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  1. #1
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    Default Cumberland Trail 2016: Looking for Shuttle Hike Partner

    I'm from Chattanooga and I've done about 60 miles of the Cumberland Trail thus far this year. Most of what I have remaining are the longer and northern sections (Obed and sections north of it, plus Soddy Gorge North and a couple others) that, for me, require shuttle hiking. Most would be dayhikes; timing is generally flexible. Please PM me if interested.

  2. #2
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    Bump ...

    I still hope to shuttle hike the following sections:

    Segment Hike
    Grassy Cove Brady Mountain Trail
    N Chickamauga Creek SNA Section
    New River Lawson Mtn
    Cumberland Mtn Eagle Bluff
    Three Gorges Soddy Gorge North
    New River Arch Mtn
    Obed Wild and Scenic River Obed River
    New River Anderson and Cross Mtns
    Bird Mountain (Combo) Emory Tract & Frozen Head

    Details of these hikes can be found at cumberlandtrail.org. See sidebar, "Trail Segments & Sections".

  3. #3
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    I've hiked them all, in case you have questions I might be able to answer.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  4. #4
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    i have a question about cumberland trail------how is the camping situation?

    are there many backcountry sites?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i have a question about cumberland trail------how is the camping situation?

    are there many backcountry sites?
    Most of the trail descriptions on the www.cumberlandtrail.org website specify whether there are campsites (designated or LNT) and where they are located. The site has some very nice stylized maps and trail descriptions. IIRC almost all are primitive; there are some regular campsites at Frozen Head State Park, but these are a couple miles off the trail.

    IMO nearly all segments can be day-hiked if you shuttle hike them. Anderson & Cross Mountain segment is listed as 17 miles, and Emory Tract & Frozen Head is 11 miles but there is apparently no trailhead access at the northern end. Thus it becomes a 22 mile in-and-out effort, so I would think most people would not do that in a day.

    Rain Man, when did you last hike Brady Mountain Trail, and did you find the southern end by Jewett Road to be poorly blazed and/or grown over? There are some reports online of hikers getting lost there. I was up there last weekend doing the Black Mountain Trail (which as you know shares a terminus with Brady), and significant parts of it were well-grown over (up to/past elbows of a tall guy). For instance, the loop trail, going clockwise from the (spectacular) southern overlook, eventually disappeared. We turned back from that. The mountainside slope was also heavily grown over - a fair bit of the growth was poison ivy, inhabited by friendly ticks.

    So I may wait until fall to do Brady. Views are said to be better then anyway.
    Last edited by cspan; 07-19-2016 at 22:29.

  6. #6
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i have a question about cumberland trail------how is the camping situation?

    are there many backcountry sites?
    For the most part there are plenty of places to camp and you are free to do so. HOWEVER, portions of the trail go through Wildlife Management Areas and some prohibit all camping (or perhaps during hunting season). I recall one section just north of Crossville described that way. I called the rangers to assess the situation (as I often do, believing in going straight to the horse's mouth for the most reliable data), and was told we could camp so long as we dispersed and practiced Leave No Trace.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  7. #7
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cspan View Post
    Rain Man, when did you last hike Brady Mountain Trail, and did you find the southern end by Jewett Road to be poorly blazed and/or grown over? There are some reports online of hikers getting lost there. I was up there last weekend doing the Black Mountain Trail (which as you know shares a terminus with Brady), and significant parts of it were well-grown over (up to/past elbows of a tall guy). For instance, the loop trail, going clockwise from the (spectacular) southern overlook, eventually disappeared. We turned back from that. The mountainside slope was also heavily grown over - a fair bit of the growth was poison ivy, inhabited by friendly ticks.
    When I did the loop on top of Black Mountain, it was pretty much clear and easy hiking, about 3-4 years ago. Only took an hour or so. When I did the hike down to Jewett Road, there was a portion of bushwhacking between Black Mountain and Hwy 68, but that trail has been constructed in the meantime, I believe. Just now I don't recall losing the trail or bushwhacking as we hiked closer to Jewett Road, but it has been a few years.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    When I did the loop on top of Black Mountain, it was pretty much clear and easy hiking, about 3-4 years ago. Only took an hour or so. When I did the hike down to Jewett Road, there was a portion of bushwhacking between Black Mountain and Hwy 68, but that trail has been constructed in the meantime, I believe. Just now I don't recall losing the trail or bushwhacking as we hiked closer to Jewett Road, but it has been a few years.
    You are correct, once you are down the slope of Black Mountain, the trail is now clear and generally well-marked to Hwy 68. The last bit before 68 (esp. where it runs parallel for a couple tenths of a mile or so) is clear but not marked, as I recall, but it dumps you out right by the pulloff at Brady Trailhead (across 68). It looks like this was completed about 3 years ago:

    http://www.gethiking.net/2016/02/valentines-day.html

    The Black Mountain trailhead is pretty remote (for something you can drive to) and may not attract many trail-tamping* visitors, esp. those interested in hiking to anything but the overlook(s). It sure is overgrown both on part of the loop and on the slope, after you pass the rock gateway (and maybe past the campsite too, I forget). I have mentioned this to the CTC, as their site has a page for trail conditions and a means to report trail issues.

    * Actually I'm not sure footsteps would suffice to keep the trail from being overgrown. The plants aren't growing from roots in the footpath, they growing from the side of the path, rising, and then "branching out" over the path.

  9. #9

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    Question...

    The Tennessee River Gorge segment only has 6.9 miles of trail that is officially the Cumberland Trail yet includes 4 sections. Are people hiking these additional sections (Poplar Spring, Mullins Cove loop, and Pot Point loop) as part of their CT hike?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    Question...

    The Tennessee River Gorge segment only has 6.9 miles of trail that is officially the Cumberland Trail yet includes 4 sections. Are people hiking these additional sections (Poplar Spring, Mullins Cove loop, and Pot Point loop) as part of their CT hike?
    I can only speak for myself, but I have relied upon the cumberlandtrail.org website for what is and is not the CT. Based on the mileage listing in the trail description for Mullens Cove Loop, it appears that it does not include Pot Point Loop. But it is ambiguous, because on the Mullens Cove page, the paragraph titled "Overview" implies that it is part, but the mileage and the map don't include it. Aside from any any other official guidance I can find, my own internal standard is that I'm only going to do the sections that are complete, mapped, and listed on the cumberlandtrail.org site. Ideally the site would identify major features, (and their distance to the tenth of a mile) would be described too, as it is for many other segments.

    AH - BUT NOW I DO SEE on the "higher level" page for "Tennessee Gorge Segment" that Pot Point Loop appears to be a segment of the trail but that does not yet have its own page, nor is summarized and described. There is a basic / stylized map there that includes all the sections (incl. Pot Point) and further below, there is an old-looking topo map of Pot Point with a few waypoints flagged on it. Hmm. Guess I should add it to my "do" list. But better watch out for hunting seasons too. Wish I knew the distance, too. At a glance, it might even be longer than Mullens Cove Loop, which is nearly 10 miles.

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention! Although this now means I have less of the CT done than I thought, at least the section is nearby!

  11. #11

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    This is my confusion. These trails are listed under segment 1 but CTC specifically says that only 6.9 miles of this segment are officially the CT trail. I believe that's because there is future trail planned which will begin at mile 6.9 and will link hwy 27 and 127.

    From the Cumberlandtrail.org site...

    "The Tennessee River Gorge Segment consists of two linear sections, Signal & Edwards Points and Poplar Springs, and two loops, Mullens Cove and Pot Point. Together, these sections make up 33.8 miles of trail currently open, but only the 6.9 miles of the Signal Point Section are considered part of the official Cumberland Trail"

    And this map...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12

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    Looking at the map, when the trail is completed between 27 and 127, the three trails described in segment 1 (which aren't officially the CT trail) will be cut off. Thus, my question about whether people are hiking these additional trails.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    Looking at the map, when the trail is completed between 27 and 127, the three trails described in segment 1 (which aren't officially the CT trail) will be cut off. Thus, my question about whether people are hiking these additional trails.
    How interesting. Well, then, what's the explanation for why Pot Point Loop, Mullens Cove Loop, and Poplar Springs Trail are even listed (and described, and mapped) on the cumberlandtrail.org website? Are they temporarily part of the CT? From what I recall, even the AT has changed lengths over the years with re-routing, so what's relevant should be what sections were part of it at the time of your hike.

    Another perspective: Mullens Cove and Poplar Springs are awesome trails in their own right and are worth hiking regardless of their status within the CT. Pot Point probably too. I just need to do that one.

