The Plateau Chapter of the Tennessee Trails Association invites participants to join them on guided hikes in May.
The organization offers hikes of 5-8 miles every Wednesday and two Saturdays each month. Those participating are asked to pack water, snacks, lunch, tick/bug spray and suncreen.
Check the Plateau Chapter blog at http://ttaplateauchapter.blogspot.com one hour prior to hike time for cancellation or for any other updates/changes to the schedule before hiking. Contact hike coordinator Deb Westervelt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 931-267-2243 for more details.
Instead of carpooling to trailheads, hikers may opt to drive themselves.
Saturday, May 1 — Smoky Mountains National Park, Cosby, TN, Porters Creek Trail. Long Hike: moderate 8.5-mile hike with a 1,500-foot climb over 3.5 miles to a campsite and then return the same way back. Short Hike: 4-mile moderate in/out. This is a great spring wildflower hike to the 60-foot Fern Branch Falls in the Greenbrier section of the Smokies. The forest floor can literally be carpeted with bloodroot, hepaticas, white fringed phacelia, violets, white trilliums and many other varieties. There are several old stone walls that are remnants from the Elbert Cantrell farmstead, who settled in the Porters Creek community in the early 1900s. The group will also visit Ownby Cemetery, which also dates back to the early part of the 20th century. A short spur trail takes you to John Messer farm site, which includes a cantilevered barn that was built by John Whaley around 1875 and a cabin that was built by the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club in the mid-1930s. Depart 7 a.m. CT from the Crossville Dorton United Methodist Church, 3405 Hwy. 70 E. (one mile east of Peavine Rd. and next door to Certified Cylinder). Carpool cost is $10. Pack water, snacks and lunch. The group will stop for dinner on the way home. To sign up, contact hike coordinator Deb Westervelt by text to 931-267-2243 or email email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 5 — Washmorgan Hollow State Natural Area, Cookeville, TN. This is a new in/out short hike. In spring, it blooms with thousands of wildflowers. Those flowers include large populations of the perennial wildflower Hepatica (Hepatica nobilis) and Synandra (Synandra hispidula), which is in the mint family and uncommon in Tennessee. A rock-bottomed stream flows through the property ending at a steep waterfall known as Hardscrabble Falls. The hike includes several stream crossings, so bring water shoes. Washmorgan Hollow is home to a number of tree species including sugar maple and red maple, beech, tulip poplar, sycamore, box elder, buckeye, basswood, ash, oak and hickory. Several species of migratory warblers have been spotted at the preserve, including scarlet tanagers, cerulean warblers, northern parulas and worm-eating warblers. Take Exit 286 at Cookeville. Drive northward on State Road 135 for 13.6 miles along the state highway to Dodson Branch. Turn right on Step Rock Hill Road and proceed 2.4 miles to Spring Creek Road. Turn left and proceed 1.2 miles to Washmorgan Hollow where you will see Nature Conservancy preserve signs from the road. There is just enough space to park along the side of the road at the trailhead. Start hiking along the narrow path, which will occasionally be lost and force you to hike up the stream. Depart 7:30 a.m. CT from the Crossville Cracker Barrel rear parking lot. Pack water, snacks and lunch, or opt for a late lunch in Cookeville. Carpool cost is $6. For additional information, contact hike coordinator Deb Westervelt, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text 931-267-2243.
Wednesday, May 12 — Standing Stone State Forest, Hilham, TN. Join the chapter for a 5-mile wildflower hike around the lake. The park takes its name from a 12 foot tall rock standing upright on a sandstone ledge, which was supposedly used as a boundary line between two Indian nations. When the rock fell, the Indians placed a portion of it upon an improvised monument to preserve it. The stone is still preserved in Monterey. Depart 7:30 a.m. CT from Cracker Barrel. Pack water, snacks and lunch or opt for a late lunch in Cookeville. Carpool cost is $6. For additional information, contact hike coordinator Deb Westervelt, email email@example.com or text 931-267-2243.
Thursday, May 13 — Chapter Meeting. Dorton United Methodist Church, 3405 Hwy. 70 E. (one mile east of Peavine Rd.), from 6-7 p.m. Contact Norm Brinsley at 931-202-2338.
Saturday, May 15 — Black Mountain Trail Maintenance, Crab Orchard, TN. Depart 7:30 a.m. from Dorton United Methodist Church, 3405 Hwy. 70 E. or meet at the top of the mountain. Bruce Whitehead will divide volunteers into two groups. Bring swing-blade, loppers, clippers or saw and water/snacks. Contact Bruce Whitehead at 941-716-3620.
Wednesday, May 19 — Big South Fork, Rock Creek, John Muir and Tunnel Trails, Jamestown, TN. The group will hike 5 in/out moderate miles on a new route to the Tunnel which is near the Hidden Passage Trail. Bring water shoes for crossing Rock Creek twice. Don’t forget tick/bug spray and sunscreen. Pack water, snacks and lunch. Depart 7:30 a.m. CT from Cracker Barrel’s rear lot in Crossville. Gas cost is $6. For additional information, contact hike coordinator Deb Westervelt, text 931-267-2243 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, May 26 — Big South Fork, Sheltowee Trace to Parker MT to Buffalo Arch, Jamestown, TN. This gorgeous trail includes lots of lady slippers. The long hike is 9 miles of fairly easy terrain to Buffalo Arch and back. Water shoes are needed to wade across Rock Creek. There is a half-mile climb up Parker MT where the 2-mile trail to Buffalo Arch is flat. Depart 7:30 a.m. CT from Cracker Barrel SW corner of rear parking lot. Carpool cost is $6. Don’t forget tick/bug spray and sunscreen. Pack water, snacks and lunch. For additional information, contact hike coordinator Deb Westervelt via email email@example.com or text 931-267-2243.