Alternative Spring Break - March 2022

Each year Cumberland Trails Conference host Alternative Spring Break for college students interested in volunteering their time to help build new trail. This year ASB will be March 6th-12th and trail building efforts will be on new sections of the Piney River Segment.

CTC Trail Crew

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North Chickamauga

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Gary Grametbauer
Gary Grametbauer

Gary Grametbauer

Gary L. Grametbauer, age 75, of Kingston, TN, died January 29, 2020, after a short illness. Gary was born in Canton, Ohio, and was a graduate of Hoover High School and the University of Akron. He was employed for more than 30 years at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant, where he was a manager in instrumentation engineering.

From the time he was a child, Gary had an abiding passion for and curiosity about the outdoors and the natural world, and with his move to Tennessee that grew into a great zeal for hiking. He was never happier or more at peace than when he was on the trail, always eager to know what might lie around the next bend. He was for many years an active volunteer with the Cumberland Trail Conference, which he served at one point as acting president. When indoors, he enjoyed doing genealogy research for himself, family members, and friends. He was a classical music lover and an accomplished pianist.

Gary is survived by his loving wife, Carol, of 53 years.

Memorials may be made to the Cumberland Trails Conference, 409 Thurman Ave. #102, Crossville, TN 38555; or to Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning, P.O. Box 6873, Oak Ridge, TN 37831. The mountains are calling and I must go. – John Muir

Gary Grametbauer’s Celebration of Life is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, in Room 102 at First Presbyterian Church in Oak Ridge, 1501 Oak Ridge Turnpike. (Room 102 is in the church’s administration building, the building closest to Lafayette Drive.)

The 24th Spring Breakaways home base will be at The Head of the Sequatchie in Pikeville Tn.

Trail will be built between Stinging Fork State Natural Area and Hinch Mountain
March 1- April 3, 2020

WE NEED YOUR HELP…Please contact the CTC office to Volunteer..

Alternative Spring Break offers students an opportunity to give back and learn from the natural world we live in. These students are committed to building sections of the Cumberland Trail during their Spring Break.

Participating schools in this year’s Alternative Spring Break are Ball State University, Michigan State University, Florida NOVA Southeastern University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Alabama of Birmingham, University of Delaware and the University of Miami, Ohio.

The state of Tennessee continues to move forward with the acquisition of over 6,600 acres of land in Cumberland County adjacent to Interstate 40. The purchase effort, largely through TennGreen requires over $6 million before the tract can be secured.


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Two key links in the 300 mile Cumberland Trail are very close to completion.

Both sections are roughly 6 miles and link available parking areas.  When open, Devil’s Breakfast Table Section creates an uninterrupted 20 mile hike from Nemo Bridge in Morgan County to Peavine Road in Cumberland County.

Some of the rough ground encountered in a all hand built section found between McGinnis Creek and Devil’s Breakfast Table. (Bernsten)

Crab Orchard Mountain Segment

A critical gap in the Cumberland Trail may be eliminated in the near future. Efforts are underway to acquire a  4,500 acre tract of land on the north side of the Crab Orchard Gap in Cumberland County known as the Lone Star property.  Acquisition will allow the trail to be routed up and over a mountain ridge and emerge close to Ozone Falls SNA. Contact TennGreen at to learn how to donate for this acquisition.

When the Ozone Falls to Black Mountain Section opens in 2020 an eight mile, dangerous road walk will be eliminated and replaced with roughly four miles of trail and a thousand foot road walk on a lightly traveled side road. Read more

Tony Hook, former CTC Trail Manager, passed away on Sunday, September 29, 2019 after a long bout with cancer. He was 56.

Tony started with the CTC in the mid 1990’s as a volunteer. Later he gave up his career manufacturing process engineering to become full time Trail Manager for the CTC, a position he held until 2014.

Known for his passion and focus on making the Cumberland Trail a premiere hiking experience, Tony brought his organizing talents to bear, expanding the yearly BreakAway program and successfully bring numerous construction grants to the Cumberland Trail.

CTC Co-Founder Sam Powell Dies

Sam H. Powell, 86, of Signal Mountain, devoted his whole life to building hiking trails, conservation and improvement of the environment, died on February 8, 2019. He was married to the late Emilie Ervin Powell for 61 years. A native of Tarpon Springs, Fla., he was the son of the late William Marshall Powell and Margaret Harvey Bomar Powell. Read more