will be working with the rest of the District on Citico breaking down the rock dams that have been built across the river. After the work is done, there will be a cookout provided by the District. The cookout is FREE to all volunteers.

Saturday, July 28, 2012 - TN/NC Maintenance Trip - BMT Section 13a-c - Reliance/Hiwassee River area - Our plans are three-fold. We need to paint blazes along the road from the train trestle to the Childers Creek John Muir Trailhead, we need to log out the  section from Childers Creek to Towee Creek (based on reports from recent hikers of this area), and this area could use some brushing out as well. We all should meet at the Big Bend parking area of the John Muir Trail on the north side of the Hiwassee River at 9 AM on Saturday. Wear long pants (poison ivy) and the usual helmet, gloves, eye protection. Bring lots of water and a lunch. Bring a bathing suit and towel. We could cool down at the end of the day with a dip in the Hiwassee. or 423-253-6257 to sign up. To find our meeting spot check this out. A=Webb Store; B=Childers Creek JMT Trailhead; C=Big Bend, our meeting spot at 9 AM Saturday.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - TN/NC Maintenance Trip - BMT Section 19c - TAPOCO Section -  Meet at the Cheoah Dam Upper Parking Lot on Route 129 in Robbinsville at 9:30 AM, Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort at 9:45 or at the Deals Gap Trailhead at 10:00 AM. I [Dick Evans] will bring a chainsaw, bow saw, weedwhacker and blaze painting stuff/signage. Just bring your water, snacks and raincoat. We will hopefully drive in on the gravel access road to the trail, so it should be only about 2 miles hiking. After the trip, we'll all come back to our place for an early supper, so no need to carry lunch. Alcoa guys are going to try to get the gravel road cleared. Let me know if you can make it on Wednesday (Primary date) or Thursday. Other days this week are out for us. Contact Dick Evans at or 828-479-2503.

Thursday, August 2, 2012 - Little Citico Horse Trails - This Thursday we will continue the work that Tazz started on Tavern Branch. This is a priority trail on the new forest plan. Travis will send an update as to what tools we will need. Meet at the Tellico Ranger Station at 8 AM.

Thursday, August 7, 2012 - Little Citico Horse Trails - We will be working on the upper end of Tavern Branch again this week. There is a “tornado damage mess” that we need to work through. IMPORTANT: I have not been getting hours reported on a regular basis so those of you who have kept a good record of your hours, please turn them in to me this Thursday! We will be instituting a regular sign in/out so I will have a weekly record. Thanks for all your help!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - BMT Section 13b - Childers Creek Section of JMT - Clayton Pannell and friends plan to finish brushing and logging out their section with the help of Steve Biatowas.

August 16, 2012 -  BMT Section 15b - Tate Gap to Six Mile Gap - Jim Sirmans and friends cleared their section.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 - BMT Section 12e - Lost Creek Section - Tom Smith and Larry Dunn worked on their section.

Thursday, August 16, 2012 - Little Citico Horse Trails - We will be back on Tavern Branch this Thursday. There are A LOT of trees down so, since this is a Forest priority trail, we will be on it for a while. We will be coming in from both the upper and lower ends this week. Besides chain saw work there is lopper and overhead (pole saw) work. Thanks!

Thursday, August 23, 2012 - Little Citico Horse Trails - We will be on Tavern Branch again clearing the blow-down in “Tornado Alley”. There is plenty of work for loppers and sling-blades besides the chain saw work.

Thursday, August 30, 2012 - Little Citico Horse Trails - A lot going on this Thursday. We will of course be working on Tavern Branch again. Lots to do there! Leslie’s going away party is at 6:00 PM as you all know. In the event of rain, the party will be held at the Ranger Station As you are arriving for the party, watch for signs at the intersection of the skyway and Tellico River Road to see if the location has been changed! Also as a reminder, PLEASE bring a covered dish to the event. THANKS!

Friday, Aug 31-Saturday Sept 1, 2012 - BMT Sections 18b-19a - Fodderstack/Stiffknee Sections - SAWS plans to do an overnight in this area and clean up the trails.


Sunday, September 2, 2012 - TN/NC BMTA Work Trip - BMT Section 14a - TN68 to Coker Creek Bridge - Our next BMTA work trip is this Sunday. Our plans are to log and brush out the BMT from the TN68 crossing down to the Coker Creek Bridge. Plans are to meet at the bottom by the little campground and the Coker Creek Bridge at 9 AM Sunday (point B on the map). We are planning this for Sunday because the section maintainers, John and Zoe Zartis, are not available on Saturday. Hope some of you all can join us. We need chain saws and brush cutters and of course loppers and swingblades can be used as well. Let me know if you plan to attend (Rick Harris,, 423-253-6358. For directions to the meeting point, see the link below. The road to the bottom is somewhat rough. If your car can't make it, you could meet us at the top where TN68 crosses the BMT about 9:30 AM.

