This year’s BreakAway established program records with 17 schools, 203 students, and 12,500 volunteer hours participating in a four week sixteen day trail building marathon. Highlights include the construction of 5.45 miles of the Cumberland Trail and seven bridges within Rock Creek Gorge.
CTC’s 8th Annual Spring BreakAway was the largest and longest Spring BreakAway Program so far. The focus was on the construction and gorge rescue in Rock Creek, which is part of Rock/Possum/Soddy Segments in northwest Hamilton County. We had 203 students from 17 schools, 8 from Americorp Team Blue 2, and 50 volunteers from across the state to help with the 4-week program during the month of March.
Students planning work for the next day – ASB 2003
Week One saw the students begin building the CT off of Leggett Rd in the Rock Creek Segment. At first, fallen pines littered the trailhead access point that eventually led to the Leggett Point Overlook. As the teams dropped down into the gorge making their way to Rock Creek, the students began to understand how technical and challenging their work would be. By the end of the week, they made it into the creek and were working their way up into the gorge. The students had about 2miles of trail built and completed, 3 Front Country Pole Bridges (12′, 14′, and 12′).
Week Two saw fewer students but we pressed on to begin the connector trail, which starts at the top on the old roadbed and drops down more drastically to the CT at Boiling Springs. The trail building became more challenging in this section because of the steepness and rock work that was needed. The students completed 0.4 miles of difficult trail to the corridor.
Week Three was our largest and most productive week as the motto “complete the loop” rang throughout the gorge. The teams worked down into the gorge from the connector trail and were able to close the Rock Creek Loop. Also the first natural bridge in the segment, crossing Boiling Spring Hollow, was constructed.
Week Four saw our smallest group of BreakAway, but it was probably our most unique. The students dragged two logs for the second natural bridge on Flat Branch and completed 0.3 miles of trail. Smaller maintenance projects were accomplished that would have been more difficult if there were a large group.