By Marion Miner and David Southall
Our hikes for Friday, March 21 will be in the Piney River section of the Cumberland Trail system near Spring City. The first hike will be to the Twin Rocks Overlook. This hike is an “in and out” hike with the trailhead parking lot located on Shut-In Gap Road. After our first hike we will drive a short distance to the Stinging Fork Falls trailhead and hike to a gem of a small waterfall with views of beautiful rapids and cascades on the Piney River. The waterfall is approximately 35 feet of vertical drop with many rapids and heavy cascades below the falls. After the appropriate photo opportunity we will eat lunch/snacks at the falls and then retrace our steps to the trailhead parking lot. Always bring plenty of water.
Difficulty: The first hike is rated easy and is approximately two miles long. The second hike is approximately a three-mile round trip and most of the hike is easy; however, as we head into the Stinging Fork Gorge, the going is a bit rugged and rocky, qualifying as a moderate section. Because of this section of the gorge, poles, hiking sticks, or a staff is recommended.
Hiking has risks and safety is a high priority on every outing. Hazards include uneven trails, drop-offs, slippery rocks, stream crossings, wildlife encounters, auto accidents, and more. The hiking group assumes no collective or individual liability for any mishaps. Hiking is at your own risk.
Participants in the hikes should be in good physical condition. Walking on paved and level surfaces does not compare with hiking on uneven trails with elevation gains and losses. Please assess your level of fitness to the difficulty of the hike so that you can keep up with the group. If you experience any difficulties during a hike, let one of the hike leaders know. Hikers should wear good sturdy hiking shoes, be prepared for changes in temperature and weather, carry a day pack with first aid gear, bring insect repellent, and take plenty of water to drink. You are responsible for your own safety during the hike.
There is a sheet on the bulletin board across from the Fairfield Glade Post Office for people to sign up for the hike. The group will depart from the parking lot closest to the 4-way stop sign in FFG at the corner of Peavine and Stonehenge. Please be there between 7:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. to receive information and form carpools. We will leave at 8 a.m. sharp. If you ride with someone else to and from the hike the policy is to reimburse the driver for gas. The amount to reimburse the driver for this hike is $4 per person. Please have the correct amount. We have name badges for sale as well as map books that have information on how to get to the trailhead of some of our old and favorite hikes. The cost of the books is $8.
For more information, please call the leaders of the hike David and Sarah Southall at 707-7173 if you have any questions. You can visit us on the web by typing “FFG Hiking” in Google and our site pops up.