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Hike - Piney River, Bowater Pocket Wilderness - Wed., Jan. 25, 2017

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
Distance:   10 miles
Rating:    Moderate
Elevation Gain:   300 feet
Driving time:  1 hour
Leader:   Rick Carlin  513-518-0738
This is an in and out hike.  The trail provides stunning natural scenery without steep ascents and descents and  follows the Piney River.  There are views of the many cascades of the river.  After 3 miles in, the trail goes over a suspension bridge and for the next 2 miles follows a narrow gauge railroad bed with the river along side.


Hike - Bird Mtn at Frozen Head State Park - Fri., Jan. 13, 2017

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center

Distance:   8 miles
Rating:    Moderate
Driving Time:   1 hr. 15 min.
Elevation gain:  1600 feet
Leader:  John Winn  865-824-6200
This hike affords the opportunity to explore Frozen Head State Park and its wild terrain, close by in the Cumberland Mountains.  In the Tennessee State Park system, Frozen Head is a gem.  This is a loop hike starting on the Bird Mountain Trail and returning on the Lookout Mountain Trail.  If the weather conditions are right, we should see why Frozen Head Mountain got its name.  It is often covered in frost as it is a high point in the Cumberlands.  

Hike - Jackson Bend & Morganton branches of the East Lakeshore Trail - Fri., Dec.2, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center

Jackson Bend and Morganton Branch of the East Lakeshore Trail (Shuttle)
Distance:  8.1 miles
Rating:  Easy  
Driving Time:  15 minutes
Leader:   Sue & Bob Lehmann  734-497-7226  

Jackson Bend Branch Trail:  From the Lotterdale Campground entrance road, the Jackson Bend Branch Trail extends 5.1 miles to the Peterson Road Trailhead.  This branch showcases a variety of landscapes and scenic views and includes an elevation gain of more than 200 feet.  A ¼ mile connecting trail to the map kiosk at the campground entrance provides ready access to the East Lakeshore Trail for campers.
Morganton Branch Trail:  From the Peterson Rd. Trailhead the 3-mile stretch of the Morganton Branch trail extends to the southern terminus of the East Lakeshore Trail at Wildcat Pointe Trailhead.  A variety of interesting and scenic lake views reward the hiker especially along the Baker Creek arm of Tellico Lake featuring a 140 foot boardwalk.  Before reaching Wildcat Pointe Trailhead, the trail ascends to a ridge with an elevation of approximately 200 feet above the summer lake level providing excellent views of the lake in the wintertime.  
Lunch:  For those who are interested, we are going to the Marathon Gas Station for lunch afterward.  If you haven’t been there, it’s an experience and only 10 minutes from the end of your hike!


Hike - Laurel Falls to Metcalf Bottoms - Wed., Nov.16, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center

Distance:   8.1 miles
Rating:   Moderate
Driving time:  1.5 hours
Elevation Gain:   2000 feet
Leader:   Tom Ringenbach   865-201-9014  

This is a shuttle hike.  We will drop off a couple of cars at Metcalf Bottoms.  Then proceed to Laurel Falls Trail where we will begin the hike.  We will ascend a little over 2000 feet using the Laurel Falls Trail and the Little Greenbrier Trail, then descend using the Little Brier Gap Trail and the Metcalf Bottoms Trail to the Metcalf Bottoms picnic area.  We will pass Laurel Falls, an overlook of Wears Valley, the Walker Sisters Home and the Little Greenbrier School.  


Hike - Dark Hollow Loop at Big Ridge State Park - Fri., Nov.4, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center

Distance:    5.5 miles
Rating:  Moderate
Driving Time:   1 hr. 15 min.
Elevation gain:   Approx. 450 feet
Leader:   Rick Carlin   513-518-0738  

Dark Hollow Loop trail winds partially along the Norris Lake and Big Ridge Lake at Big Ridge State Park.  There is a short but steep spur that offers a beautiful overlook of Norris Lake before the trail starts a loop through a dense, beautiful forest.  We’ll complete the loop before returning to the parking area to lunch at the picnic tables.  


