Monday, October 24, 2011

Auction Items!!!

We are receiving lots of auction items in! Here is a listing of some items you can look forward to bidding on...

Kelty Tioga Backpack, GoLite Breeze Backpack, GoLite Gust Backpack, Osprey Stratus 40 pack, Trader Joe's trail food gift bag, CamelBak Rouge hydration pack, set of MiniGators gaiters, Atlas Snowshoes, Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 tent, Integral Designs SilShelter tarp, Evernew Pots & MSR stove, Mountain Hardware Phantom sleeping bag, Sierra Designs Shut Eye sleeping bag, a nights stay at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville plus dinner at the Capitol Grill, Massage from Synergy Body Works in Murfreesboro, SeaLine Baja Dry Bags, one night stay at a Fairfield Inn & Suite, and a gift basket from Hillside Winery.

These donations are awesome!!! Keep them coming everyone...we need lots of items for the Silent and Live Auctions!

Registration Update

We are at over 160 registrants!!! We can't wait to see you all on Friday!!!

Last Minute Reminders

Bring your towels! Remember if you are staying in the dorm-style Claiborne Hall or in the Camp Cabin you must bring your own bath towels. Basic bed linens are provided.

Bring your chairs! Remember to bring your camp chair to the bonfire on Friday night. Plan to sit a spell and have a glass of wine. There will be a storytelling contest and campfire songs!!!

Bring your auction paperwork! Please bring your donation paperwork filled out completely, it will make check in much faster!

Bring your donations! Bake sale goodies both homemade and store bought are much appreciated! Yard sale items for the White Elephant Sale as well as new and gently used items for the Live and Silent Auctions will help us raise money for our organizations future success!!!

Annual Meeting Schedule

12:00-5:30pm               Registration & Room Check In
2:30pm                          Depart for Hikes
4:30-9:30pm                 White Elephant Sale open
4:30-6:00pm                 Silent Auction open for bidding
4:30-6:00pm                 Cash Bar open at pavilion
5:30-7:00pm                 Bazzania Girl Band performs at pavilion
6:00-7:00pm                 Cook out dinner at the pavilion
7:00-10:00pm               Bonfire and Cash Bar open
7:00-9:00pm                 Silent Auction open for bidding
8:00-9:00pm                 Program- Mary Priestley introduces her new book
                                        about hiking the South Cumberland           

6:00-6:50am                 Early Risers Coffee in the lobby
7:00-8:00am                 Breakfast
7:00-8:00am                 Pick up pre-ordered sack lunches              
7:30-9:30am                 Hikes depart
2:00-6:00pm                 White Elephant sale open
2:00-6:00pm                 Silent Auction open for bidding
4:30-6:00pm                 Cash Bar open                
6:00-7:00pm                 Dinner in dining hall – TTA Awards presentation
7:00-10:00pm               Cash Bar open        
7:00-8:00pm                 TTA Annual Meeting- Elections, General Membership meeting
8:00-9:00pm                 “Live” Auction

6:00-6:50am                 Early Risers Coffee in the lobby
7:00-8:00am                 Breakfast
7:00-8:00am                 Pick up pre-ordered sack lunches
8:00-9:00am                 Depart for Hikes
9:00am                          TTA Quarterly Board of Directors Meeting
11:00am                        Deadline for Check Out

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Hike Added! Easy walking tour around Monteagle/Sewanee, Saturday, 9:30am

For those folks who just aren't up for a hike this year we have added an easy walking tour to the scheduled events! The tour will depart at 9:30am on Saturday. Stops will include the natural bridge in Sewanee, the University of the South campus, lunch at the famed Dutch Maid Bakery in Tracy City and a stop at Hallelujah Potttery in Monteagle. Tony Jones will lead this excursion, be sure to bring money for lunch and souvenir purchases.

