HIGHLIGHTS: Group Volunteering gets flexible . . . . what’s a Gator Bridge? . . . Cumberland Hiking Marathon . . . 19.9 miles more
Program Changes…CTC is shifting organized group volunteer activities away from set dates (Big Dig) to a system where groups can request to work on the trail throughout the year. This includes colleges, youth groups, scouts, social groups, hiking clubs, churches . . any group who would like to help build the CT. To participate any time during the year, contact the CTC office and arrange a day or three to help. Training and tools provided! In some cases we can arrange for overnight accommodations as well.
CTC Gator Bridge . . . .Thanks to a partnership between TDEC and Gator Bridge, an aluminum bridge manufacturer from Sanford, Florida, two prototype bridges are planned to be installed on the Cumberland Trail. The first bridge is being considered for the 60 ft Smoky Creek crossing. Once testing is complete, a deeper back-country site will be targeted for the second project. The bridge was designed with parts that can be hiked into a location and assembled in predetermined lengths. Multiple lengths can be connected for larger crossings.
The three year development project was a joint venture between TSP, TDEC, Gator Bridge and CTC. In addition to funding from Tennessee State Parks, TDEC and others, CTC fronted $6000 to Gator Bridge for research and development into a modular bridge system specifically for back country trail requirements. Once the bridge becomes commercially available the $6,000 R&D money will be returned.
Cumberland Hiking Marathon . . . The Cumberland County Hiking Marathon enters its third year. Last year over 700 people and 47 dogs participated in the month long event. Registration opened August 1 and can be found HERE. Each year the official marathon trails are different so hikers are exposed to the variety of hiking experiences in Cumberland County. Maps and directions for each trail is available HERE. Hikers have the month of September to hike and submit log sheets for either a full or half marathon. Shirts and patches (bandannas for dogs! ) are awarded during the annual Hit The Trails Festival in Fairfield Glade, Saturday, October 7, 10 to 3 Central.
The featured section of the CT this year is from Rt 68 north to Windlass Cave for a 3 mile out and back hike.
Closer to 300 Miles . . . . In the past two years, CTC trail crews have added 19.9 miles to the Cumberland Trail ! The
two active sections this year continue to be McGill Creek in the south and Daddy’s Creek in the north. Southern and Central crews have been consolidated this fall mostly working south from Devil’s Breakfast Table. Roughly 1,000 feet is left in the McGill Creek area, but until the bridge is installed, the steep, rocky area is difficult to access. Meanwhilethe Combined Crew and volunteers will focus on completing the four miles remaining within Daddy’s Creek gorge in Catoosa WMA.