February 9, 2013 · 8:00 AM
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Let's hike the southernmost segment of the Cumberland Trail, just outside Chattanooga! The Tennessee River Gorge Segment starts in the Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area and crosses at least 3 bridges and 5 streams over 11 miles to Signal Point on Signal Mountain. There are 3 rustic backcountry campsites. We'll camp at one.
We will not be doing the figure-8 loop around Tower Drive in the Prentice Cooper WMA, which is also shown and described at the above link, so ignore that part. We probably will park at the official parking area on Tower Drive and hike north/east past the Indian Rock House and Stone Door, and toward Signal Point. We will pass Lawson Rock Overlook, Mushroom Rock, and Edwards Point Overlook during the weekend.
The CTC site rates this segment as "easy, moderate, difficult," so we'll have some of each. But due to the relatively short mileage, this should be a very do-able hike for most folks. Daylight hours already are getting longer, so this may allow for some leisurely walking, though we will cross at least one major gorge at Suck Creek/North Suck Creek. This is one of the most popular portions of the entire CT.
We can "do lunch" on Sunday afternoon in Chattanooga or maybe stop for the Millers Grocery Sunday buffet in Christiana on the way home, but only if we get there by 2:00 p.m.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Check back for updates and final details.
UPDATE: We'll likely START at Signal Point and END in Prentice Cooper (the opposite of the "START" and "END" notations on the above map).
Raymond 'Rain Man' Myers