Thursday, September 6, 2012 - Indian Boundary - With the compressed schedule due to the safety meeting and the report of some backed up “stinky” water and rotted hand rails at Indian Boundary, we will be working the IBRA trail tomorrow.

Friday, September 7, 2012 - BMT Section 12a - Dry Pond Lead Section - New section maintainer Nathan McKee is going out to check out and brush out his section.

Thursday, September 13, 2012 - Little Citico Horse TrailsWe will once again head to Tavern Branch. It appears we may be about ¼ mile from joining the upper and lower ends of the trail (subject to change without prior notice!) Weather should be cooler and drier.

Thursday, September 20, 2012 - Little Citico Horse TrailsWe are gaining on the tornado damage but there is still a lot to cut through. With the nice cool weather expected this week it should be pleasant working conditions. See you then and THANK YOU!

Thursday, September 27, 2012 - Little Citico Horse Trails - We finally broke through last Thursday and now Tavern Branch is open. Tazz will be leading a crew down the upper part of Tavern to make sure it is clear. Bobby Mitchell will be bush hogging the upper sections also. If you have them, bring loppers to help clear the way! I will be out at Fire Refresher training on Thursday. Thanks for all your help in getting Tavern Branch cleared!


Thursday, October 4, 2012 - Warriors Passage - We will begin work on the Warriors Passage trail. It will require logging and brushing out between Waucheesie and Wildcat. The section that was burned over will require some re-building once the weather gets a bit c

Saturday, October 6, 2012 - TN/NC BMTA Work Trip - BMT Section 19a - Farr Gap to Slickrock Creek - We plan to brush and log out this section with crosscut saws,  loppers and swingblades. Meet behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center at 9 AM. Notify Rick Harris if you plan to come at, 423-253-6358, or 513-260-1184.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - BMT Section 12b - Near Kimsey Highway - Rick Harris went to the powerline area along Kimsey Hwy to brush out the trail and put up a new sign.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - BMT Section 16d - Upper Bald River section - Rick Harris put a BMT directional sign on the post at the intersection of the Brookshire Creek Trail and the BMT heading up the Bald River valley since this is a site where some backpackers in the past have been confused.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - Dam Creek Campsite - We are taking a break from trail work to conduct a rehab project at the Dam Creek campground. This site was built by the CCC’s so it is a “historical” project. We will have assistance from the Future Soldier’s of the U.S. Army. Campsites and fire rings will be rebuilt and cleaned as well as overall cleaning of the camp ground.

Saturday, October 13, 2012 - BMT Section 14a - Zoe & John Zartis plan to go out with Steve Biatowas to clear a couple very large logs off their section.

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - Dam Creek Campsite - We will be spending another day at Dam Creek this Thursday. We are in need of weed-eaters with either string or brush blades. We will use these all around the camp sites as well as around the trails leading from the camp. See you all on Thursday!

Friday, October 19, 2012 - BMT Sections 12c-d - Kimsey Hwy to Lost Creek Campground - There are many trees across this section due to the July 5 windstorm. Our plan is to log out 12c and if we have enough volunteers, 12d as well. Meet at the Reliance Webb Bros Store at 10 AM. Contact me in advance, Rick Harris at or 423-253-6358 (home) or 513-260-1184 (cell).

Thursday, October 25, 2012 - Warriors Passage Trail - We will be back on the burned out section of Warriors Passage this Thursday. Weed-eaters and saws will be the “tools of the day”.

Saturday, October 27, 2012 - BMT Section 19a - Stiffknee Trail - Dick Evans will be leading this work trip, since Rick Harris is not available. Plans are to meet at 9 AM on Saturday, Oct 27, at the Slickrock Creek Trailhead and hike the 3 miles to the Slickrock Creek Crossing. Then after crossing the creek (bring watershoes), the group will use crosscut saw and slingblades/loppers to clear the lower mile or so of the trail of brush and whatever logs might be there. Following completion of the work, the group will then need to hike back out the 3 miles on the Slickrock Creek Trail to the cars. So the total hiking distance may be 8 miles or so, though the trail is fairly level. The Slickrock Creek Trail has been rebuilt over this past year by the SAWS group (Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards) in the area past where the BMT cuts left up the Ike Branch Trail. So the group will be able to stay on the Slickrock Creek Trail downstream along the river, then upstream along Slickrock Creek to the point where the BMT returns to the Slickrock Creek Trail then crosses the creek and starts to head up the Stiffknee Trail. This is a much easier route than going up to Yellowhammer Gap then back down, the route the BMT takes. Bring slingblades, loppers and crosscut saws if you have them (and are certified to use a crosscut saw), along with you helmet, safety glasses and gloves, lunch, water, and water shoes. Some tools and gear may be available. To get to the Slickrock Creek Trailhead, go to the US129 bridge over the Little Tennessee River just below Cheoah Dam. On the south side of the river, there is a gravel road which turns west off the highway. Follow this rutted gravel road to the trailhead (or park out by the highway and walk in if you do not have high clearance). tTe trailhead is only a quarter mile or so down the gravel road. Contact Dick Evans is you are able to come this coming Saturday at or home: 828-479-2503, cell: 828-479-3377.


