Upcoming Outings

    • Sat, September 14, 2019
    • 8:30 AM
    • Frozen Head State Park

    Join us on a hike in the Cumberland Mountains.  We will park at the Park Headquarters and hike the road and the Bird Mountain trail to the top of Bird Mountain and the Cumberland trail, about 3 miles, gaining about 1400 feet.  We will follow the Cumberland trail south for about 1.5 miles to Ross Gap, losing about 200 feet, then turn down the mountain on an old coal haul road to an un-named trail which we will follow to Flat Fork Creek, losing about 1200 feet.  Depending on the water level in Flat Fork Creek we may or may not ford the creek on our way back to the vehicles.   The total hiking distance is about 7.5 miles.  The hike difficulty is rated as moderate-difficult due to the climb up Bird Mountain.  The distances are estimates based on conversations with park rangers.

    We will meet in the Bearden Central Baptist Church parking lot for car-pooling and leave at 8:30 am stopping in Oak Ridge at the American Museum of Science & Energy, 300 Tulane Ave, and meeting in the parking lot nearest Illinois Ave. We will leave there at 9:00 am for those who would prefer to meet there. We recommend shoes to wear to and from the hike plus sturdy hiking shoes, other weather appropriate clothing, a snack, a drink and a camera. We recommend that riders in a carpool pay the driver 5 cents for each mile. Round trip distance from Knoxville is 81 miles ($.05 x 81 = $4.05). From the AMSE, 43 miles ($.05 x 43 = $2.15).

    After the hike plan on stopping on the way back for a meal and refreshments. For specific information about the hike please contact Tom before September 13 th at 588-5622 or leave a message or send an email to cressler@utk.edu.


    • Sat, September 28, 2019
    • 10:30 AM
    • Damascus, VA

    The Virginia Creeper bike ride is one of those rides you must take.  If you are not familiar with the Virginia Creeper go to http://www.vacreepertrail.com/  Don’t miss this opportunity to join a few friends and make some new friends.
    If you are interested in this bike ride you need to act now or at least by early September.  Seating on the shuttle is limited and if you need to rent a bike they could be in short supply so time is of the essence.

    Here are the details-

    Each person is responsible for making their own arrangements for shuttle service and bike rental, if needed.
    The group ride will be the upper half of the Virginia Creeper, Whitetop down to Damascus.  This is about 17 miles, mostly downhill.  For the more hardy you can ride the complete Virginia Creeper, Whitetop to Abingdon, about 34 miles with only a slight uphill well past Damascus.

    Catch the 10:30 am shuttle in Damascus for the ride to Whitetop. There should be room for all of us if you act now.  If you want to ride all of the Creeper you can catch the 10:00 am shuttle in Abingdon
    Some of you may want to carpool.  Coordination for this outing is difficult because some may want to take their own bike and some may want to overnight in Damascus or Abingdon and some may want to ride all of the Creeper.  If you want to carpool email Mary, 
    mary.steger@icloud.com by September 18.  Please include how many are in your party.  We'll then send an email to just those folks for arrangements.
     
    We recommend Blue Blaze for shuttle service and bike rental.

    Blue Blaze Bike & Shuttle
    226 W. Laurel Avenue • Damascus, VA 24236
    Toll Free 800-475-5095 or 276-475-5095
    Rental - Shuttle Service - Open 7 Days A Week

    www.blueblazebikeandshuttle.com

    As of June 3, 2019:

    • Shuttle from Damascus to Whitetop without bike rental $16
    • Shuttle from Damascus to Whitetop including bike rental $28
    • Shuttle from Abingdon to Whitetop without bike rental $21
    • Shuttle from Abingdon to Whitetop including bike rental $40
    • Fri, October 11, 2019
    • Sun, October 13, 2019
    • Bandy Creek Campground Bandy Loop, Oneida, TN 37841
    Register

    Join the hardy souls on a camping trip in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area at Bandy Creek, E-II Loop. This is a fantastic area with lots to do and the facilities are among the best available – covered pavilion with fire place, tables, BBQ grills and electricity, and private heated bathhouse with hot water showers.