Hike - Virgin Falls - Wed., Oct.26, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
Distance: 11 miles
Rating: Difficult
Driving Time: 2 hours
Elevation gain: 800 feet
Leader: Hamish de Wilde 860-716-4016
This trail is one of the most interesting and beautiful trails in Tennessee. It features scenic overlooks and passes by several waterfalls and cascades including Virgin Falls where the stream emerges from a cave and crashes 110 feet into a sinkhole.

Hike - Rich Mountain Loop - Fri., Oct.14, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
(Note schedule change due to leader conflict. Big Ridge
State Park Dark Hollow trail rescheduled for Nov. 4)
Distance: 8.5 Miles
Rating: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1750 feet
Driving time: 1-1/2 hours
Leader: Mark Kester 201-248-7001
This is a loop hike combining three trails (Crooked Arm Ridge, Indian Grave Gap, & Rich Mountain Loop) and hiking along the ridge on the north side of Cades Cove. The hike begins near the entrance to Cades Cove. There are outstanding views of Cades Cove and Tuckaleechee Cove. We will pass and visit the John Oliver cabin.


Hike - Mullens Cove Loop, Prentice-Cooper Forest - Wed., Sept.28, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
MULLENS COVE LOOP   (Prentice-Cooper Forest/Chattanooga)
Distance:   10 miles
Rating:   Moderate
Driving time:  2 hours
Elevation Change:  300 feet; Cumulative elevation change of 1700 feet   
Leader:   Dolly Garnett   865-556-5014

This loop is located off of the Cumberland Trail in the Tennessee River Gorge Segment,  west of Chattanooga in the Prentice-Cooper Forest.  The first part of the trail is flat and easy passing through a pleasant forest on the plateau.  The trail then descends into the forest following a creek and then continues with a series of gentle climbing and descending throughout the 10 mile loop.     Points of interest are Snoopers Rock with wide open views of the Tennessee River gorge from a large rock bluff, Mullens Cove overlook, and a natural rockhouse and stone door.

Hike - Cumberland Trail, Rock Creek Gorge - Fri., Sept.9, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center

Distance:   8.5 miles
Elevation Change:    300 feet
Rating:   Moderate/Difficult
Driving Time:  1.5 hours
Leader:   Tom Ringenbach  865-201-9014
This hike explores a section of the Cumberland Trail between Dayton and Chattanooga.  During the first two miles, we hike through remnants of a Bowater, Inc. pine plantation.  Then the trail descends into Rock Creek Gorge and we follow the creek for most of the remainder of the hike.  The creek has a number of deep, clear pools.  The author of a News Sentinel review of this hike recommends packing a swim suit…that is up to each hiker.  Later in the hike is a terrific view of  Rock Creek from a high overlook.
It is also recommended wearing long pants for protection from chiggers, ticks and poison ivy.
This is a shuttle hike so we will drop off a car or two at the terminus of the hike, then proceed to the trailhead.


Hike - Schoolhouse Gap loop - Fri., Aug.12, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
Distance:   8.9 miles
Elevation Gain:  500 feet
Rating:   Moderate
Driving Time:  1.25 hours
Leader:  Terry Nyenhuis  865-206-9476
We’ll begin this hike 3.9 miles towards Cades Cove from the Townsend “Y” on Laurel Creek Road.  We’ll hike 1.1 miles up the Schoolhouse Gap trail, then turn left on Turkeypen Ridge trail for 3.6 miles to Laurel Creek Road.  We’ll cross the road and hike 2.8 miles on Finley Cane trail to Bote Mountain trail.  We’ll then hike this trail downhill 1.4 miles to Laurel Creek Road a short distance from where we began.  Most of the hike will be an easy walk in the woods.  There is an elevation gain of 200 feet in the first mile, then 300 feet in the first  3/4 mile of Turkeypen Ridge trail.

Hike - Charlie's Bunion - Wed., July 27, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center

Distance:   8 miles
Elevation Gain:   1640 feet
Rating:    Difficult
Driving time:  Approx. 2 hours  
Leader:    Ed Walinski   865-657-3636
This challenging trail begins at Newfound Gap in Smoky Mountain National Park.  The trail traverses some of the most spectacular views in the Smokies.  The steady climb over the course of the first two miles will lead to distant observation of the North Carolina Smokies.    Many hikers rate the next two miles as some of the most spectacular in the Smokies.  This is an in and out hike.  The view from the Bunion makes all the effort worthwhile.

