published Friday, June 1st, 2012

National Trails Day

A view of the bluffs from Cloudland Canyon State Park. Visitors can help with trail maintenance as part o National Trails Day on Saturday.
A view of the bluffs from Cloudland Canyon State Park. Visitors can help with trail maintenance as part o National Trails Day on Saturday.
Photo by Dan Henry.

National Trails Day, a celebration scheduled Saturday by the American Hiking Association, has some surprising twists in the region: A creek bottom is among the destinations, and horses will join the foot traffic on a couple of backcountry work outings.

In Chattanooga, the Soddy-Daisy Chapter of the Tennessee Trails Association and the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy are inviting hiking and nature enthusiasts to participate in an event at Greenway Farm, 5051 Gann Store Road in Hixson. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., volunteers from both groups will greet visitors at the log cabin near the parking area, where bottled water, trail maps and other information will be available.

The event is intended as an introduction to organized hiking and trail conservation.

"The volunteers will acquaint visitors with various Greenway Farm trails that meander through the park and will lead hikes at regular intervals for those unfamiliar with the trail network," said George Bonneau of the Soddy-Daisy Hiking Club in a news release.

Trails in the park vary in difficulty from easy to moderate. These include a 1-mile wildflower footpath and several wooded and graded trails. Cameras are welcome.

Advance registration is requested. Call 667-2960 or email Kopperkritters@yahoo.com.

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE REGION

Note: Comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear are recommended. Most outings are long enough to call for toting water and snacks. Some of the work sessions include a meal. For specifics, view the state-by-state guide on the National Trails Day link at www.americanhiking.org.

GEORGIA

* Chatsworth/Dalton: The USDA Forest Service needs equestrians to help with maintenance and construction of a multi-use trail system, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For information, email jeromebennett@fs.fed.us or call 706-695-6736.

* Rising Fawn: Cloudland Canyon State Park and its Friends organization will spend time in trail maintenance, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Officials also will recognize the completion of the Overlook Extension Trail. Participants receive a Georgia State Park annual pass. Phone: 706-657-4050. Email: cloudland_canyon_park@dnr.state.us. Website: http://gastate parks.org/cloudland canyon.

TENNESSEE

* Crossville: Cumberland Mountain State Park, in conjunction with the Plateau Chapter of the Tennessee Trails Association, will offer hiking, birding, trail exhibits, workshops and wildlife photography 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. CDT. Trails range from an easy 1-mile to a moderate 8-mile. Advance registration is requested through TTA at 931-456-6437 or thehecklers@charter.net or through the park at 931-484-6138 or monica.johnson@tn.gov. For more information, visit http://tn.gov/environment/parks/CumberlandMtn.

* Etowah: Southern Appalachian Back Country Horsemen will offer trail maintenance and construction 9 a.m.-2 p.m. starting at a day-use area off Spring Creek Road, accessible from Highway 411, 5 miles south of Etowah. Phone: 423-337-6194. Email: jfgmhorse@gmail.com

* Pikeville: Friends of Fall Creek Falls State Park will offer a moderate, 4.5-mile, ranger-led hike on the Gilbert Gaul Loop Trail and the new Link Trail along the lake 9 a.m.-1 p.m. CDT. Phone: 423-881-5708. Email: Stuart.Carroll@tn.gov.

* Tellico Plains: Tennessee Wild and the U.S. Forest Service will offer a snorkel trip in the biologically rich Citico Creek near the Citico Creek Wilderness in the Cherokee National Forest 9 a.m.-2 p.m. $20 fee for wetsuit, mask and snorkel rental. Registration required: 423-322-7866, jeff@wildsouth.org. For more information: www.meetup.com/Tennessee-Wild.

* Tullahoma: The Highland Rim Chapter of the Tennessee Trails Association will celebrate with two hikes, one at 9 a.m. and the other at 10 a.m. Terrain is hazardous in a few places. Phone: 931-962-0811. Email: jhartvigs@comcast.net.

* Winchester: Tims Ford State Park will offer a hike of the new Lost Creek Overlook Trail, which features two of the state's longest suspension bridges and views of the Tims Ford Reservoir. The 2.6-mile round trip, set for 9:30-11 a.m., is rated moderately strenuous. Phone: 931-962-1184. Email: joshua.kuykendall@tn.gov.

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