    While you are there you can enjoy the area, hike on several trails, ride your bike and take a guided horseback ride. Horseback riding requires reservations. If you are interested in horseback riding you make your own reservations. Members have had a good experience with Southeast Pack Trips. Their web site is http://www.southeastpacktrips.com . The Big South Fork web site also includes some horseback riding options. For these go to the park web site, http://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/horsebackriding.htm 

    Biking is great in this area and all you have to do is bring your own bike and lots of energy. Several of the campers had a great ride last year.

    We will repeat the process used for the last several trips - each camper bringing all of their own supplies – food, cooking equipment and their own cooking. The charge will be $15 per night per camper which hopefully will cover the cost of the reservation, firewood for the pavilion, bottled water and ice at the pavilion. Kids 12 and under come free. The group camp site rate has been raised from $75 per night to $100 per night and now to $125 per night. We set the $10/camper rate when the group rate was $75 per night.

    On Saturday we may have a potluck evening meal if enough of you are interested. The Saturday evening meal sharing has been an enjoyable event the last several camping trips. A little more time to socialize.

    I plan to have my Friday evening meal at Bacara’s Restaurant, a place where we have often eaten on Friday when camping at Big South Fork.

    If you are camping please send your check, $15 for each person for each evening, with your completed reservation form. The checks will not be deposited until after September 25th when we decide if we have a sufficient number of campers. If there are not enough campers you will be notified and your check will be destroyed. Your check and completed registration form must arrive by September 25th to allow time to cancel the reservation without having to pay a large penalty if there is insufficient interest.

    Make out your check to Tom Cressler and send it and the registration form to 8616 Wimbledon Drive, Knoxville, TN 37923.

    The Saturday hike will be xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. We will leave the pavilion at 9:30 EST and the trailhead at xxx. If you want to come just for the hike on Saturday there is no charge. Just be at the pavilion before 9:30 EST

    That is the plan.

    What I need from you, on or before 4:30 pm September 25th is a check and the completed registration form:

    1. If you plan to camp: how many persons for each night and a check ($15 per person per night)
    2. If you want to join me at Bacara’s Restaurant Friday evening I need to know how many will be going so I can make reservations. Bacara’s does not accept credit cards – only cash or check
    3. Your interest in taking part in a potluck meal Saturday evening.
    4. If you are only going to come for the Saturday hike you need to let me know and give me a contact telephone number in case the hike is cancelled or changed.

    Again, I need your completed registration form and check on or before 4:30 pm September 25th .

    If too few intend to camp the group reservation will be cancelled. For those who responded I will let you know if camping has been cancelled. If it has not I will send driving and camping information to you by email.

    If you have questions you can contact me at cressler@utk.edu.

    (Registration form to be included with in an email in August)


    • Sat, October 12, 2019
    • 9:30 AM

    Hike Twin Arches and Twin Arches Loop and Hazard Cave, October 12, 2019:  Join us on a hike that combines two trails.  The Twin Arches trail takes us to two arches at .7 miles.  The south arch is 70 feet high and 135 feet wide and the north arch is 51 feet high and 93 feet wide.  After viewing the arches we will start the Twin Arches Loop trail and pass through several large rock shelters where niter (saltpeter) mining took place.  At 2.7 miles we reach Jake’s place marked by a fallen chimney.  At 4.2 miles we reach Charit Creek Lodge which has been in operation since 1989.  Part of the lodge was built in 1817.  From the lodge it is about 1.8 miles back to the vehicles and on the way back we will go over the arches. The total distance is about 6.0 miles with an elevation gain/loss of about 400 feet.  The trail is of moderate difficulty with two steep stairs and a short steep trail section. Hazard Cave is a short hike we will do after the Twin Arches loop.