For more info:

Hike # 6 Stone Door/Big Creek Gulf/Laurel Trail, 7:45am, Saturday

Stone Door, Big Creek Gulf, Laurel Trails.  9 miles Strenuous.  Very rocky with loose footing.  Beersheba Springs, TN.  Hike Leader Ron Dunn

 After enjoying the spectacular overlooks at the Great Stone Door we will descend through the Stone Door down to Big Creek Gulf.  The trail descends steeply  down the rocky slope then parallels Big Creek upstream, crossing rocks most of the time.  We have the option of visiting Ranger Creek Falls, which spills over a 20 ft. ledge  and disappears into a sink.  Such vanishing falls are called terminal falls.  Back on the main trail  we’ll have the option of  visiting the sinks of  Big Creek.  Here the creek flows into a deep green pool and disappears.  The geology  in Big Creek Gulf is amazing.  (Joan thought she was on another planet.)  After wandering four miles through fantastic rock formations we climb steeply up out of Big Creek Gulf and into the Alum Gap Campground area.  The three mile easy flat Laurel Trail will take us back.  

Hike #13 Stone Door/Big Creek Rim/Laurel Trails, 8:30am, Saturday

Stone Door BIG CREEK RIM and LAUREL TRAIL. 7 miles moderate due to length. Beersheba Springs, TN Hike Leader: Sara Pollard

The Great Stone Door is located in the Savage Gulf State Natural Area near Beersheba Springs, Tennessee. This beautiful ledge overlooking the Savage Gulf is spectacular. The fall colors should be fantastic and views unbelievable.

We will begin our hike behind the Stone Door Ranger station where we will take the short walk to Laurel Falls we will then walk the Stone Door Trail to the Great Door itself. There will be ample opportunity for pictures both on top and if you choose, at the bottom of the Door. The mileage to this point is about 1.5 miles including Laurel Falls.

From the Stone Door we will walk the Big Creek Rim trail and follow the mainly flat trail along the rim's edge to the Alum Campsite about 4 miles away. Here we will relax and have our lunch and there will be a primitive outhouse for those so inclined.

The trail junctions at the campsite and goes down to the Big Creek Gulf Trail with a connector to Greeter Falls. It also continues straight ahead on the Laurel Trail. The Laurel Trail is the last section of our hike. The Laurel Trail, again mainly flat will take us about 2 miles back to the parking lot. This will be a basically easy walking hike, but it is rated moderate due to length and the rugged terrain at the Great Stone Door

Hike # 7 Cloudland Canyon, 8am, Saturday

Cloudland Canyon State Park Waterfalls and Sitton Gulch Trail.  Rising Fawn, Georgia.  Hike Leader  Joan Hartvigsen  7 miles strenuous.. 

This  Georgia park is located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain.  The park straddles a deep gorge cut into the mountain by combined waters of Bear and Daniels Creeks.  The Waterfalls Trail  consists of gravel and  1,200 stair steps.  Both waterfalls cascade off of sheer faces at  60 and 90 feet, and are among the most beautiful in the state.  The Sitton  Gulch Trail  follows Daniel Creek through open, green hemlock groves and overlooks numerous small waterfalls cascading through limestone crevices.  The autumn color is magnificent

Hike # 19 Cloudland Canyon, 9:00am, Sunday

Cloudland Canyon State Park, West Rim Trail.  5 miles moderate.  Rising Fawn, Georgia.  Hike Leader Joan Hartvigsen.

 Cloudland Canyon State Park is located on the western edge of Lookout Mountain.  The park straddles a deep gorge cut into the mountain by combined waters of Bear and Daniels Creeks.  Bring binoculars to view hang gliders, Peregrine Falcons, and vultures.

The autumn colors are spectacular in the canyon.  Beginning at the Daniels Creek Bridge, and climbing out of the canyon onto the plateau, the trail provides magnificent views of Trenton, Georgia, Lookout Valley, Sand Mountain, and of Cloudland Canyon itself.  The trail is lined with rhododendron, mountain laurel, oaks, hickories and hemlocks. On this hike we will be able to gaze down into lovely Sitton Gulf.  . 

Hike # 11 Savage Day Loop, 8:45am, Saturday

Savage Day Loop.  4.2 miles easy.  Palmer, TN.  Hike Leader Fount Bertram.        