Hike - Ace Gap - Fri., July 8, 2016

FRIDAY, JULY 8, 2016
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
Distance:  11.2 miles   
Elevation Gain:  400 feet
Rating:   Slightly Strenuous
Driving Time: 1.25 hr.  
Leader:   Terry Nyenhuis   865-206-9476
The trailhead for this in and out hike is on the Great Smoky Mountain National Park boundary where Rich Mountain Road meets Old Cades Cove Road, leading to Townsend.  The Ace Gap Trail is peaceful, not heavily used, and relatively level.  There are several climbs, but they are not very long.  The cumulative round trip elevation gain is near 2100 feet.  The hike will be a good physical workout.

Overnight Hike - Banner Elk,NC - Tues.& Wed., Aug.23 & 24, 2016

Overnight Hike Banner Elk, NC – Roan Mountain, TN
Tuesday - Wednesday, August 23-24, 2015 (Optional extra day Thursday, August 25)
Depart at 8:00 am from the Chota Center
We can arrange a place to meet those going from Kahite
Hotel --- Best Western Mountain Lodge at Banner Elk (828) 898-4571
  Rate $76.49 per day + tax
              Make reservations for either one or two nights
  Mention Tellico Village Hiking Club when making reservation
  Please notify Bob Kutschera by phone or email after making a reservation
For Additional Information  --- Curt Sheldon 865-458-8510 (H)  865-850-1951 (C)
Bob Kutschera  865-408-3092 (H)  865-356-1086 (C)

Itinerary ---
Tuesday, August 23 --- Drive to Banner Elk with a 5 mile moderate hike along the way.  The hike will is called the Three Balds Hike and is along the Appalachian Trail plus a side trail along the top ridge of Roan Mountain.  It is reputedly one of the most beautiful hikes on the Appalachian Trail.   We will plan to have lunch on the trail shortly after beginning the hike.  Following the hike we will continue to Banner Elk and check into the Best Western between 4:00 and 5:00.
We can also provide directions to a short Easy Hike to Elk River Falls as an alternative.
Social hour that evening will be in the Beech Room at the hotel from 5:30 to 6:30, followed by dinner in a restaurant of your choice in Banner Elk.  Bring the beverage of your choice and a light snack to share.  Remember we are going to dinner afterwards.  There are good restaurant choices in Banner Elk.   
Wednesday, August 24 --- Leave the hotel at 9:00 for the hikes.  We have 2 moderate short hikes planned for the day.  The two are within a miles of each other.  Hikers can choose to do 1 and/or 2.    Descriptions of each are shown below.   Leave the hotel at 9:00 for the drive to trailhead.  Driving time is approximately 45 minutes.  

  1. Hike the Big Lost Cove Trail.  We will continue by car about 1 mile to the trailhead.  The hike is rated moderate and is about 3.5 miles in and out.  The elevation gain is about 800 feet.  The trail rises to the top of the ridge and then descends to cliffs overlooking Grandfather Mountain. These cliffs have a sheer 300 to 400 ft vertical drop.  There are Peregrine Falcons nesting locations along the cliffs as well.  The cliffs are over a 1,000 ft above the gorge below.


  1. Hike the Little Lost Cove Trail.  It is rated moderate and is approximately 2 miles in and out. The elevation gain is about 500 feet.  A nice trail leads to a rock outcrop from which a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains with Grandfather Mountain at the top unfolds. Most of the trail follows old road or road beds; it is moderately rocky in places but generally in good shape. The highest point on the trail has a few side paths over to the cliffs; be sure to explore them all.

Thursday, August 25 --- Optional Day  We will not plan a specific hike but here are numerous other hikes, activities and areas to explore  --- the Grandfather Mountain attraction, Boone, NC with its shops and restaurants, Blowing Rock, NC, The Linville Falls area in NC, Roan Mountain State Park in TN and driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Hike - Cove Mountain to Laurel Falls - Wed., June 22, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
Distance:    12.5 miles  
Elevation Gain:  1700 feet  
Rating:   Difficult
Driving Time:  1-1/2 hours
Leader:   Bev Hawkins   865-406-0297
We will drive to Sugarlands Visitor Center to consolidate for the trip back to begin the shuttle at the famous Laurel Falls Trail.  In 1.3 miles the 75’ waterfall appears for our enjoyment.  The difficult 1700’ climb over 4 miles is rewarded with a view at the top, a look at the air quality monitoring station, and the junction with Cove Mountain Trail.  This beautiful, comfortable walk has some views, waterfalls, and hopefully we will see some mountain laurel, azaleas, and rhododendron blooming on our 2700’ decent in 8.5 miles.

