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Hike - Bob Stratton Bald/Hangover - Fri., Mar.11, 2016

FRIDAY,  MARCH 11, 2016
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
 
BOB STRATTON BALD/HANGOVER (optional)
Distance:  6 or 12 miles
Rating:   Moderate or Difficult
Driving Time:   1.5 hours
Elevation Gain:  Approx. 900 feet
Leader:  John Winn  865-824-6200   john.winn@gmail.com
             Gail Eades  865-599-6785   g3evolution@gmail.com
 
Bob Stratton Bald is a grassy meadow located off the Cherohala Skyway at an elevation of 5360 feet and offers views of the Unicoi Mountains as well as the Joyce Kilmer Wilderness Area. Hangover is a rocky promitory three plus rugged miles beyond Bob Stratton Bald.  It offers one of the best mountain views in all of East TN.
The trailhead is located at Beech Gap just before the North Carolina border.  The first 1.8 miles is on a fairly flat and wide trail with minimum elevation changes.  For the remaining 1.5 miles the trail changes to a narrow trail which is somewhat rutted (cup shaped) and follows a ridge line through patches of rhododendrons and blackberry bushes.  The elevation change for this portion of the trail is 749 feet over 1.1 miles with the most difficult portion being a 0.2 stretch.  Please keep in mind that weather conditions at these elevations can be more extreme than at lower elevations.

Hike - Frozen Head State Park - Wed., Feb.24, 2016 (rescheduled to Fri., Feb.26, 2016)

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2016
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
 
FROZEN HEAD STATE PARK
Distance:   7.5 miles
Elevation Gain:  1467 feet
Rating:  Moderate
Driving time:  1.5 hours
Leader:   Tim Kalina   847-917-0994   timkalina@aol.com
 
We will be hiking Panther Branch to North Old Mac trail.  Highlights include Debord Falls and Emory Gap Falls.  Panther Branch is the steepest part of the hike.  There is one crossing that can be difficult, especially if it’s icy.   The hike ends at a picnic shelter where there are tables for our lunch.

Hike - Courthouse Rock - Fri., Feb.12, 2016 (canceled because of snow)

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
 
COURTHOUSE ROCK
Distance:  4 miles
Elevation Gain:  1000 feet
Rating:  Moderate
Driving Time:  1.5 hours
Leader:  Bev Hawkins  865-406-0297    bevhawkins@aol.com
 
The hike to Courthouse Rock is off  Newfound Gap Road, about 3 miles from Sugarlands Visitor  Center.   It is an off trail or manway left from settlers, like Joe Quilliams, and will show us:  some good lookouts, their homesites, Quilliams cave still, Quilliams Falls, where they bathed and obtained drinking and cooking water, Judge Rock, and 60’ Courthouse Rock.  After we hike, we can go in Sugarlands Visitor Center to see the free museum and 20 minute movie about the park in their theater, if people are interested.

Hike - Old Sugarlands & Twin Creek trails - Wed., Jan.27, 2016

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2016
 
Depart at 7:45 a.m. from the Chota Center (NOTE TIME CHANGE)

 
OLD SUGARLANDS/LUNCH IN GATLINBURG/TWIN CREEK TRAIL
Distance:  10 miles
Rating:    Moderate
Elevation Gain:   Approx. 1100 feet
Driving time:  1-1/2  hours
Leader:   Bob Kutschera   bkkutch@yahoo.com    865-408-3092

This hike is the Club’s annual January hike which includes lunch at a restaurant in Gatlinburg.  We will begin at Sugarlands Visitor Center.  It is approximately 8 miles from the start of the hike to the restaurant.  It is another 2 miles on Twin Creek Trail back to Sugarlands Visitor Center.  
 

Hike - Norris Dam State Park - Fri., Jan.8, 2016

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2016
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center

 
ANDREWS RIDGE LOOP
Distance:   6 miles
Rating:    Moderate
Driving Time:   1 hr. 15 min.
Elevation gain:  1,340 feet at the trailhead to 1,050 feet at a low point
Leader:  Bruce Barbre  865-567-0192  bruceb612@gmail.com
 
This is a loop hike combining three trails:  Rock Creek, Andrews Ridge, Sinkhole, and the Hootin Hollow, above Norris Lake.  The hike begins near the West Campground and follows what were once pioneer roads weaving around the hills and hollows above the lake.
 