This hike may be the easiest all weekend, and it is quite beautiful with lush mountain laurel, hemlock trees, waterfalls, and overlooks of the Gulf.  The many points of interest include a suspension bridge across Boyd Branch  Creek (lined with mountain laurel), Savage Falls Overlook and Rattlesnake Point Overlooking Savage Gulf.  We can also take a half mile trip down the South Rim Trail, crossing Savage Creek on a suspension bridge and passing beneath a canopy of rhododendron along the cascading Savage Creek. A wooden staircase leads to the deep pool of Savage Falls.

Hike # 5 North Rim/Mountain Oak--Savage Gulf, 7:30am, Saturday

North Rim, Mountain Oak, and North Plateau Trails.  10 miles moderate.  Savage Gulf State Natural Area, Palmer, TN.  Hike Leader Garnett Rush.

The North Rim Trail and the North Plateau Trail combine to provide a walk with little elevation change that loops by numerous overlooks of Savage Gulf.  The North Rim Trail has  more overlooks than any other trail on the South Cumberland.  From these viewpoints, you will see the confluence of tributary gorges with Savage Gulf, old-growth forests in the bottom of the gorge, the scars of avalanches, and the junction of the three gulfs that make up the state natural area. 

Hike # 9 Old Stone Fort, 8:15am, Saturday

Old Stone Fort State Archeological Park.  4 miles easy to moderate.  Manchester,TN.  Hike Leader Bob Goodwin. 

 This prehistoric site is located where two forks of the Duck River cascade off the Highland Rim on their way to the Central Basin.  Between  the forks of the Duck and Little Duck Rivers is a  plain lined in places by an earthen wall.  One theory was that the earthen wall was an early Native American fortification.  Hence the name Old Stone Fort.  However, U.T. anthropologists have concluded the walls set aside a place of spiritual significance.  The oldest section of the wall was built in 30 A.D. The core of the wall is made of limestone rocks.  The rocks are covered with chert and earth fill.  This hike passes through an impressive old forest along bluffs overlooking the cascading forks of the Duck River.  On this hike you will see cliffs, rivers, huge trees, waterfalls and cascades.  The park’s museum offers displays and programs about the site, about archeology in general, and about Native American culture. 

Hike # 18 Greeter Falls, 9:00am, Sunday

Greeter Falls Loop (Upper and lower Greeter Falls, Boardtree Falls, Blue Hole Trail).  4 miles moderate.  Altamont, TN.  Hike Leader Marietta Poteet. 

 This trail combination features upper and lower Greeter Fall and Boardtree Falls and a walk to one of the best views in the natural area (Big Bluff Overlook near Alum Gap.).  The amphitheater of Greeter Falls is unusual, with a thick sandstone layer on top of a more crumbly limestone layer.  Most waterfalls on the plateau spill over hard sandstone that caps layers of softer sandstone or shale  The base of lower Greeter Falls is reached by walking down a metal spiral staircase.  Massive cliffs rise up along the trail pass Boardtree Falls.  The scenery is outstanding and the forest is lush . Portions of the trail are rocky

Hike # 16 Short Springs- 8:30am Sunday

Short Springs State Natural Area.  5 miles moderate.  Tullahoma, TN  Hike leader Cindy Watson. 

 Short Springs is a 420 acre Designated State Natural Area located in Coffee County.  While located on the Highland Rim, Short Springs dramatically plunges into the Central Basin.  Deep gorges and steep slopes form the landscape of this beautiful area.  Bobo Creek flows over rapids and two 20-ft. waterfalls, Upper and lower Busby Falls.  Newman  Branch Creek flows over an impressive 60-ft. waterfall called Machine Falls.  Along Bob Creek and Newman Branch a rich alluvial bottomland forest of sycamore, buckeye, elm, ash, and maple flourish.  While descending the Machine Falls Trail to the bottom of the Falls observe the crumbly, black shaley rock at mid slope.  This is Chattanooga Shale which also forms the parquet stream floor located above Upper Busby Falls.  This formation delineates the Highland Rim from the Central Basin.  The canopy on the higher elevations is dominated by dry upland species of oaks, such ass post, southern red, black and blackjack.  Blackgum and mockernut hickory are also common.  The trails are Machine Falls Loop 1.4 miles, Busby Falls Loop 0.9 miles, Connector Trail 0.l miles, Wildflower Loop 0.2 miles, Adams Falls Loop 1.2  miles, and Laurel Bluff Loop 1.4 miles.  All these trails are wonderful.