Thursday, November 1, 2012 - This Thursday is the breakfast safety meeting so bring your favorite dish. We will be working on Kirkland Creek this Thursday. It will be crosscut saw work as it is in the wilderness study area. We will also need loppers. There are about 10 creek crossings so be prepared to get a little wet. (Bring extra socks etc.) Don’t forget it is also the breakfast-safety meeting day.

Friday, November 2, 2012 - BMT Section 12a - US64 to Kimsey Hwy - Section maintainer Nathan McKee went out to work on his section today.

Thursday, November 8, 2012 - Little Citico Horse Trails and Kirkland Creek Trail - For those interested, Doug Byerly from the Supervisor Office, spoke with me and he would like to come out on Thursday to assess and flag potential horse trail down by Young Branch Horse camp. Those who would like to continue on Kirkland Creek can work there otherwise we will be back there next week.

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - Big Frog Wilderness - BMT Section 11b-c- James Anderson from the Cherokee Hiking Club is trying to recruit some people for a worktrip on the 10th for work on the Big Frog trail. This is the section past the Benton Mackaye intersection at Fork Ridge. The bad section begins just past the Yellow Stand Lead junction. We need people for clearing work (lopping + sling blading) and also those willing to use pulaskis for some reconstruction work. This is short notice but if you are interested, we will be meeting at the Ocoee/Hiwassee District Office on Hwy 64 @ 08:15 on November 10th. Send me an e-mail if you are coming or think you might so that I will have enough equipment for the event. or 423-338-3300

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - Brookshire Creek Trail - Travis has no access to e-mail, so here is the plan for tomorrow. The crew will be working on the Brookshire Creek Trail, The plan is to meet at the Ranger Station at 8am. This will be cross-cut work, lopping work and hand saw work.

Friday, November 16, 2012 - BMT Section 13e - Towee to Coker Creek - Tom Smith and Zoe Zardis plan to log out this section.

Saturday, November 17, 2012 - BMT Section 14b - TN68 to the Motorcycle Trail - Zoe Zardis plans to finish up working on this section.

Saturday, November 23, 2012 - BMT Section 16a - State Line Trail

Thursday, November 29, 2012 - Brookshire Creek Trail - We will continue working on the Brookshire Creek trail this Thursday. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!


Saturday, December 1, 2012 - BMT Section 16a-b - New TN/NC Maintenance Director Ernie Engman is leading a trip into the Heart of Darkness, the area between Sledrunner Gap and Sandy Gap, to primarily work on clearing briars in the middle section. We need lots of gas powered brush cutters. There is a lot of work to do. We also plan to take a chainsaw or two to clear any new logs along this section. If we have enough volunteers, we plan to come in from both directions. One crew would enter from Sandy Gap and the other would enter from Beaverdam Bald, working toward the middle. If you are able to join us, contact Ernie at or  865-924-5992 and leave a message if Ernie does not answer. Plans are to meet behind the Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center in Tellico Plains at 9 AM.

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - Grassy Branch Trail - We will be working on a turnpike project at the Grassy Branch trail. We will be using sledge hammers (bring if you have one) to break up rock so bring your safety glasses and shin guards if you have your own. We have some shin guards if you need them. Those not wanting to work on the turnpike can use sling blades and loppers on the trail.

Thursday, December 13, 2012 - Big Indian Trail - We will be working on Big Indian trail. We will need: chain saws, power weed eater w/brush blades and pulaski’s for some tread work as well as loppers. It is a 1.6 mile trail that reaches from North River Rd. up to the skyway. Thanks

Thursday, December 20, 2012 - Flats Mtn Trail - We will be working on Flats Mountain this Thursday. It is in and out of wilderness so we will need chainsaws & crosscuts as well as power weed eaters, sling blades and loppers. PS: As of right now there is a 90% chance of thunderstorms tomorrow with a high wind advisory. If that all “pans out” we will do tool cleaning, sharpening and repair here at the station and next week will be Flatts Mt. I will be off next week so Tazz & Bobby will be the crew leaders.

January 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013 - This Thursday, January 3, Travis will not be there. However, there is a safety meeting and breakfast. Brandon will be offering a CPR refresher course as the safety meeting program. For SABCH members: you can take the refresher or we might decide to work somewhere, possibly even Ocoee/Hiwasse on Starr Mountain where we know there is work to be done. Continuing working Flatts Mountain is probably not a good idea because of snow and ice.

Thursday, January 10, 2013 - Flats Mtn Trail - We will be working on Flats Mountain trail this Thursday…weather permitting. This will be chainsaw/power weed eater with brush blade work as well as loppers. See you all then and Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 17, 2013 - McNabb Creek Trail - Tazz & Bill Hodge will be leading the crew next week to McNabb Creek. I will be out at a wildland fire school next week.