Hike - Middle Prong - Fri., Dec.4, 2015

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
MIDDLE PRONG  TRAIL TO CCC CAMP
Distance:   6 miles
Elevation Gain: 800 feet  
Rating:  Easy
Driving Time:  1.25 hours
Leader:  Hamish deWilde  860-716-4016   
 
The trail is one of the most beautiful sections of the Great Smoky National Park near Townsend and Tremont.  The trail follows the rushing Middle Prong of the Little River, and features overlooks of waterfalls, cascades and rapids cut through a narrow gorge.  This hike follows a wide old logging railroad bed up a gentle slope.  Since the hike is between 2000 and 3000 feet elevation, the temperature will be lower than in Tellico Village.   

 

Hike - Lone Mountain State Forest - Wed., Nov.18, 2015 (cancelled - forecasted rain)

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
LONE MOUNTAIN STATE FOREST
Distance:   8 miles
Rating:   Moderate
Driving time:  1.25 hours
Elevation Gain:   830 feet
Leader:   Gail Eades  865-599-6785  g3evolution@gmail.com
 
This hike is in a lesser visited state forest, climbing the slopes of Lone Mountain to reach a rock outcrop and panoramic vista from Coyote Point.  We’ll reach Rankin Springs at 3.2 miles, then continue to Coyote Point for a lunch stop, enjoying the sunny vista.  There are switchbacks going up the mountain.  It is a definite climb up the mountain, but well worth it.

Hike - Mt. Sterling - Fri., Nov.6, 2015

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
MT. STERLING
Distance:   5.4 miles
Rating:   Difficult
Driving Time:  2 hours
Elevation Gain:  2000 ft.
Leader:  George Zola   614-937-0767  zola1029@gmail.com   
 
Mt. Sterling is in Smoky Mountain National Park.  The hike is rated difficult because of the elevation gain.  The gain is continuous and steady with no severely steep sections.  Along the way the forest changes from oak to red spruce/Frasier fir on the summit.  There is a 60 ft. steel tower on the summit which offers some of the best views in the park.

Hike - Abrams Falls - Wed., Oct.28, 2015 (rescheduled to Fri., Oct.30)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
ABRAMS FALLS FROM ABRAMS CREEK RANGER STATION
Distance:    Approx. 11 miles
Rating:  Difficult
Driving Time:   45 minutes
Elevation gain:   Approx. 1400 feet
Leader:   Bruce Barbre   865-458-3559   bruceb612@gmail.com
 
This is an in and out hike to Abrams Falls from the Abrams Creek Ranger Station via the Cooper Road Trail, Little Bottoms Trail and Abrams Falls Trail.  The trails consist of up and down terrain with a few steep portions and some rock hopping stream crossings.   Most of the trail follows Abrams Creek offering great views of the rushing water and mountain ridges.

Hike - Rich Mountain Loop - Fri., Oct.9, 2015

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
RICH MOUNTAIN LOOP
Distance:   8.5 Miles 
Rating:    Moderate
Elevation Gain:   1750 feet
Driving time:  1-1/2  hours
Leader:   Bev Hawkins    865-406-0297   bevhawkins@aol.com
 
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 - Cumberland Gap National Historical Park - Wed., Sept.23, 2015

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
CUMBERLAND GAP NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK
Distance:   7 miles
Rating:   Moderate
Driving time:  2.25 hours
Elevation Gain:   600 ft.  Elevation drop:  1200 ft.
Leader:   Bev Hawkins   865-406-0297  bevhawkins@aol.com
 
This circle hike follows a series of trails (including Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road) within a section of the National Park.  We will be in three states:  TN, KY & VA.  There are great views and historical sites along the route.