Hike # 2 Grundy Forest Day Loop, 2:30pm Friday

Grundy Forest Day Loop, Tracy City. 2 miles, moderate. Hike Leader: Marietta Poteet

This trail into the head of Gizzard Cove meanders through giant hemlocks and offers views of waterfalls, cascades, and the junction of the Big and Little Fiery Gizzard Creeks.
How the creeks got the name Fiery Gizzard is not known for sure. One story says the name originated from an iron-smelting furnace used by the Tennessee Coal& Railroad Company to test the quality of its coke in the 1870's.

Another tale says that Davy Crockett burned his tongue on a hot turkey gizzard while camped along the creek. Still others say the name arose during a peace conference when an Indian chief ripped the gizzard from a recently gutted turkey and threw into the fire to shock the whites that were in attendance.
However the name came about, it is firmly attached to the creeks and the gorge that they flow through, Gizzard Cove.

Hike # 3 Shakerag Hollow- 2:30pm Friday

Shakerag Hollow, 3 miles moderate, Hike Leader Glen Rognstad

Shakerag Hollow Trail lies within the Domain of the University of the South at Sewanee.

This will be a 3 mile out and back hike that is rated moderate due to a steep 300 ft. elevation change. The Civilian Conservation Corps built the trail back in the 30's and some of the old growth forest remains to this day. The trail is a popular hike for wildflower enthusiasts in the spring.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Join us Friday night after our cook-out dinner for a drink at the bonfire!

We will have the cash bar open during the bonfire. We have folks who are bringing their musical instruments and some that have agreed to share a story or two. It should be a great time! Bring your camp chair! Bring an instrument if you play! Bring a favorite ghost story or funny story to share...there may even be a prize for the best one!

If you would be willing to bring an instrument or share a story please contact Millette Jones at or 615-397-9588.

New auction item! Cascade Hollow Lodge in Normandy, TN

One night Accommodations at Cascade Hollow Lodge
Cascade Hollow Lodge is a large rambling farm home of over 6,000 SF with four comfortable guest rooms. Each room has its own full bath (tub/shower), brand new queen mattresses on unique vintage furniture. Chairs in each room allow for private reading or guests may enjoy finding just the right spot in one of three sitting rooms or two porches to relax. The home is full of books, videos and music, and the commons areas have TV.

The farm is situated in a lovely 'hollow' with fresh water creeks and cascades throughout. Walkers, hikers, joggers and cyclists will find what they want.

Full country breakfasts are served to each guest either in the dining room, the morning room or the large back porch. Fresh eggs, meats, breads, fruit, cereals, hot coffee and tea, etc. are always on the breakfast table.
Room rates with breakfast range from $75 to $95. Reduced rates may be negotiated for several night stays or for renting the entire house for a family reunion.
Our lodge is our family home which we freely open to guests who prefer the warmth and personal touch of BnB style accommodations. We enjoy people and feel that hospitality is a gift we have to give. We are welcoming people and try our best to make guests comfortable in every way.

New Auction Items!!!

We are getting more auction items in that should be very popular. A Hummingbird Feeder, Remington Wildlife Fine Prints, TTA Coffee Mug, Women's jacket, School Desk plant stand, and more! Keep 'em coming!!!!

Chapter Officers please ask your members for their help in donating 5 quality items for the live auction and other new or very gently used items for the silent auction as well as items for the bake sale and the White Elephant sale.

Remember a great donation item is a box of wine for our Cash Bar!!!

Registration Update

As of October 1 we have over 120 registrations! Please be sure to announce at your monthly meetings that the deadline for mailing in your registration and ordering meals is October 15. After October 15 you must pay cash and register at the door. No meals can be ordered after Oct. 15.