    We will leave from the Big South Fork Bandy Creek E-I pavilion at 9:30 EST.

    If you are not camping with us and want to join us on the hike please let me know before October 8th and give me a contact telephone number so you can be notified of any changes.  You can contact me at cressler@utk.edu or leave a message at 865-588-5622


    • Sat, November 09, 2019
    • Frozen Head State Park

    Join us on a hike in the Cumberland Mountains. We will park at Armes Gap on TN 116 and hike the coal haul road to the peak of Frozen Head mountain and the lookout tower. The distance is about 2.5 miles and the elevation gain is about 1180 feet. The fire tower was replaced by a very nice lookout tower with lots of room for viewing the countryside. On the way back we will take a side trail to the Brushy Mountain Correctional Complex coal mines where prisoners mined coal until sometime in the 1950s. This side trail is about .4 miles and relatively level.

    Brushy Mountain Correctional Complex opened in 1896 and closed June 11, 2009. The prison was founded as a result of the aftermath of the "Coal Creek War," an 1891 lockout of coal miners that took place in Coal Creek, now Lake City, and Briceville, after miners protested the use of unpaid convict labor in the mines.

    All of the distances and elevation changes are estimates based on a topo map. The total distance is about 5.8 miles which is a little shorter than most of our hikes.

    We will meet in the Bearden Central Baptist Church parking lot for car-pooling and leave at 8:30 am stopping in Oak Ridge at the American Museum of Science & Energy, 300 Tulane Ave, and meeting in the parking lot nearest Illinois Ave. We will leave there at 9:00 am for those who would prefer to meet there. We recommend shoes to wear to and from the hike plus sturdy hiking shoes, other weather appropriate clothing, a snack, a drink and a camera. We recommend that riders in a carpool pay the driver 5 cents for each mile. Round trip distance

    from Knoxville is 81 miles ($.05 x 81 = $4.05). From the AMSE, 43 miles ($.05 x 43 = $2.15).

    After the hike plan on stopping on the way back for a meal and refreshments. For specific information about the hike please contact Tom before November 8 th at 588-5622 or leave a message or send an email to cressler@utk.edu.



    • Sat, December 14, 2019
    • 9:30 AM
    • Knoxville Urban Wilderness

    The hike is between 5 and 6 miles, mostly through the woods, with rolling hills, none very steep. About 2 miles will be along the French Broad River with good views. The hike is rated as easy. We recommend shoes to wear to and from the hike plus sturdy hiking shoes, other weather appropriate clothing, a snack, a drink and a camera.

    You can view the map here, or by going to www.outdoorknoxville.com, select Urban Wilderness at the top of the page and then under printable maps, Urban Wilderness South Loop. The hike will be on the trails on the side of the map along the French Broad River in the Wildlife Management Area. One of our hike trails follows the west boundary of the shaded area, West Boundary Trail, and the remainder follows the purple trails.

    We will meet in the Central Baptist Church of Bearden parking lot for car-pooling and leave at 9:00 am. If you prefer you can meet us at 9:30 am at the trail head located at the parking lot at the end of McClure Lane. McClure Lane is on the left just after you pass the parking lot for Meads Quarry (see the map referred to above).

    After the hike plan on stopping on the way back for a meal and refreshments, perhaps at Calhoun’s or somewhere is South Knoxville. For specific information about the hike please contact Tom at 588-5622 or leave a message or send an email to cressler@utk.edu before December 13th


Past Outings

Sat, August 10, 2019 Lumber Ridge and Spruce Flats Falls Trails
Fri, July 26, 2019 Parksville Lake and Ocoee River Camping
Sat, July 13, 2019 Hike Bald River Falls Trail
Sat, June 29, 2019 Ten Mile Creek Greenway
Sun, June 16, 2019 Hiking Gregory Bald, GSMNP


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"Knoxville Ski & Outing Club" is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization. PO Box 32773 Knoxville, TN 37930

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