Hike - Signal Mountain - Fri., Sept.11, 2015

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
NOTE A SCHEDULE CHANGE.  THE 2 SEPTEMBER HIKES HAVE BEEN REVERSED DUE TO LEADER SCHEDULE CONFLICTS.
 
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN/MUSHROOM ROCK/SUCK CREEK ROAD – KEY SWAP
Distance:   8.4 miles
Elevation Gain:  400 ft. with various steep climbs
Rating:   Difficult
Driving Time:  2 hours
Leader:   Dolly Garnett   865-408-2547  dandbgarnett@charter.net
 
This is an interesting hike with scenic overlooks of the Tennessee River Gorge, rock formations with the highlight being “mushroom rock” which truly looks like a huge rock mushroom, and 2 suspension bridges.  It also has lots of rocks to walk through and over plus some steep climbs, some stairs.  This is a key swap where one group will start at Signal Mountain and hike to a point on Suck Creek Road.  The other group will begin at a point on Suck Creek Road and hike to Signal Mountain.  

Hike - Little River / Cucumber Gap - Fri., Aug.14, 2015

FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
LITTLE RIVER/CUCUMBER GAP
Distance:   5 miles
Elevation Gain:  600 feet
Rating:   Easy
Driving Time:  1.5 hours
Leader:  Mary Clor & Gerald Grekowicz   423-364-4767  mkclor@gmail.com
 
This hike is a nice loop beginning in the Elkmont area of the national park.  We will see some of the historic cabins and walk along the beautiful Little River.  We will enjoy a picnic lunch near the parking area.  You may want to bring a chair or blanket. 

Hike - Sugarlands V.C. to the Rock House - Wed., July 22, 2015

WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 2015
Depart at 8:00 from Chota Center
 
TRAIL TO THE ROCK HOUSE
Distance:     6 miles
Elevation Gain:   500  feet
Rating:   Moderate
Driving Time:    1.5 hours
Leader:   Bev Hawkins  865-406-0297
 
We will hike from Sugarlands Visitor Center to the Rock House, which is off trail from the Old Sugarlands Trail.  There is one substantial creek crossing just before we reach the Rock House.  Be sure to bring your poles.  On the way back we will visit the Ogle Cemetery, one of the largest in the park, and where the CCC camp was for the Sugarlands area.

Hike - Ijams Nature Center - Fri., July 10, 2015

FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
IJAMS NATURE CENTER
Distance:  Approx. 5 miles  
Elevation Gain:  Negligible
Rating:  Easy (some uphill sections)
Driving Time:  1 hour
Leader:   Tom Ringenbach   865-201-9014  tommamie@charter.net
 
Describing itself as a “300 acre, post-industrial, natural area”, the center has at least 12 trails on the property.  We will hike 3 of these for starters.  These include North Cove/River trails, highlighted by a scenic section of boardwalk along the Tennessee River and a large cave; and the Tharp Trace Trail (with some uphill sections) which circles Meade’s Quarry Lake and other beautiful views of the lake, Mt. LeConte in the distance, and a visit to historic Stanton cemetery.  These trails add up to just over 2 miles.  We can then explore some of the many other trails on the property, either as one group or as several.  The visitor center, as well as many other attractions, are also worth exploring.  We should complete our visit around noon or not too long thereafter.  You may bring a lunch or perhaps make plans to eat at one of the many Knoxville restaurants we pass on the return trip. 

Hike - Gregory Bald - Fri., June 26, 2015

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2015
Depart at 7:30 a.m. from Chota Center
NOTE CHANGE IN DEPARTURE TIME
 
GREGORY RIDGE TRAIL TO GREGORY BALD
Distance:    11.4 miles 
Elevation Gain:   2300 feet
Rating:   Strenuous
Driving Time:    Approx.  2 hrs. 10 min.
Leader:   Bruce Fulton   865-657-3163   fultonb@outlook.com
 
This out and back hike turns around at one of the prettiest destinations in the park.  Gregory Bald is famous for its flame azaleas, large shrubs with beautiful orange-red clusters of flowers.  We hope the hike coincides with maximum bloom, when the Bald is alive with flame.
The trail to the Bald begins in the back of Cades Cove (we must drive the loop).  It climbs steadily and unrelievedly uphill, with the last quarter mile being as steep as any trail in the park.  The Bald is on the main spine of the Smokies, and you can feel the change in climate, so even on a warm day, bring a light jacket.  You will need it after the exertion of the climb.  As with any spectacular reward, this one takes effort.  On the way down you can congratulate yourself for seeing a special part of the park that only a hardy few can experience.

