Sunday, March 12, 2017

Enterprise South Nature Park


Lora and I went to the Enterprise South Nature Park by the Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga. This is where 100 old explosives bunkers are from the old TNT plant. They have converted in into a bike and hiking trail park. Four of the bunkers are open for tour and there is Hidden Lake on the property as well.

We hiked the Poe Run path, the Hidden lake trail, the Boulder Point trail, the Deer Hollow trail, the Poe Run Overlook, and the Poe Run path again, Making a 5.6 mile loop.

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Wolf Cove hike



I had heard about Joette Carter's hike that she leads on her family property but had never been there, so I called her Saturday morning to see if I could join her. She said come join us, and gave me directions to find the entry point. Not too far from Winchester and a pretty drive to get there.

We had 6 hikers. Some who had been here before, but got to see new places on this hike.  We counted 13 or 14 caves, most with water coming out of them or running into them. And two with HUGE entries. Too many waterfalls to count. Joette saved the best for last. I had to just stand there and absorb the beauty, water coming from so many openings in the rock wall and from above and seeing how high the ridgeline was above...so beautiful! If this one was the only waterfall we had seen all day, the hike to it would have been worth it.

 And the wildflowers were showing off. We saw trillium, hepatica, stone crop, yellow and purple violets, anemone. From there we hiked a different route from her usual route along the creek, looking for more caves or whatever we might find. And then the climb... you are in a cove and the only way out is UP. We had to think like mountain goats and switchback our way up to the top.  I was thankful for the trees to grab hold of. Sometimes they come in that way,says Joette , they slide down thru the leaves. Can't imagine. We saw some house sized boulders on the way along the horse trail.

If you ever get the opportunity to go with Joette, do it. It's worth every minute of it.

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Edgar Evins SP


Highland Rim trail 2 miles
Millennium/Merritt Ridge 8 miles

Lora and I headed of to Edgar Evins State Park. We camped out at the primitive campsites in the campground. After we got our camp set up, we headed to The Rose Garden 14622 Old Baxter Rd, Silver Point, TN 38582 for dinner. It was a great place to eat with really good prices.

After dinner we headed back to the campground and sat around a campfire. We got to hear owls that night.

The next morning we woke to an owl and then crows. Even got to hear a loon while we ate breakfast. We packed up and headed to the park visitor center. We did the Highland Rim trail for a warm up and then met the TTA for a hike on the Millennium/Merritt Ridge trail.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Tim's Ford State Park


We headed out to Tim's Ford State Park. We were told by the lady working the front desk that there was a back country site, but it was not open yet. On the way out we met the ranger and talked to him about the site. He wrote up a permit for us and said that we would be the first to use it.

We started  at the welcome center and hiked the Lost Creek Overlook Trail to the Marble Plains Trail to the Ray Branch Trail out to the campsite. According to their signs is a 8.8 mile hike to the campsite. You can shorten this hike by starting at the Marble Plains Baptist Church on Marble Plains Road and hike 6.5 miles. Basically you hike the shoreline all the way to camp.

The campsite is located on the top of the finger on the West side of Ray Branch. You can walk a short ways down to the water on the Evens Loop. We set up camp and enjoyed the evening by the campfire under the bright stars above. All night we heard the Loon, geese, and owls.

The next morning we did the Evens Loop and then hiked back to the church. We took the Marble Plains ADA trail out. After lunch we took the 4.4 out and back hike on the Spann House trail which is another nice hiking trail.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Twentymile Loop


I met Judi and Gene at the Motorcycle Pit Stop on 129 and then traveled with them on the Dragon Tail to the Twentymile Ranger Station. We only saw a couple of zippy cars as we started on the Dragon, no motorcycles today. No photographers either. Off season I guess. There were a few cars already in the parking lot when we arrived at the trailhead. We started up the trail and followed the Twentymile trail on the old railroad grade past the cascade. We smelled the campfire smoke before we got to campsite 93, several guys still around the campfire. We stopped for snack at the junction of Long Hungry Ridge and the Loop trail at the Proctor Field Gap. Then it was new trail for me! It's a pretty 2.9 mile trail with a small waterfall just before the junction of Wolf Ridge. We stopped for lunch at the junction and Gene made us some hot tea; he had carried his stove, fuel, cups and an assortment of tea and coffee. My cold hands were very happy to hold a  cup of hot tea. Gene demonstrated his fuel cannister and windscreen and pot. This stove can burn wood too.

We had all carried our water shoes for the crossings on Wolf Ridge but didn't have to wade any creeks because some really nice folks had built bridges and had cabeled the bridges to rocks and/or trees. Maybe now when the creek rises it won't wash the bridges away. One of the bridges was curved and pretty high above the creek. Impressive bridge building!

Thanks Judi and Gene for a great hike! I got home and got my pink highlighter out and marked off another trail!

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fiery Gizzard Day Loop


The South Cumberland SP advertised a hike on Sunday with a Ranger to Sycamore Falls. I went for the hike but the Ranger had been called to the Stone Door for an emergency so I decided to hike the day loop while I was there. There were several vehicles in the parking lot and a few hikers coming off the trail. One couple started just ahead of me, so I took my time enjoying the beautiful day. I saw some valentines along the trail; a blue rock with a heart on it.

The couple ahead of me stopped to take pics at the Blue Hole so I stopped to say Hi and offer to take their pic for them. They were from Georgia and had come up the day before and were exploring the area. I told them about the trail and surrounding areas, and then hiked on. It sprinkled a little bit before I got back to the car. Even tho I didn't hike very long, I still made the required after hike stop at the Dutch Maid Bakery. One strawberry filled jelly roll, and a Tennessee Moonshine wedding cake. Mmmm good.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

McGill Creek


Lora and I hiked the McGill Creek segment of the Cumberland Trail from Downy View Road to McGill Creek. This segment is under construction. We parked by the fence and followed the flagging. There are two sections on the way to the creek that are built trail. You walk through the woods then follow a small stream down into the McGill Creek gorge. There is a waterfall just before you get to the creek. Beautiful area.

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