The Cumberland Trails Conference Trail Crews started off 2020 with goals of completing the section of trail from Stinging Fork to Hinch Mountain, also to complete trails in Catoosa Wildlife Management Area and will continue to work on these sections for the remainder of 2020. With the Covid-19 virus shutting down almost the entire world, CTC has allowed our trail crews a few weeks off in order to protect them from this virus as well as protecting their families. Work on the Cumberland Trail will tentatively proceed on 4.8.2020.
Alternative Spring Break 2020. Students and Volunteers lodged at the Head of the Sequatchie in beautiful Pikeville, TN.
Week 1: Students from Ball State University, NOVA Southeastern University and Michigan State University worked with the CTC Trail Crew and many Volunteers to remove 2640 feet of duff and countless stumps.
Week 2 of ASB: University of Pittsburgh
Students and Volunteers worked to remove 1150 feet of duff plus stumps as well as completing 1100 feet of the Cumberland Trail.
So many CTC Volunteers came to work on the trail and help prepare meals.
In the picture: Larry Ryan, Ray Garrett, Roger Underwood, Charlie Sither, Lionel Senseney, Nick Petrochko. Not pictured: Jack Sites, Ron Hunter, Zack Finney, Ron Winking, David Martin, Clark Annis, Mark Richie, Nora Beck, April Dixon. Dreama Campbell helped stock the kitchen with donations that made serving the volunteers a possibility. A big thank you to State Park Rangers who were out on the trails daily helping as well as Bobby Fulcher who came to teach our student volunteers about Appalachian Dancing and Music.
Each student participant receives a custom CTC shirt, the beautiful Cumberland Odyssey book, a Cumberland Trail patch and a Cumberland Trail decal. All of these items are available at the CTC office for a small donation.
Great Eastern Trail News
On March 18th the Hamilton County Commission passed the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The top priority, of the five highest prioritized items the plan outlines, is Trail and Pathway Connectivity. Included in the recommendations of the plan is the completion of the connection of the Great Eastern Trail (GET) that connects the Cumberland Trail near Soddy Daisy to the Pinhoti Trail in north Georgia.
The GET’s preferred route through the Chattanooga/Hamilton County area, as it leaves the Cumberland Trail and proceeds toward its eventual connection with the Pinhoti Trail in Georgia, is to depart from the Cumberland Trail at its trailhead located off Montlake Road within the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge and co-align with new and existing trails in the Chattanooga/Hamilton County area as it proceeds to the Tennessee-Georgia state line and closes Tennessee’s portion of the gap between the Cumberland Trail and the Pinhoti Trail.
Positioning the Cumberland Trail in Tennessee to be part of the GET and therefore part of a major long distance trail will enhance the Cumberland Trail’s ability to serve as a catalyst for sustainable economic development around outdoor recreation and tourism for Chattanooga and Hamilton County and for all the other counties and communities along its main and connector routes (in Hamilton County, the Cumberland Trail, from the GET’s point of departure in the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge, continues southward, ascending the Gorge on its existing trail to the top of Walden’s Ridge and then generally following the course of North Chickamauga Creek, crossing into Sequatchie County for a distance before re-entering Hamilton County, ideally connecting with a future spur trail to Hamilton County’s Shackleford Ridge Park which could serve as an additional access point for hikers, and reaching its terminus at Signal Point where it then connects with existing trails in Marion County that are located within Prentice Cooper State Forest and the Tennessee River Gorge)
The Cumberland Trails Conference (CTC), being the Great Eastern Trail Association’s (GETA’s) partner organization in Tennessee and one of the founding members of GETA which is a nonprofit organization chartered in Virginia, has, in addition to carrying out its unique and longtime role in assisting the State of Tennessee in developing the main corridor of the Cumberland Trail, participated in the extensive research and evaluation of the options for the GET’s path through the Chattanooga/Hamilton County area, an effort that placed emphasis on thorough field work and securing input from stakeholders through personal contacts and periodic group meetings, and focused on the desirability of providing a scenic and insofar as possible, a natural landscape corridor for the GET’s route between the Cumberland Trail and the Georgia Pinhoti Trail, and that CTC continues to lend its active support to the establishment of the GET in the Chattanooga/Hamilton County area.