Hike - Enterprise South Nature Park - Fri., June 12, 2015

FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from Chota Center
 
ENTERPRISE SOUTH NATURE PARK
Distance:  6 miles   
Elevation Gain:  Negligible
Rating:  Easy
Driving Time: 1 hr. 20 min.
Leader:   Mary Clor & Gerald Grekowicz 423-364-4767   mkclor@gmail.com
 
We will be exploring two of the newest trails to Enterprise South, Hawk’s Ridge and Dogwood Ridge.  This is an easy “walk in the park” on well maintained, wooded trails.  Given the June heat, you will enjoy being shaded by trees and have easy terrain for nearly the entire hike. We will stop at a pond area in the middle of the park for lunch.  The hike should take about 4 hours, including lunch.
Enterprise South Nature Park is a Hamilton County park which opened in 2010 for hiking, biking and walking.  Prior to this, Enterprise South was a TNT manufacturing facility for WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.  TNT was stored in the domed concrete bunkers.  As we hike through the grounds, we go around some of the 100 “magazines” in the park (Yes, they are empty – or so we were told.)  After the hike you are encouraged to drive the 7.5 mile perimeter loop which provides public access to several bunkers.  You may also want to bring mosquito repellant.

Hike - Mt.LeConte via Trillium Gap trail - Wed., May 27, 2015

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2015
Depart at 7:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
NOTE CHANGE IN START TIME
 
MT. LECONTE via Trillium Gap Trail
Distance:    13 miles
Rating:  Difficult
Driving Time:   2 hours
Elevation gain:   Approx. 2800 feet
Leader:   Bob Stewart   865-224-1778  rlsmks@gmail.com
 
This route up to LeConte will begin at Grotto Falls parking area on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail just south of Gatlinburg.  Highlights include Grotto Falls, LeConte Lodge, and views from High Top at an elevation of 6593 feet.  Please keep in mind that weather conditions at these elevations can be more extreme than at lower elevations.

Hike - Bob Stratton Bald - Fri., May 8, 2015

FRIDAY,  MAY 8, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
 
BOB STRATTON BALD
Distance:  Approx. 6.6 miles
Rating:   Moderate to Difficult
Driving Time:   1.5 hours
Elevation Gain:  Approx. 900 feet
Leader:  Rick Carlin  513-518-0738  rick0738@gmail.com
 
Bob Stratton Bald is a grassy meadow located off the Cherohala Skyway at an elevation of 5360 feet and offers views of the Unicoi Mountains as well as the Joyce Kilmer Wilderness Area.
The trailhead is located at Beech Gap just before the North Carolina border.  The first 1.8 miles is on a fairly flat and wide trail with minimum elevation changes.  For the remaining 1.5 miles the trail changes to a narrow trail which is somewhat rutted (cup shaped) and follows a ridge line through patches of rhododendrons and blackberry bushes.  The elevation change for this portion of the trail is 749 feet over 1.1 miles with the most difficult portion being a 0.2 stretch.  Please keep in mind that weather conditions at these elevations can be more extreme than at lower elevations.

Hike - Lookout Mountain - Wed., April 29, 2015 (cancelled - rain expected)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2015
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota Center
LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN   (Rescheduled from February 25, 2015)
Distance:   approx. 5 miles
Elevation Gain:   approx. 600 feet
Rating:  Moderate
Driving time:  1.5 hours
Leader:  Tom Ringenbach   865-458-0915    tommamie@charter.net
 
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.  Most of the trail is not difficult.  However, there is a fair amount of uphill climbing on this hike.  The trail is somewhat rocky, and there is a tall metal stairs to climb to enter Point Park.