Order Now!!!! Limited Edition 2011 Annual Meeting Tshirts

Front Pocket
There are only 2 weeks left to order your limited edition t-shirts. Check your TTA newsletter for the order form. Your order must be received by October 15 and you will receive your shirt at registration. The shirts will NOT be for sale at the meeting. The shirts are Gildan Ultra, 100% pre-shrunk, heavy weight cotton. Short sleeve options are Serene Green, Military Green, Stone Blue, Blue Dusk, Vegas Gold and Tan. Long sleeve options are Light Blue, Indigo Blue, Sand Military Green, Natural and Prairie Dust. The cost is $20 for either. Send your checks to Tennessee Trails Assoc. c/o Anthony Jones, 2903 Midland Fosterville Rd., Bell Buckle, TN 37020. Any questions? Call Millette Jones 615/397-9588
Color Choices

Hike # 14 Fall Creek Falls

Fall Creek Falls, Gorge Overlook and Woodland Trails.  3 miles moderate to strenuous.  Fall Creek Falls State Park, Pikeville, TN.  Hike Leader Nora Henn.

 Fall Creek Falls State Resort Park is Tennessee’s premier state park because of its awesome scenery, a  wide variety of activities, and superb accommodations.  Though a portion of the park is developed, two thirds of the park is a state natural area.  On the Fall Creek Falls Trail we will wind down into Fall Creek Gorge and stand at the base of the 256 ft. high Fall Creek Falls, the tallest waterfall in the eastern United States.  Back on top we will have a bird’s eye view of the tall waterfall .From the Falls overlook we’ll pick up the Gorge Overlook and Woodland Trails Loop.  This route takes us around a blufftop above Cane Creek Gorge with grand views, over Cane Creek Cascade on a suspension bridge and then onto the Nature Center before looping back to the Fall Creek Falls overlook parking area.  This hike is easy except for the steep but thrilling hike down to the base of the falls. (Steps and handrails are provided) 

Hike # 8 Raven Point- 8am

Raven Point Hike.  Grundy Forest State Natural Area.  9.5 miles R.T.  Strenuous.  Tracy City, TN.  Hike Leader Charlotte Broyles.

This incredible hike incorporates portions of the Grundy Forest Day Loop, Fiery Gizzard Trail and the Dog Hole Trail to reach Raven Point.  Along the way we’ll see gorgeous giant hemlocks, Blue Hole Falls (pictured above), cascades and Big and Little Fiery Gizzard Creeks.  We will view  Black Canyon, the pillars of Chimney Rocks and 12 ft. Sycamore Falls on Big Fiery Gizzard Creek.  Our lunch destination is Raven Point , presenting panoramic views of Gizzard Cove and stunning, colorful autumn foliage. 

Hike # 15 Walls of Jericho- 8:15am

Walls of Jericho, Winchester. 7 Miles Difficult. Hike Leader: Sara Pollard

A short car shuttle will allow the hike to start at the Tennessee Trailhead  parking lot for the long decent into the gorge and will return by way of the shorter but steeper Alabama trail.  The “walls” are a impressive geological feature (pictured above) that forms a large bowl shaped amphitheater. This amphitheater has steep 200 foot sheer walls that create the natural defining feature of the amphitheater itself. We will also see many bluffs, large rock outcroppings and caves.

Hike # 17 Foster Falls/Climbers Loop- 8:45am

Foster Falls/Climbers Loop, Tracy City. 2 Miles Difficult. Hike Leader: Nabil Wakid.

This trail leads down to the base of 60 foot Foster Falls in a steep walled gorge then continues west providing access to the gorge wall before connecting with the Fiery Gizzard Trail. We will hike down to the river to view the falls, then skirt along the bottom of famous cliffs known to rappel climbers as the White Walls and the Dihedrals. The gorge is full of gorgeous hemlock trees. A steep climb precedes our way back along the top of the cliffs. You will need PLENTY of water and sturdy boots.