    Final thought: Here's two photos, one from the Mullens Cove Loop and the other from the Poplar Springs Trail. I think you can see why someone might get the idea that these trails are part of the Cumberland Trail:

    DSCF3059s.jpgDSCF3152c.jpg

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by cspan View Post
    How interesting. Well, then, what's the explanation for why Pot Point Loop, Mullens Cove Loop, and Poplar Springs Trail are even listed (and described, and mapped) on the cumberlandtrail.org website? Are they temporarily part of the CT? From what I recall, even the AT has changed lengths over the years with re-routing, so what's relevant should be what sections were part of it at the time of your hike.

    Another perspective: Mullens Cove and Poplar Springs are awesome trails in their own right and are worth hiking regardless of their status within the CT. Pot Point probably too. I just need to do that one.

    Final thought: Here's two photos, one from the Mullens Cove Loop and the other from the Poplar Springs Trail. I think you can see why someone might get the idea that these trails are part of the Cumberland Trail:

    DSCF3059s.jpgDSCF3152c.jpg
    Thanks for the photos! I agree with your explanation. It sounds like the statement about "6.9 miles..." was probably written incorrectly and instead should say, "After the completion of the CT, only 6.9 miles..." or something similar. It's very misleading.

    You should write the trail description for Pot Point.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    You should write the trail description for Pot Point.
    Oh, what a scary thought! While I could probably take a crack at the text, I lack the distance measuring devices (and knowledge of how to use them) to do it to the standard set by others on the site.

    I have seen a picture of someone pushing a single wheel on an arm along the trail, supposedly as a distance measuring device. But the CT is so rocky, I don't know how they can do it accurately over an entire section. I'm not real strong with GPS either, though I have used a hiking app once or twice - not sure I trusted the results, though.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    For the most part there are plenty of places to camp and you are free to do so. HOWEVER, portions of the trail go through Wildlife Management Areas and some prohibit all camping (or perhaps during hunting season). I recall one section just north of Crossville described that way. I called the rangers to assess the situation (as I often do, believing in going straight to the horse's mouth for the most reliable data), and was told we could camp so long as we dispersed and practiced Leave No Trace.
    I've had the Obed section on my to-do list for quite some time now, but the logistics are terrible because of the WMA rules. the section is something like 14 miles but the only spot to camp is like 2 miles in --past the campsite, the rest of the section is all WMA land where, officially, camping is not allowed.

    Anyone know what the Alley Ford Campsite is like?

    there are some spectacular campsites along the CT, BTW.

  17. #17

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    Does anyone know when the North Chickamauga Creek section is closed for hunting? I know that west of hwy 27 is closed through 9/23 but can't find info about Chickamauga. Thanks.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    Does anyone know when the North Chickamauga Creek section is closed for hunting? I know that west of hwy 27 is closed through 9/23 but can't find info about Chickamauga. Thanks.
    Sorry this is so late. I should have subscribed to the thread. Anyway, do a search for the PDF file, currentwmaseasons2016.pdf. I hesitate to summarize it because, as a non-hunter, it strikes me as pretty complicated. Different dates for different animals and weapons used to take them, so although on a given day there may be no deer hunting, there could be other types of hunting going on. Hopefully it's also posted at trailheads.

    I'd rather just have a calendar list of "no hiking days" by area but it's really organized / laid out more for the hunter, not the hiker.

    also, contact person is "GREG ATCHLEY (423) 693-6604" from p. 60 (p. 21 of pdf).

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by cspan View Post
    Sorry this is so late. I should have subscribed to the thread. Anyway, do a search for the PDF file, currentwmaseasons2016.pdf. I hesitate to summarize it because, as a non-hunter, it strikes me as pretty complicated. Different dates for different animals and weapons used to take them, so although on a given day there may be no deer hunting, there could be other types of hunting going on. Hopefully it's also posted at trailheads.

    I'd rather just have a calendar list of "no hiking days" by area but it's really organized / laid out more for the hunter, not the hiker.

    also, contact person is "GREG ATCHLEY (423) 693-6604" from p. 60 (p. 21 of pdf).
    You're right about it being confusing. I ended up calling TWRA and got the info from a very nice lady.

  20. #20
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    I've hiked through hunt.ing season all my life and never had a problem. In fact I leave to hike in PA during opening day, where it's literally a state holiday due to hunting. I wouldn't worry about it just wear blaze orange. Are there really areas that are closed for hiking? As a hunter and a hiker, I don't see how they could distinguish between the two. One walks through the woods, one walks through the woods with a gun.
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