Hike - Devil's Racetrack - Fri., June 10, 2016

FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2016
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
Distance:  6.5 miles   
Elevation Gain:  600 feet
Rating:   Moderate
Driving Time: 1 hr.  
Leader:   George Zola  614-937-0767
Devil’s Racetrack is an in and out hike along the Cumberland Trail.  The trail begins in a section of Cove Lake State Park north of Knoxville.  The hike parallels I-75 through the woods crossing over a boulder field before climbing toward the overlook.  Along the way we will pass 2 waterfalls and cascades.  The Devil’s Racetrack overlook is a collection of large rocks and offers one of the best views along the Cumberland Trail.  The hike is rated moderate for crossing the boulder field and the elevation gain up to the overlook.  

Hike - Mt. LeConte via Rainbow Falls and Bullhead trails - Wed., May 25, 2016

Depart at 7:00 a.m. from Chota Center
Mt. LeConte via Rainbow Falls and Bullhead Trails
Distance:    Approx. 13.7 miles
Rating:  Difficult/Strenuous
Driving Time:   1.75 hours
Elevation gain:   3860 feet
Leader:    Dolly Garnett   865-556-5014
Points of interest will be Rainbow Falls, magnificent overlooks and vistas (weather permitting), and of course Mt. LeConte and the Lodge.  The llamas should be at the top when we are there for lunch.   We will ascend  Rainbow Falls Trail and return on Bullhead Trail making a loop.   It will be a long strenuous,  but rewarding hike.

Hike - Twentymile Loop - Fri., May 13, 2016

FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
Distance:   7.5 Miles  
Rating:    Moderate
Elevation Gain:   1000 feet
Driving time:  1-1/2  hours
Leader:   Bruce Fulton   865-657-3163
This is a loop hike connecting three GSMNP trails.  The first three miles ascend the Twentymile Trail to the junction with the Twentymile Loop Trail.  Twentymile Creek parallels the route most of the way and there are many opportunities for water photography including Twentymile Cascade.  There is 1000 feet of elevation gain on this trail, and there are some steep sections.  The hike then follows the Twentymile Loop Trail to the descent on Wolf Trail.  

Hike - East Lakeshore Trail, Mizell Bluff - Wed., April 27, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
Mizell Bluff Trail towards Wind River(East Lakeshore) Trail
Distance: Approximately 5 miles in and out
Rating: Easy
Driving Time: 30 Minutes
Leader: Larry Elder 865 657-9722

This trail is a pleasant hiking experience winding along the shoreline from the new Jackson Bend Rd/Mizell Bluff parking towards Wind River/Jackson Bend Rd. There are a few slopes of moderate elevation.

Hike - Lookout Mountain - Fri., April 8, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
Distance:   approx. 5 miles
Elevation Gain:   approx. 600 feet
Rating:  Moderate
Driving time:  90 minutes
Leader:  Curt Sheldon  865-458-8510
This hike will hopefully appeal to those who enjoy great vistas and/or Civil War history.  Lookout Mountain was the scene of a significant Civil War battle on November 24, 1863.  We stop for lunch at Point Park, which has a small museum, cannons, monuments, and signage documenting the battle.  It also boasts fantastic vistas of Chattanooga.

Hike - Ramsey Cascades - Wed., Mar. 23, 2016

Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
Distance:    8 miles
Rating:  Difficult
Driving Time:   2 hours
Elevation gain:   2100 feet
Leader:   Gary Glesser  865-657-9677
A hike through a virgin forest to a 90 foot cascade, the highest waterfall accessible by trail in the National Park.  The trail follows first the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River and then the Ramsey Prong.  The elevation gain increases as the trail approaches the cascade.