Barry Griggs reporting
Trip date: September 28, 2014
On a warm, but comfortable Sunday afternoon our hike began at the trailhead at the intersection of Legion Street and Alabama Street in Johnson City, TN. The parking lot at the trailhead was overflowing, but parking was available in other nearby gravel areas. The trail is obviously very popular with walkers, runners and bikers, especially on weekends, as we were never out of sight of one or more people. With two cancellations and one no-show, this became a Griggs/Metcalf family hike. My wife Beverly and I were joined by our daughter, Jill Metcalf and her husband, Josh Metcalf. We walked out two miles and back to make it a four-mile hike. The trail has markers every 0.2 miles, so it’s very easy to make the walk/ride whatever distance you like. The finished portion of the trail from JC to Elizabethton is 4.5 miles. It should be a very easy walk for most anyone, with a slight uphill grade when returning to JC. The trail is a very nice addition to our region.
Terry Dougherty reporting
Hike date: June 8th
This started out as trip to Lake Keokee, but the leader was out voted by popular
demand. The water level was low in Devils Fork which made the fifteen or so
creek crossings much easier. There were lots of hikers on the trail that day
because of the good weather. Attending were Brenda Hitch, Gabriela Bruggeman, Thresa Dougherty, and Terry Dougherty.
Tim McClain reporting
Hike date: August 17th
Another in the TEHCC Sunday Hike series, on August 17th the featured hike was in Kingsport at Bays Mountain. The Bays Ridge Loop covers about 5.3 miles to the southwestern side of the park and back. Weather was warm but rain free for a pleasureable Sunday outing. Enjoying this hike were Peggy McClain and Tim McClain.
Barry Griggs Reporting
Hike Date: Aug 24, 2014
The warm, sunny afternoon with a chance of thundershowers did not deter our feisty group of hikers. They weren’t even too discouraged by the leader’s difficulty in locating the planned starting point for the hike – a little whiny, but not discouraged. My wife, Beverly, and I met good friends, Lowell and Betsy Biller at Natural Tunnel State Park to hike the Purchase Ridge trail. The plan was to get on this trail in the campground, compete the loop at the end of this trail and return via the Cabin Trail and the campground road.
The starting point proved to be a little hard to find, so it was decided to do the planned route in reverse. We walked up the road to the Cabin Trail and hiked to where it joined the Purchase Ridge Trail. Since we had already some extra walking on the Gorge Ridge Trail to Lover’s Leap Overlook and because of more whining from certain hikers, it was decided to omit the loop and head back to our originally planned starting point on the Purchase Ridge Trail. It was cooler after we actually got in the woods on the trail. The leader no longer feared a mutiny. But seriously, it was a fun afternoon with friends in a beautiful part of our region. Our total distance was about 3.5 miles, not much more than the 3.25 we had planned.
We discovered the planned starting point is actually off the right side of the road about 100 yards past the camp store. It is off the road several yards at the edge of the woods and there is no sign marking the trail by name. There is a sign showing all the trails, but it’s easy to miss if driving down the road.
Leader: Brien Lewis, 615-828-8206, email@example.com
Rating: Medium 3-mile hike up and back along a cascading stream to a pair of waterfalls
Forest Service Trail #148 follows the Rock Creek as it winds up the hollow. Being June, white rhododendron blooms should fill some areas. We will leave at 1 pm for the 45-minute drive. There is a $2 cash per car day-use fee at USFS Rock Creek Recreation Area. There are four creek crossings which can be “rock hopped” on stepping stones. Otherwise, bring water shoes and a towel to dry your feet, if you plan on just wading across.
For the 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act, the Cherokee National Forest is featuring this specific hike in the Unaka Mountain Wilderness area. Group size is limited to 14.
Leader: Bill Tindall (423-357-4850)
Rating: Moderate 5 mile round trip hike up and back along a cascading stream
Experience two picturesque waterfalls hidden in a forested gorge. The narrow trail follows the cascading stream with bridges provided for all crossings. Frequent stops expected to enjoy the beauty. Bring a towel to dry your feet, if you plan on briefly wading at the upper falls.
Departure time from Colonial Heights is 1pm Sunday. William Werner will swing by McDonalds/Ingles location to check if anyone is there. Otherwise, Food City in Weber City is the second rendezvous point to leave at 1:30pm to the trailhead near Dungannon, VA.
For further information, check the trail wiki or call/e-mail the hike leader.
Leader: Vic Hasler, 423-239-0388
Rating: Easy 5 mile round trip hike along a railroad grade with just 230 ft elevation gain
A hike to bring mom – and the family along. An easy afternoon walk up a beautiful hollow and back. Pass through a pair of tunnels. Enjoy the spring wildflowers in bloom. Leave Colonial Heights at 1:00PM or Johnson City at 1:20PM to arrive at the trailhead in Hampton by 2PM. Doe River Gorge has their own permission form which must be completed by the group and put into a drop box at the parking lot. Expected return is roughly 6PM.
Leader: Joe DeLoach , 423-753-7263
Rating: Dry and beautiful!
Gentry Falls, sometimes called Gentry Creek Falls, is one of Northeast Tennessee’s more unusual and lesser-known waterfalls. There are two drops, each about 35-feet high, in a rocky gorge with prolific spring wildflowers. Also beautiful in the fall with great foliage, formerly it was more challenging in the spring with about 15 creek wades in the 2.3-mile walk (each way) to the falls. Recent work by the Cherokee National Forest though has resulted in stepping stones at all the creek crossings. The crossings are all quite navigable, though hiking poles won’t hurt. A scouting trip indicated that the flowers are going to be super, one of the best of any of our Spring Wildflower Hikes which date back to 1992. Also, it is not at all a steep hike; so suitable for all ages. We’ll meet in Colonial Heights in the parking lot between McDonald’s and State of Franklin Bank at 8:30 on Saturday May 3. We’ll go through Abingdon and Damascus, so there won’t be a Johnson City meeting point. Bring lunch, which we’ll plan to have at the falls. Please contact Joe in advance if you’re interested, or for more information.